bad TV, Netflix

Tiny Pretty Things is cringeworthy viewing…

Once again, I’m going to avoid some of the serious topics bouncing around in my head today. The news is chock full of potentially explosive things to write about– everything from the fact that Mitch McConnell and Vladimir Putin finally recognized Joe Biden as our next president to a haunting story I read about a middle aged adoptee from Romania, born during Ceausescu’s reign of terror. And, of course, COVID-19 is a topic for every day, too… but I’m sick of writing about that, and much of what I would write is stuff I’ve already written.

Instead, I’m going to write about Netflix’s latest “YA” series, Tiny Pretty Things, which was made available for streaming on Monday. Now, I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for years. I started when I was in graduate school, at Bill’s prompting, when the service involved renting DVDs that were sent in the mail. I quit for a few years when we had cable TV, then enrolled again when we moved back to Germany. I quit again for awhile, when I couldn’t get around the VPN filters and all of the content in Germany was in German. Then, when 13 Reasons Why came out, I resumed my membership. I hated 13 Reasons Why, by the way. I thought it was vastly overhyped and never bothered to watch the second or subsequent seasons.

If a ballerina falls in the forest when no one is near, does she make a sound? Oh brother… (that’s not what she actually says, but it’s kind of close and just as stupid…)

However, even though I have Netflix, I don’t watch it as much as I should. I often go months without logging in to watch anything. I have yet to see a single episode of Orange is the New Black or Stranger Things. I have seen The Crown, but I just now watched all four seasons of it in a massive binge. I frequently get reminders from Netflix to log in and use my membership. This week, I was lured by an ad for Tiny Pretty Things, a drama supposedly aimed at teenagers about very dysfunctional teens studying at The Archer School of Ballet, a “prestigious” ballet school in Chicago.

The first episode made me groan. The writing was very cheesy and melodramatic, with lots of hackneyed expressions that were intended to be clever, but came across as dumb. The storyline was ridiculous. Talented dancer, Neveah Stroyer (played by Kylie Jefferson), from Englewood, California is plucked from obscurity to learn how to dance for the big leagues. Her mom is in prison for killing a man who “hit her baby”, Neveah’s older brother, who is now in a wheelchair.

Lauren Holly, who is 57 and looks like she’s had work done, or at least a few collagen injections, is a ballet madame called Monique Dubois who is running the school. She comes off as snooty, fake, and kind of cruel. The kids are multicultural and there’s a veritable rainbow of boys and girls (who are actually all in their 20s) of all shades and sexual orientations. Many of the “actors” are actually dancers in real life, and they are much better at dancing than delivering their lines. I think Kylie Jefferson is a pretty decent actress, and she’s also a legit dancer, but most of the rest of them are not very convincing in their roles. They don’t look like they are the teens they’re supposed to be, and they aren’t good actors.

What really gets me, though, besides the ridiculous storyline involving a dancer who was pushed off a fourth story building and survives, languishing on life support to be the narrator (a la Mary Alice Young in Desperate Housewives), are the huge number of sex scenes, copious nude scenes, drug references, and, yes, I’m just gonna say it– the language. Everything I’ve read about Tiny Pretty Things indicates that it’s intended for a YA audience. That means it’s for teens, and teens encompass an age group ranging from 13 to 18. In most cases, there’s a huge difference in the maturity level of a 13 year old and an 18 year old. And yet we’re supposed to be okay with kids watching a very dark and macabre series about a ballet company planning a dance about Jack the Ripper? Meanwhile, there’s also a cop with a French braid sniffing around, trying to figure out who pushed Cassie Shore, the ballerina narrator who is actually in a coma, from the roof.

I don’t have children, but when I was growing up, my parents let me watch almost anything I wanted to watch. Every once in awhile, my dad would attempt to stop me from watching something he found inappropriate, but most of the time, I watched anything and everything that interested me. Consequently, I saw a whole lot of stuff that I wouldn’t want a child of mine seeing. I don’t know how different the world is for kids today… I can only imagine that it’s very different now. Still, it does seem a bit much for 8th graders to be watching a nude gay sex scene and listening to talk of blow jobs. When I was 13, I didn’t even know what “getting laid” meant, let alone what a blow job is.

There are some rather gory dream sequences and, at this point, I’ve also seen a closeup of a pretty necrotic looking injured foot that I could have gone the rest of my life without seeing. Aside from that, one of the choreographers is very pervy and sleazy. Watching him makes me think of Larry Nassar.

