October 25, 2001
We interrupt this broadcast...

So, this week and a couple of weeks ago, I was party to the live television broadcast of a local station's afternoon chatfest called "Northwest Afternoon". I attended as a member of the "live studio audience" so as to pay off a favor. They run our PSA's (that's a "public service announcement", and they're pretty much required to run a number of these every day as a community service) in exchange for us putting some butts in seats for their daily afternoon talk show.

It was fun to watch people who are good at their jobs do what they do well. It was also fun to see first-hand exactly how plastic and phoney everything is in the world of television. Examples:

* applause is not only handled through the use of applause signs (well, okay, a twenty-two year old blonde chick who raises her hands when she wants us to clap), but said pre-arranged applause is also augmented by canned applause.

* the star of the show is returning from getting a face-lift. She was very funny and witty about it, but the reality remains that she got a facelift... almost certainly because either she is that vain or the industry let her know that they'd can her butt if she didn't do the deed.

* the stars enthusiastically read the teleprompters as if they're making up the words right off the top of their heads.

There were other things, but you get the gist. Nothing here that surprises you, I'm sure... it was simply the totality of it all that I found amazing.

That said, these were also very fun and engaging people. They seem to like their jobs, and they were very good at getting the audience involved (for live Q&A of the guests, etc.).

On today's show, the guests were co-authors of some lame book about love and romance. Blah, blah, blah. But, one of the members of the audience said something that I found very interesting.

She told the story about how, before she got married, she surveyed everyone she knew about marriage... what makes it work, or why it fails. She said that of those who had stayed in long lasting relationships, every single one of them said that the single most important thing to making their relationships work was *compromise*.

When she asked people who had been divorced what the single most important thing missing was, they said it was *communication*. The woman said that pretty much every divorced person she asked attributed the break-up to "a lack of communication". Whereas, those who stayed together credited "the art of compromise."

I found that interesting.

As it so happens, the others in the audience also found that interesting. So, naturally, the hosts sidestepped her point and went on to talk about other things. :-)

--me

(I'll resume on the feminism and science fiction track tomorrow. No, really!)

Posted by on October 25, 2001 03:10 AM in the following Department(s): Books/Movies/Music , Tidbits


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