Free-Floating Hostility

Thursday, November 18, 2004


This is why I must Phase Out TV

The 15 most absurd seconds on TV last night featured an ad for Mucinex, a new over-the-counter product delicately advertised as an "expectorant." For most of the commercial a 30-ish white guy tries and fails to hock a loogie, apparently because an animated green blob in a barca-lounger is clogging up his lungs. A dose of Mucinex takes care of that, the man can finally hock up the talking loogie, and he leaves his house ready for work and refreshed. I'm sure I missed some snappy dialogue between the white guy and the loogie, too because I mute commercials, even really fascinating ones like this, out of fear that I'll wind up actually buying "expectorant" the next time I need face wash.

Second-most absurd was the latest installation in the American history of doing it without doing it when it comes to interracial kisses. I get worked up into a truly vile temper when movies like The Eraser or The Time Machine end with a nice, friendly hug between hero and heroine to avoid a black woman kissing a white man. And TV is even worse. The first interracial kiss in TV's history, as it turns out, was on Star Trek, in an episode where an alien king takes over the crew's minds and makes Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nicols) kiss Captain Kirk (William Shatner) against their wills for his sick amusement.

Last night showed the most absurd avoidance of the on-screen kiss I have ever seen anywhere. As you faithful readers know, my plan to phase TV out of my life by the year 2006 faced a minor setback when Michael talked me into watching LAX, which has now become my guilty pleasure and which I am, apparently, incapable of turning off. Last night showed us the story heretofore only hinted, of the Christmas party where Roger de Souza (Blair Underwood) cheats on his wife with Harley Random (Maggie Smith) (no, I'm just kidding, it's Heather Locklear). As Harley flashes back to the one-night stand, we eventually get the whole story from seduction to unambiguous on-screen copulation...without their lips ever touching. Well, technically, there was a kind of brotherly peck right at the very end, presumably when the condom was coming off, and it's shot in very soft focus so it's just possible you'll miss it. Is there really some expectorant-selling eugenicist out there who's been convinced not to pull his ad by the promise that he only kisses her neck and nose? More importantly, the show takes place in California, where in the past decade there were more biracial children born than "purely" black children. How on earth are interracial relations of any kind still considered controversial? How did Tom Coburn get to them?

6 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger Form at November 18, 2004 12:22 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Did you see the intro to Monday night football?

  •   Posted by Blogger Anna at November 18, 2004 2:48 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • No, but I've seen it replayed ad nauseam on all the sports talk shows. I'd characterize it as a gigantic yawn.

  •   Posted by Blogger Form at November 18, 2004 3:46 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Well, I am not sure if T.O. kissed the white woman, but I mentioned it to show you just how willing people are to put interracial intimacy on the air. Only Tony Dungy called it racist.

  •   Posted by Blogger Mike at November 18, 2004 5:26 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • I wonder if Coach Dungy is considering taking over the coaching duties at Bob Jones University's football program.

  •   Posted by Blogger Form at November 19, 2004 6:15 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • That is a good joke Mike. Taking nothing away from it, I wanted to discuss something actually serious. Dungy's comment referenced the Kobe Bryant trial and claimed that the skit played on the stereotype of black men, especially black male athletes, as sexual predators. Now myself, Tony Kornheiser, and Michael Wibon all agree (you didn't see 5 good minutes last night?) that it was not offensive in that manner because the white woman was portrayed as the agressor. Since you have been more left-wing on sports/race issues, (anyone who says anything bad about Allen Iverson is a racist!) I wonder what you think on Dungy's take.

  •   Posted by Blogger Mike at November 20, 2004 9:09 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • On the road in Portland and will have a response in the form of a new post on Sunday or Monday.

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