I suppose it’s a good thing that the cast is so inclusive of people who aren’t white or straight. I do enjoy watching the dancing, too, much of which is beautifully done. But all watching this show has shown me so far is that you don’t have to be a rich white kid to be shown as really fucked up and on TV. It also makes me think that if I’d ever had children, I would not want them to be involved in ballet, even though my sister was involved in ballet when she was growing up and this adaptation probably doesn’t even venture close to representing the norm.

I didn’t think I would get past the first episode, it made me sigh so hard. But I did end up watching several more episodes, mainly because I had nothing better to do yesterday. I’ll probably finish this season, but if it gets renewed, I probably won’t bother with any subsequent ones. Besides the gratuitous sex scenes, the acting is pretty cringeworthy, and the storyline is both very cliched and rather implausible. I’d rather watch 80s era episodes of Fame, which included plenty of cheesy acting and dance numbers, but at least it was somewhat clean.

Tiny Pretty Things is based on a YA novel, which has just got to be better than the show is. It’s just got to. It appears that the authors, Sona Charaiprota and Dhonielle Clayton, have made it into a book series that got popular, hence Netflix’s decision to turn it into a series one can stream. It appears that, as usual, the books are better than the on screen interpretation. I might one day be persuaded to read one of the books, just to see how far the streaming series has sunk.

I have a lot of tolerance for bad TV, but this series is really pretty awful, and it makes me roll my eyes a lot. As an adult, the sex scenes don’t trouble me too much, but I don’t think they’re particularly appropriate for young teens. I might have had less of an issue with that, though, if the quality of the show was better and the sex scenes didn’t feel like they were added to flesh out a thin and ridiculous premise. And the acting and writing both suck enough that I wouldn’t recommend Tiny Pretty Things to almost anyone else, either, at least not if they’re looking for something that is legitimately high quality. On the other hand, if you want to watch something cringeworthy, Tiny Pretty Things might be just the ticket. I think I’d like to watch it with my friend Joann, who has a real knack for critiquing bad TV in a hilarious way.

Standard
Netflix, politics

I just saw Filthy Rich, a Netflix documentary about Jeffrey Epstein…

We’re enjoying some much needed rain here in Germany this morning. I woke up early again. I think it was about 4:30am. I’d had some vivid dreams and then had to answer the call of nature. I checked the news and Facebook and soon found myself on a friend’s timeline. She is as anti-Trump as I am, but still maintains a lot of friendships with people in the county where we both grew up in the 1980s. One of her “friends”, an older man, defiantly posted “#Trump 2020” as a response to her.

I don’t usually comment on political or religious posts made by friends. It’s mainly because I end up getting into arguments with people I don’t know, and I don’t want to waste energy on that. However, after my friend left an impassioned comment regarding her concerns about Trump to her townie friend from Gloucester, I felt compelled to respond. This was what I posted:

Don’t forget rapist… Trump is a rapist, too… with ties to Jeffrey Epstein.

My friend’s friend responded with this comment:

I think if you knew what your talking about Bill Clinton had 26 documented flights with Jeffrey Epstein-look up your facts & stop watching CNN & you might sound a little smarter

Okay… first off, it really bugs me when people bring up Bill Clinton in a discussion about Donald Trump. Bill Clinton was the president from 1992-2000. He is NOT the president now. Neither is his wife. And, guess what… I didn’t vote for EITHER of them. And secondly, we can’t do anything about Clinton. We CAN do something about Trump.

But this guy happened to catch me before my coffee and morning constitutionals, so this was my response:

I was not a Clinton fan, either. I don’t like rapists, and Trump not only raped his first wife, but he also raped teenagers. Your whataboutism is pathetic, and believe me, anyone who still supports Donald Trump is an idiot of EPIC proportions.

So he wrote this:

I have no idea were your getting your facts from-probably CNN very honest network 🤦‍♀️ but I appreciate y’all’s input but I have to go to sleep so I can work tomm-millions on welfare depending on me

Hmm… I don’t sound smart? I’ve copied his responses word for word. I wasn’t going to respond again, because trying to communicate with these folks is a losing proposition. But who knows? Maybe someone reading that thread will learn something new. So I decided to leave a parting shot. It’s one I’ve written about in my blog more than a few times, but here it is for anyone wondering…

I read books written by people who do credible research and I avoid Fox News. It’s a fact that Trump raped his first wife. It was part of their divorce proceedings. She even called it rape at the time, but then later recanted, probably because Trump paid her. The way it was described certainly fit the definition of rape. He was angry with her because she had recommended a surgeon for his hair transplant surgery. He was in pain, so he took it out on her sexually. You can easily find the account if you search for it.  

