Friday, June 30, 2006

The Gods of TV

One may have sensed frustration in my last post: one would be correct. So last night KA and I turned the volume down – backed away from the ugliness of the previous two nights. What better way to seal the deal then mindless TV. Of course we are in re-run season so the pickings are slim. KA surfs along and there at 9 PM is a Primetime – a Court TV style murder mystery.

As usual we have never heard of the case – all the better for watching the show. Durham, NC – an upscale family, a wife falling down the stairs and bleeding to death, a husband finding the body and calling 911. A husband arrested for murder. Standard issue TV fare; all that is missing is the money and sex, but the show is still young.

The police have their search warrant and of course seize, among other things, the husband’s computer. KA is watching quietly, but I have my first inkling. They find pictures on the computer. My antenna is going on alert: KA is watching quietly. Husband says he never had an affair – it was only physical. My brain is starting to scream: KA is watching quietly. Then the “punch line” – they show a picture or two: men. KA is watching – intently: we look at each other. This was supposed to be our night “off”. Volume down, right-sizing, but no.

Husband is bi-sexual. His brother tells us the family knew from age 13 or 14. His children tell us they are cool and still love him. His wife, well she’s dead now, isn’t she. The theory of course is that she did not know: the discovery on the computer was not a planned coming out. I suppose he was not a blogger.

The husband is a killer (he is convicted) and he is bi-sexual. As a minority within a minority, one wonders what viewers are thinking – bi-sexual – killer, let me see. From a personal viewpoint I am watching – husband, devoted to wife, not looking for a relationship but enjoys sex with men. This is supposed to be a TV, not a mirror.

I suppose it all gets back to the right-sizing issue. It is tricky sometimes. KA just finished a Joyce Carol Oates book – The Falls – which I am now reading. I have studied the jacket, the blurb, at length. There is nothing to indicate that in the first chapter this woman would marry and the next morning her husband, realizing how gay he is, will throw himself into Niagra Falls at dawn. (This is, after all, 1950.)

Maybe we are more attuned – the antennae working overtime – to what was there all along. Maybe it is the Gods of media teasing us. The nice part is that I am out to my wife; these events become opportunities for us to keep our dialogue going. That is what happened last night. If my view of the TV last night had been through a crack in a closet door… well, I cannot fathom that scene, the feeling of deception and isolation I would have been left with. So life is tricky, but life is good, particularly when imbued with a dose of honesty.

8 comments:

The Summer Occupation said...

Wow, that's some peculiar irony.

Bigg said...

I'm glad that things are going a little smoother for you.
I think I've seen the episode you're referring to -- there's also another one about the owner of a grocery store who was married, but picked up and murdered tricks on the side. I'm always impressed (slight sarcasm) by how skillfully these programs can equate the two things -- murder and homosexuality -- without actually saying it in so many words.

Flip said...

I agree with Bigg. It's really disturbing how much darker the overall tone if the guy is seeing other men on the side.

I too am glad to hear things have calmed down a bit.

Take care.

Paul said...

I'm just glad we weren't watching TV last night ... we probably would have been watching the same program as you two were ... but we would not have had anything to talk about. Such silence is painful.

bear said...

Hmm...it IS very strange how things like this seem to happen.
As for the dark connection, it makes you think if there is some agenda out there to make people see gay's as a threat (I know - crazy conspiracy!)

Anyways, maybe renting a DVD next time would be better...just to be safe? :)

Brad said...

Oh, geez, homo (bi, whatever) killers on the loose again, people. Lock the door!

I suppose it makes great television, though.

I do like the fact that you noted that this is a minority within a minority, though.

Nate said...

It was good television. We watched it in stages and saw the last half after I posted. There was one scene which just pissed me off. The ADA stands in front of the jury with a sheaf of e-mails. Now if this was an affair with a women or call girl, the ADA would have discussed adultery. Instead she kept using one word - FILTH

I can vent more, but I will control myself. Lets just say I do not consider a bj to be filth and is much neater than related acts with the opposite sex:)

Thanks for all the kind comments guys. Yes, things are calmer, mostly in my brain. It will not last.

brian said...

I was particularly struck by the EMPHASIS the prosecutor placed on this issue with jurors.She played the shocked southern belle to the hilt.
On another note,isn't it amazing how once an issue surfaces it seems to occur more frequently?