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I’m Saturated

The older I get the less engaged I am with, or in pop culture.  I’m not sure if this is just a “thing” or if I am too busy or what.  I feel like it is just because there is only so much room in my brain and so many hours in the day to keep up.

I’m currently watching Season 7 of Dexter. I want to start Orange is the New Black.  I want to see Transparent, even though one of the producers said some transphobic crap about Bruce Jenner.  I could make a list of all the television series I want to binge watch, but I’m not a binge watchers.  (I’m not really good at sitting still for long periods of time.)  I want to find out how to watch the next season of VEEP without subscribing to HBO.  I had to watch back to back episodes of Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder as I missed the first two episodes of the mid-season. I want to get rid of cable, but I was worried about missing my Daily Show.  Not anymore.  We watched his Tuesday night show on demand last night and I wept.  Yeah.  I admit it.  I love that man.

But I work with college students.  Every day.  They are so up on everything pop culture.  I feel mixed about how much I should know about their world and how little time I have to know it.  I want to do more yoga.

media diet

Music is another piece of that puzzle.  I flipped through some pictures of the artists at the Grammy’s the other night and there were many I did not know. Whenever I am in the car with a younger person, like Kendra, my 26-year-old staffer, I ask who the artist is singing the songs I know.

I have a list of books I want to read.  Three people have given me The Secret History of Wonder Woman.  I just finished two books on my trip to Denver, Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and a book called The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion, who is a man.  That probably isn’t surprising to most folks, but I tend to read books by women in an attempt to make up for all the male writers I was required to read in high school and college.  Some have said that is a sexist position to take, but I feel as if I am just providing balance where my education did not.  And, I’m 46 and can read whatever I want.

Then there’s the movies.  I have an actor/director friend who I think might see every movie that comes out.  Seriously.  He overwhelms me with how many movies he sees.  He also doesn’t own a house, yet.  This movie machine may slow down once he has to fix an ice dam on his roof.  The last movie we rented was The Interview.  That was probably two to three weeks ago.  I have not seen any of the movies nominated for Oscars.

I love to go to theatre.  But carving out the time to do that on top of all the other media demands in my life is a challenge.  I have seen three live shows in 2015.  Two were plays and one was a musical performance.  Is that enough?  Is it too little?  Is it average?  I can only judge by my peers attendance, which varies, although I am by far, not the best theatre goer in the group.  Like my movie going friend, I have theatre friends who go see everything, which is a challenge in Rhode Island, where there is even a bit of over saturation in the theatre world.

I think it has become increasingly difficult in this media saturated culture to keep up with news, movies, television, music and social media.  And to do all this while exercising at least 30 minutes a day, drinking 8 glasses of water, getting 7-8 hours of sleep, and eating healthy is impossible.  Look at this excellent graphic of the media saturation during the Super Bowl.


Saturate also means to destroy (a target) completely with bombs and missiles.  Maybe that is how I am feeling.

So what’s a gal to do?  The answer is not clear to me at all.  For now, I will go to work, come home, cook dinner and watch an episode of the last season of Parks & Recreation, because it’s Tuesday.

Where are All the . . . ? Take Two.

I love award shows.  It’s the little girl in me who watched The Oscars as a kid and dreamed of being up on that stage.  And while that dream has certainly faded as I’ve moved into my mid 40s (gasp!) , I still enjoy seeing the actors I love get recognized.

However, with the tinted glasses of feminism, award shows generally piss me off.  The lack of diversity in this year’s Emmy awards is frightening. And even more so, in some senses, than Hollywood.  Movies cost money, much of television doesn’t.  (although more and more shows being recognized are from HBO, Showtime, and Netflix, channels that do cost money).  What is most accessible to young people is a white coated representation of life, as shown in the nominees for this year’s Emmys.

There was never more than two people of color nominated in any category.  Lead Actress in a drama: one African-American woman.  Lead Actor in a drama:  all white men.  People of color did best in the “Guest Actor in a Drama.”  Two men of color were nominated for House of Cards, with Joe Morton taking the Emmy.  Two women of color were nominated in the same category with Uzo Aduba from Orange is the New Black taking the Emmy.



For Directing a Drama, there are two men of color, Carl Franklin for House of Cards and Cary Joji Fukunaga, who won for True Detective.


Cary Joji Fukunaga

The most diverse lineup of nominees was in Best Direction for a Comedy Series, which had one African-American man and two women in the lineup with Gail Mancuso winning for Modern Family.

Spend some time scrolling through these lists of nominees and you’ll get a white view of television’s lack of diversity.  What is someone who cares about representation to do?

I don’t watch a lot of television these day, but I need to become much more investigative in who is directing and who is represented.  I love VEEP, strong female role, but that show is also very white.  I know that Orange is the New Black is the show to watch for diversity, but I can only get sucked into one series at a time.  I watch Scandal because I believe in Shonda Rhimes and Kerry Washington being the first African-American women lead in decades.  Modern Family has a touch of diversity, as does The Walking Dead, my husband’s favorite series right now.  I love Key and Peele.  But my love of fake news shows, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are led by two very white men.  And honestly, there are only so many hours in the day to even watch television if you roll in at 6pm, put dinner together and get to bed by 10pm.

The only way to keep on task is to keep talking about it and keep sharing information on good examples and bad examples.  And maybe, just maybe, turn off those shows that reflect a society that really doesn’t exist anymore.

my feminist praxis

critical reflections on my feminist praxis: activism, motherhood, and life

The Feminist Critic

Providing weekly critiques of theatre, film, books, politics and pop culture from a feminist perspective.