As for Trump’s penchant for teens… I find Katie Johnson’s account very credible, especially after what has come out about Jeffrey Epstein. You seem like the type of person who blames victims, though, so I won’t be surprised if this doesn’t move you or if you don’t even bother to listen to what she has to say.  

And finally, I was actually a Republican voter during the Clinton era. I didn’t vote for either of the Clintons. Last presidential election, I voted third party because I couldn’t stomach either choice. Since I voted in Texas by absentee ballot, I realized it didn’t matter. You should not assume that everyone who dislikes Trump is a Clinton fan. A lot of us aren’t, although I think both Bill and Hillary Clinton are miles better than Trump is. Besides, Bill Clinton has already been POTUS and there is nothing we can do about that now, so bringing him up in a discussion about Trump is pretty pointless. We can’t do anything about Clinton. We can do something about Trump.

I vote for people, not political parties, but even if Trump weren’t an admitted pussy grabber, I would not have voted for him. He’s been a well known scumbag for decades. And I can see by the way things are right now that my instincts about him are 100% correct.

And I left this video in the comment.

I’ve shared it a few times. I’m sharing it again.

Two days ago, I logged into Netflix for the first time in a few months. I was moved to watch Netflix on account of a public post made by Dr. Gene Fant, my tenth grade homeroom teacher, who is now the president of a Christian university in South Carolina. He wrote of the four part documentary Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich. I would like to share his post here, but it’s very long. I recommend reading it, since it’s public. Dr. Fant used to live and work in Palm Beach, Florida, where many of Jeffrey Epstein’s disgusting exploits with teenaged girls took place.

Jeffrey Epstein used his money and power to abuse hundreds of women and girls. He and his former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, ran a sort of teen girl pyramid scheme. Maxwell would recruit beautiful young women with promises of work and lucrative pay to come to Epstein’s homes and give him massages. Eventually, the young women, hopelessly ensnared in Epstein’s filthy rich world would wind up recruiting other young girls into his lair, where they would end up servicing his filthy rich friends… people like former president Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and yes, Donald Trump. Katie Johnson, in the above video, offers a very credible account of what happened to her at the hands of Trump and Epstein. I believed her when I first discovered the video, filmed in 2016, at some point last summer. I believe her even more now, as I listened to other women tell stories that were very similar but less explicit than Katie Johnson’s.

The documentary shows Epstein’s lavish homes in Palm Beach, Florida, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and New York City, as well as his private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I was stunned by the natural beauty of the island, known as “Little St. Jeff’s”. It was reportedly his favorite place because it is so remote and isolated. He brought powerful people there– mostly men– and trapped beautiful young women there who would inevitably wind up being raped. Some people would come just for dinner… but plenty of powerful men were there for orgies. And the women lured there, many times very young, in troubling personal circumstances, and financially strapped, were promised legitimate work. Instead, they were basically trafficked by people who literally bought and sold them.

If you can stomach it, watch it.

Filthy Rich is a disturbing documentary. Most of us can’t fathom the world Jeffrey Epstein lived in, surrounded by extremely wealthy, powerful, famous people whom he could force into silence because he had the goods on them. Epstein was convinced he’d never be caught or prosecuted because he pretty much “owned” people in power. He had video cameras everywhere, so if any of his rich and powerful friends ever had an attack of conscience, he could make sure they went down with him. And he probably figured that regular folks– prosecutors or police chiefs– would not have the courage to go after him, even when the women he victimized spoke out. Fortunately, he was wrong, although his victims will never get the satisfaction of seeing him prosecuted or getting compensated for what he did to them.

Seriously… if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.

Donald Trump was a part of that world. So was Bill Clinton. Both have been presidents, tasked with leading the most powerful country in the world… although it appears that the United States is now about to sink into decline. Trump is now acting like an unhinged dictator wannabe.

