Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Barfing is the New Fucking

Obama is sending 30,000+ troops to Afghanistan, with all the infrastructure and money that entails, and I'm writing about vomit--what's wrong with my viewpoint? you ask...

All of us Americans, three-hundred-million of us, are going through the daily routine, making "ends meet" or not, miserable or thrilled--whatever. There are a billion people on earth facing starvation every day, and that's a fairly unfathomable number.

Many people, in many countries around the world, work and strive to make the miserable life of those less fortunate more comfortable, or at least livable. In short, everyone needs a break from the horrors of the news, the world, even just from the traffic.

So for my "break," I turn on the TV and look for clever writing, or a dandy documentary, or something to take my mind off of the ongoing mundane problems of us all.

Tonight, I watched an episode of "The Office," which featured a scene in which one person got sick to her stomach, threw up on camera, and initiated a sequential gagging and vomiting of everyone in the "room." I am personally put off by seeing someone else throw up, I have never found it entertaining, and in fact it brings up memories of people I've been with who were terribly sick or terminally ill, who were vomiting almost in a state of unconsciousness. Still, it is disgusting to me to watch in real life, but when I want to use TV or movies to "escape" reality, as we used to say in the 1960's--"escapism,"--watching an actor pretend to throw up by spitting out some stuff he or she got from the crew is not entertaining, enlightening, illuminating, relaxing, or clever.

It's a way to go to the "edge" in TV the way sex used to be used for shock value. In the movie North by Northwest, the characters played by Cary Grant and Eva Marie-Saint share a sleeper unit on a train travelling across country. There is no doubt, from the sequences of their kissing and the dialogue, that they will make love in this sleeper car. But the humping and heavy breathing is never shown on screen. When I saw the 50th anniversary screening by the AFI of the restored version of this film recently, Ms. Saint, who was present, said she was glad Hitchcock only inferred the raw sex, because in today's films, it would have to be shown to meet audience expectations.

I wonder what she would have thought about all the vomiting that's been going on in the movies and on TV lately. I don't understand why the sex act in movies and on TV is scary to Americans, while violence and bloodshed is more tolerated--and now, everyone is regurgitating in all sorts of TV and movie venues, and for me this is worse than violence or sex--on TV or in movies that is.

So now I'd rather read about troops in Afghanistan and mayhem murders around town, than go relax in front of my TV watching people vomit without warning.