Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Who Are These People?

It's that time of year again - the endless begging on the PBS channels. I have access to two of them, one in Cleveland and one here in Kent. When I was working, we were once recruited to sit at long tables and watch phones not ringing. I think we had the graveyard shift or something, or maybe it was during a previous recession. I don't envy the people sitting there right now.

However, on this side of the TV, we are regaled with fare for people who no longer exist, people like my parents, who would be in their 100s. I was in my 20s when Lawrence Welk was big (and alive) on TV, and my parents were in their 50s. They were lovers of classical music, but for some reason, they loved Lawrence Welk and all those twinkly people with big hair and lots of teeth. Their courtship days were around the time of WWI, and I think Welk's music seemed familiar, the kind of thing one could do the Turkey Trot to. I used to dread their visits, because instead of Sid Caesar or George Gobel , we had to watch the Welk show and hear my father say, "That (some name) can really tickle those ivories," while my husband and I would find excuses to step outside for a cigarette, even in the midst of January. It was that or throwing up.

I hated Welk then, I hated Welk when I was in my 50s, and I hate Welk in my 80s. (I didn't actually hate him, just his awful show.) Now those people my parents age are mostly, I expect, dead, so who are the people who enjoy that show which PBS insists on running every week and a lot more during Pledge Week (which is now really Pledge Month and seems like Pledge Year)? I don't know anyone my age who could stand it when we were in our 20s, so what happened to some of those former youngsters that makes them supposedly like it now? Will people who now dig rap music suddenly turn into Welk aficionados when they're old? Will there still be a PBS? And Lawrence Welk has been dead forever, even though it was hard to tell for years. They had to put a mirror up to his nose to be sure.

It's not just Welk, of course, during Pledge Week. It's Andre Rieu, Andrea Bocelli, any hoked up Irish group with amplified strings and pale girls with long hair, Suzie Orman (what money? Was she a Bush advisor?), self-help gurus, John Tesh and - gasp - Yanni! Yanni! You've got to wonder what is the demographic for public TV. Dead people? Deaf people? Do the same people who like Nova, Frontline, Bill Moyers and Masterpiece Theater actually listen to Yanni? Does anyone?

To top it off, friend David visited this weekend and informed us that next week, the NPR station in Cleveland where he works will start their begging next week. It only lasts 10 days, but the local NPR station, which plays grerat music almost all day, always stretches theirs into at least 2 weeks and all of this goes on at the same time. Oy! Would anyone like to bail out public TV and radiio?
I am doing well. Saw the surgeon Tuesday. Will be seeing the radiologist in a few weeks and get the radiation scheduled. I will be getting back to my water aerobics class soon, which I am really looking forward to, since I have been pretty much a slug for the last month. Friends and family have been great, which is a big help to making me feel cared for. I am almost back to normal and I mean almost because I have to think about this and absorb it. I don't think very often, not being much for reflection, so that's why I say almost. I need to get back to not thinking,


Helen said...

Glad to see your post. My prayers are with you as you go through the radation process.

My extra mammogram results are good...evidently just how my breast tissue looks. Nothing to worry about. Big sigh of relief.

Again, let me know if you need anything.

Hugs, H

Guenveur in Kent said...

I'm so glad it's okay. Good news!!

Unknown said...

Guenveur: Hate to admit it, but getting a Welk fix from time to time is one of my dirty secrets. OK, the music is tacky and so are the performers, but they exhibit such a surreal sense of happiness that it can be addicting to watch. And that blonde beehive on top of Norma Zimmer's head is ... well, beyond anything words could describe. (That said, I wouldn't pay a dime to PBS to see him...) Roger D