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Here's looking at you, kid

by anna at 08:33 AM on November 08, 2003

ABC has inked a deal with one Jessica Simpson. She will star in an upcoming sitcom. Now as far as I know, she isn't a professional actress. Unless I'm mistaken, she's one of many buff blonde Britney-style bimbo singers who emerged like maggots breeding on a rotting corpse as the 90s meandered to its desultory close. I couldn't name a single song she sung. Her show should be a smash hit.

In the last year she has proven that Homer isn't the only dimwitted Simpson. Her Chicken of the Sea gaffe has become the stuff of legend. She won't eat Buffalo wings because she doesn't eat buffalo. Or beefalo. Or what-ever.

If you hung her in your closet, it would be a waste of a perfectly good hanger.

She and husband Nick seemed prefectly comfortable with MTV camera crews trailing them around throughout their first year of wedded bliss. Both of them are famous for something or other, which means they're probably rich. So why would they subject themselves to this degradation?

The younger generation is oblivious to camera lenses because they've grown up under constant surveillance. They don't get all flustered and awkward when they realize a camera is trained on them. In day care, their images were broadcast over the Net so working mom could ensure that no one was fondling them. At gas stations and ATMs, a camera hovers overhead. There's a monitor so they can make funny faces and watch themselves. As they do so someone else in the line is transmitting their image via picture-phone. They know this, but they don't care.

In fact, today's youth will go out of its way to get others to peer at them in various stages of undress. Every day I get emails from self-described "hot coeds in g-strings." Seems they've finally got their web-cams up and running so they invite me to take a look. I don't, but somebody must.

Web-cams are set up in some of the damndest places. Hence you just never know when a herky-jerky image of you picking your nose or scratching your crotch might turn up on some Taiwanese boy's monitor. Just as you never know when the Girls Gone Wild crew might saunter up and offer to trade a skimpy tank top for a glimpse of your boobs. (Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and that GGN infomercial will be on. It's all about boob-flashing but when they finally persuade a gal to do it, that electric tape thing covers up their nipples. It's an exercise in self-defeat.)

It's not just the surveillance, of course. The goddamn Osbornes have been around long enough to wear out their already tenuous welcome. Liza Minelli and her beleaguered husband David were going to do the same thing. (Would that have been a show, or what? I would've paid good money to watch her kick his sissified ass.) We've watched bachelors and bachelorettes profess their undying ardor for one another in hot pursuit of nookie, cash prizes and most importantly, a shot at fleeting Survivor 16: Orlando-style fame. Is it over for Survivor, or what?

I find all this most unnerving. It's like The Truman Show come to life. Won't be long before some obscure cable station starts broadcasting 24-7 from the homes of average Joes and Jos like you and me. Hey look honey, Ezy's going to clean his gun again.

Their visit to the House of Anna would be a ratings catastrophe. Nothing ever happens here. We just exist for existence's sake. Every once in a while we'll cast a furtive glance out the window. There's a cat lounging in the yard. It is licking its paw without a care in the world, like Jessica Simpson. It's probably thinking about a can of chicken.

Somehow I get the feeling there will never be a made-for-TV movie called The Zeros. Why would anyone even bother?

comments (9)

Countdown to response to Ezy line in 3... 2... 1...

Oh what the heck, that was hilarious! And in the best possible way, Ezy. Anna, at first I thought the Newlyweds show was completely ridiculous and I refused to watch it, but then I watched some by accident and I really found that I liked it. I know it's heavily editied, and probably more than just a little staged, but even as a half-fantasy, half-reality thing it's funny to see Jessica acting in totally bewildering ways and then seeing three reactions march across Nick's face: 1. This girl is insane. 2. I can't believe I'm here/hearing this/seeing this. 3. Jessica's the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I loved The Truman Show. I'm waiting for the day that people start listing it as a classic. I might be in AARP by then, but that would be OK. So long as it happens.

by jean at November 8, 2003 4:10 PM

The Truman Show will grow on folks like This Is Spinal Tap did. And I've never watched The Newlyweds but maybe I should. Supposedly Nick puts up with her ditiziness because she's a good lay. Give it two years tops. Good lays are a dime a dozen and they get lazy with time.

by anna at November 8, 2003 5:09 PM

if i had a real t.v. and/or ever watched it anna, i'd watch "the zeros". something about turning up beauty in everyday things just does it for me. sort of like a good raymond carver story.

by lajoie at November 8, 2003 10:34 PM

I don't know who Jessica Simpson is, but I do know who Conan O'Brien is, and it cracked me up the other day when he was showing off his autograph book of stars that had signed it while doing the show. The one from Jessica Simpson said something like, "Hi Conan I found these cool sticks that make black scratch marks like you use to make for the paper talking." Or something like that. It was funny. Honest.

by chris at November 9, 2003 2:19 AM

Yup there's that vaunted American education system on display. It's your tax dollars hard at work, churning out these vacuous mental midgets.

Lajo, I would probably watch it too. These times are so perverse that it would be most entertaining. But what can you say about a decade that three years in doesn't even have a name?

by anna at November 9, 2003 9:18 AM

i like to think of this decade as "the oughts".

by lajoie at November 9, 2003 4:06 PM

Deprivatization has lead to the inevitable cliche'ic question...is this all there is? And after we progress to the level of the zeros, what is after that? I see a decline of comercialization and a return to privatization, a decline in descrimination, and an emergance of destabalization. The media will reflect this accordingly. In what ever artistic fashion it behooves itself. Thank you, MAC...

by MAC... at November 12, 2003 4:51 AM

mac, you said a mouthful. i like all these new commentators. were you guys always lurking or did you stumble across our insular little world?

by anna at November 12, 2003 6:19 PM

Originally, I set out on a search of the engines to locate a particular photo or series of photos involving the former POW Jessica Lynch. Much to my chagrin, my search was unfruitful. Yet, during this escapade, I was swayed to read other articals that appeared amusing. This gesture forced my comment.

by MAC... at November 13, 2003 2:38 AM

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