GUESS WHO'S COMING TO TEA
February 10, 1999
Some smart guys in lab coats measured the energy output of people doing various activities. They found that watching TV ranks somewhere between sleeping and death in the amount of energy it requires. Even our brain waves slow down.
Speaking of slow brain waves, I see that Jerry Falwell is in the news again.
According to the Associated Press, Falwell (the point man for the now defunked Moral Majority) has grave concerns about the Teletubbies. If you've never seen them, consider yourself lucky. They are four very odd little live action characters imported from England.
The show is made to appeal to one of the toughest demographic markets: zero to three years. After all, how do you sell to someone who eats strained peas and runs around with poopy pants? They simply don't have an esthetic sense to appeal to yet.
Jerry, that's Mr. Righteous to you, is worried because one of the teletubbies carries a purse, has a triangle on his head and is purple. I have my own concerns about the teletubbies, but we'll get to them later.
My co-workers and I discussed this at length today. After all, some of us have children and one of us is gay and we are all very adept at avoiding work while looking very intense. This was the perfect opportunity to hone our walking-around-with-papers-in-our-hands-but-really-doing-squat-technique.
Because I am the gay person in the office, I am the resident expert on all gay culture. I have some good backup because one woman has a gay cousin and one guy has lots of gay friends, but when it comes down to it, my word is law. It's a nice feeling to be considered an expert in a field that I have almost no real knowledge of.
"I thought the gay color was pink - like the triangle." Kevan, the guy who pointed the article out in the first place looks puzzled.
"Wait, what about the rainbow thing?" Shareen, our receptionist points out.
"True but I'm thinking he's equating purple with lavender." I try to sound as if I feel pity for someone who could make such a faux pas. I'm not really sure about they gay color either - all I know for sure is that I look very sallow in purple.
"So what if it is a purse?" Patty is our office manager and is the closest thing to a card-carrying Communist I have ever met.
We finally came to the conclusion that Jerry was wasting his worry. Little kids have no moral lives. That's why they walk around with poop in their pants, biting people and screaming for no apparent reason.
My worry is that we have all these kids sitting around flatlining their brain waves and wondering why there isn't a sound track in real life. But then again, I worry about the proliferation of violent video games but would have no objections to a real time game of intercourse that included bonus points for prolonged foreplay, multiple orgasms and taking no for an answer.
I wonder if watching Bert and Ernie gave me the moral strength to come out. Or maybe it was seeing that Ginger and MaryAnne had no problem living in close quarters for all these years, in the steamy jungle with no one but each other to look pretty for. Mary Tyler Moore showed me I could live quit happily without a man and the Bionic woman made me realize that I'd be even happier with a woman.
Either way, I thank God every day that my moral life was affected by these and so many other "subtle depictions" on TV that put me in touch with my purple, purse carrying, triangle-headed side. With any luck, Tinky Winky (the gay tubby) might teach kids that men can carry a purse and not get the shit kicked out of them by the other tubbies.
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Copyright 1999 by Laura Jiménez.