Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
I was watching sitcoms while waiting to get the official bad news at 11 (here in the east), and saw tonight's episode of I'm With Her. It's about a schoolteacher who gets involved with a big movie star -- based on the writer's real-life relationship and marriage to Brooke Shields -- and has been sort-of-almost-good. (I did notice this week that the actress's bitter, possessive sister, who lives in the same house with her, plays more like a jealous lesbian lover.)
The show's sense of normality is a little odd in the first place -- the movie star lives in a house whose rooms are unexpectedly-small sitcom-set-sized rooms, which reinforces the "movie stars are just people" concept that's needed to make the show work at all -- but tonight it flipped over into upsidedown land. Alex (the woman) meets her boyfriend's intellectual ex-girlfriend, who didn't even know who megastar Alex was, and then delivered condescending dialogue in a condescending manner for a few minutes. This gives poor Alex an inferiority complex, and the whole show turns into the message about how unfair it is that eggheads think that those poor movie stars are dumb...I mean, how snobbish of them! Don't you hate it when smart people, the ruling bastards of the world, lord it over us jes-plain-folks hugely rich movie stars and belittle our minds and gubernatorial aspirations ---
I think I thought of the recall just there for a second. Damn.
OK, what's going on in the second act of I'm With Her? Well, the ex-girlfriend's written a book on the French Revolution, and Alex and teacher-guy are invited to a party honoring the author, so Alex bones up on history by sitting down in front the History Channel (or non-name-brand equivalent), which is of course showing a 12-hour documentary on Hitler. The next day, full of Fun Hitler Facts, Alex answers every small-talk question with some inappropriate Hitler anecdote. ("That music playing...is it Wagner? Cause you know, Wagner was Hitler's favorite composer.")
So I spent a few minutes watching a movie star, complaining that the ruling elites look down on her intellectual qualifications, start answering random questions with "Hitler!" And, granted, none of the questions were "Who do you admire", but you know I think I thought about the recall there again for a second.
Sometimes I just hate TV.