The subject of today's diatribe is none other than the person I consider the biggest anal wart on the body human today, Jerry Springer.
OK, so that statement sets me up with holding any of a number of positions right off the bat, any one of which for many a reader probably causes immediate shutdown. Herein follows the pointless bitchy rant of yet another oversensitive tranny, or the local equivalent; there goes Marie again.
Perhaps it's pointless to bitch about Jerry Springer; I'd hope that anybody with a lick of sense knows he's a slime ball. It's sort of like complaining that sewage stinks. I think what bothers me most is what it says about people and the hopes transpeople have of ever getting a fair shake; because despite the right or wrong of it his brand of hate/shame-pedaling still sells. And all too often it's at the expense of transpeople in general. Whatever, take it for what you think it's worth, half of you will consider it TLDR fodder anyhow; I needed to get this off my chest.
Have you seen his new show, 'Baggage'? It's a smutty, perverted version of 'The Dating Game'. A courtesan is presented, followed by 3 suitors. Instead of cute smarmy questions, the vehicle is 3 of each person's dirty secrets. In a cheesy rip-off of 'Deal Or No Deal', each suitor stands next to 3 suitcases of increasing size, each containing increasingly lurid examples of each suitors' ugliest, most embarrassing secrets. Through the course of events they each open from the smallest to the largest case, and the courtesan gets to pick the suitor with the lesser of the evils they have exposed about themselves. Eventually the process of elimination means the least despicable candidate gets a chance to decide which of 3 appropriately lurid details, one of which actually applies to the courtesan, that they couldn't live with. The courtesan eventually must come clean as to whether the detail the suitor picked applies to them or not.
As an aside, I don't watch television at home myself. I'll grant that my general lousy attitude towards television fare generously colors this note. Jerry Springer is IMO the poster child for what is worst about television. Whatever, I sacrificed 20 years of my life helping protect everyone's freedom to make asses of themselves on public television, or to marinade their brain cells in this sewage. I'm generally equally free to disregard it.
I unfortunately find myself a captive audience to television from time to time. To be honest, I try to enjoy it for what it is as a guilty pleasure; secure in the knowledge I can just go home and take a shower afterwards. In this case I was at a local nail salon with a Hawaiian Princess, who had offered a starving computer geek a free fill on her acrylics. We were in company with 5-6 other women there enjoying light banter over our pedicures and nail treatments. When Jerry came on I was interested in whether or not a new show might mean he was getting away from his typical offering of raw slime shakes. No such luck.
On this show, our courtesan was a woman being wooed by 3 male suitors. Round One had our suitors open their suitcases to expose their first dirty secret. Mr. A admitted he was bad in bed. Mr. B admitted he had slept with Anna Nicole Smith. Mr. C admitted he has never driven a car. Ohh, but yes, he does have a day pass for the bus.
From these revelations, one could make any number of suppositions about the men themselves. Nonetheless, accompanied by Jerry's snide comments at her side, our courtesan was then required to choose amongst the 3 and eliminate one; all without any input from the suitors. I got the impression that the show's structure is such that the suitors are required to submit a large roster of their faults, and they have no input on which ones the show uses. Mr. A was her choice as the worst of the 3 evils and he was removed from the show; not without a chance to further embarrass himself backstage with some justification for his shortcoming.
Mr. B and Mr. C were left, and they each had their opportunity to explain their 'faults' from Round One. Why was Mr. B's admission a fault? Was it even true, or just a brag? Who knows, on to Round Two! Havin' fun yet?
Mr. C's next admission was that he had chronic halitosis. Mr. B revealed that he was $500,000 in debt. In this round, the suitors then had a chance to sit together with the courtesan (and Jerry, of course), and explain their faults, as well as declare why it was that their courtesan should choose them over their competitor. Ensuing competitive posturing and banter between the suitors. Yadda, yadda.
Now before Round Three we get the chance to hear 3 juicy revelations, one of which applies to the courtesan. She gets three suitcases to represent them too, all shiny lacquered red vice the stainless ones the suitors got.
So far, the show fit's in with the mold of daytime tripe with people exposing embarrassing things about themselves, of varying severity. It's what drives these shows and provides the entertainment for those who watch it. Whether it's what I want to watch or not is irrelevant. The people exposing sordid details about themselves generally harm no one but themselves, and I'll assume they get paid a sufficient amount to justify it for themselves. If it had been my television, the channel would have been changed the moment Jerry showed his true colors. And ya know, if you watch these shows yourself, I'll apologize for my tone so far, maybe what happened next will tell you why I really wish you didn't support this stuff. At any rate, I didn't say anything about the show and I joined in with the rest of the ladies there, making jokes about the whole thing.
Ready or not, here comes round 3; the supposed worst thing these men want to reveal about themselves. Mr. C now admits that he has 3 children from (his description) two unwed baby mommies. It's your best guess how they get to soccer practice, apparently he doesn't take them.
Mr. B (of course they saved him til last) now admits that his worst secret is that he dated a transsexual for two months.
So much for Jerry somehow reclaiming some shred of human decency for himself. Ensuing gasps from the crowd, the typical questions; "Did you know"? "Were you intimate"? All accompanied by Jerry's smug looks as he gleefully spread what was obviously supposed to be filthy across everybody's bread.
I pretty much zoned out and collapsed inside myself, unable to speak or respond. As I tuned out any of the rest of the show, all I was left that I could hear was a dull roar in my head. I looked around at the other ladies in the salon and saw their mouths forming words soundlessly. What if it was you lady, 50 pounds overweight? Or you, young Latina woman? How about you, Ms. Octogenarian?
I concentrated on looking down at my hands, far too masculine for my own taste; reminders of why who I am should be somebody's worst secret because they showed interest in me. And why that shame should be perfectly obvious to everyone in the national television audience. But there the salon person was, filing and trimming them anyway; oblivious to the torment in my head.
When the roaring subsided, I calmly and politely asked my manicurist to please change the channel. Apparently no one in the shop realized it was my request when they finally did change it, a few of them wondered out loud why they changed the channel before they had the chance to catch the exciting final bit of sewage. I spoke up then and stated; "He panders in people's shame and I can't stand to watch the man any longer".
I don't know how to feel about myself in the matter. Proud to have kept some grace and made my point without causing a scene? Or embarrassed because I couldn't pull it together enough to loudly proclaim I'm a transwoman and I'm tired of this man trying to tell people I should be ashamed of who I am?
Some people look at me weird when they learn I don't watch television.
- ► 2008 (26)