I know a lot of people voted for Trump in 2016 because they saw him as the less evil choice. The Clintons had been in power before, and Hillary Clinton is definitely not a paragon of virtue. Many people did not want to vote for her because they figured they already knew her. I do think she would have been a much better president than Trump is… but I also think that almost anyone in government would do better than Trump has. I also think Bill Clinton was a much better president than Trump is, but he’s basically the same type of person. He lies, and uses and exploits people, especially women, to get what he wants. Of course, all politicians lie to some extent, but some are much worse than others.

He was there… in the thick of it all.

In 2016, Trump was untested as a leader, and he had charisma. He’d been on his own reality TV show. It was a popular show and Trump was supposedly entertaining. I never saw the show myself, so I don’t know if he actually was entertaining. People were tired of career politicians. They saw Trump as a straight shooter and plain talker. They thought he had the moxie to get things done. He talked a good game. I’ll admit, even I thought he was better than Ted Cruz, although I don’t feel that way now. His presidency has been a shameful, embarrassing, terrifying disaster. But he never should have been considered in the first place, because of his record of raping women… and because he was also an established racist as early as the 1970s.

From 2016… we were warned about Trump’s racism.

But now that Filthy Rich has come out, and it’s well established that Donald Trump was in Jeffrey Epstein’s vile sphere, I can’t see how anyone with a shred of decency can continue to champion him. He’s a disgrace, and he has no problem victimizing people to get what he wants. He’s trying to turn the United States into his own private fiefdom. Even if the elections go on in November and he is defeated, he will probably not leave power quietly. And there will still be people like the gentleman I referenced at the beginning of this post who will continue to cheer him on… because they are white men of a certain age who see their power slipping away because of emboldened people who are now confronting them about their privilege.

Anyway… I didn’t enjoy Filthy Rich, but I do think it’s very important viewing. Extremely wealthy and powerful people have privileges that most people can’t fathom. Jeffrey Epstein could have easily gotten away with his crimes if not for the bravery of the women who came forward… and the legal professionals who vowed to hold him accountable.

Edited to add: I don’t usually do this, but I decided to leave one more comment for my friend’s Trump supporting friend who thinks I get my news from CNN…

Here’s an excerpt of an article about a book that came out in 1993 about Trump’s sexual attack on his ex wife, Ivana Trump. After I read the article, I read the book, “Lost Tycoon”, which was published decades before Trump was a serious contender for POTUS.  

Aside from that, there are many references to the kind of person Trump has always been, to include his racist policies regarding his rental properties. And I didn’t find them on CNN. In fact, I have subscriptions to three different newspapers, and that’s where I get most of my news.

Standard
Netflix

Spinning out…

A few days ago, I got bored watching old episodes of Intervention and decided to see what was on Netflix. I happened to notice a new show called Spinning Out. It’s about ice skating, a sport I have always loved to watch. Unfortunately, because I don’t get regular TV over here, I don’t get to watch a lot of live sports. That’s not a big problem most of the time, since I don’t really enjoy most sports. I just like the “girly” ones, like figure skating, gymnastics, and show jumping.

Since I can’t watch sports, I’m kind of a sucker for movies about the sports I like. Spinning Out looked like something that would appeal. It’s basically like a mash up of I,Tonya (a great movie, by the way), Ice Castles, and Cutting Edge, with a dash of 2020 era snark. The cast is hopelessly gorgeous, with 26 year old British actress Kaya Scodelario starring as Kat Baker, a beautiful former ladies single skater with bipolar disorder who had a devastating fall that has almost forced her out of the sport, until she’s talked into becoming a pairs partner to Justin Davis (played by Evan Roderick), an evident asshole who skates beautifully. Actually, I don’t think Justin’s an asshole. He’s just supposed to be one. I kind of like his character. He has a lot of snarky lines and Evan Roderick, as Justin, delivers them convincingly.

Kat and Justin will probably develop some kind of romance… although Kat is being pursued by her co-worker, a black skier and bartender named Marcus Holmes (played by Mitchell Edwards). So far, racism is touched on lightly. He and Kat definitely are supposed have some kind of flirtation going on, but I’m not especially convinced by it. And there’s so much other stuff in play that it seems kind of superfluous that a potential interracial relationship is also thrown in. I’ve got no issues whatsoever with interracial relationships, but I don’t see much on screen chemistry between Kat and Marcus. And I’m at the part in the series at which it looks like they aren’t going to be together, anyway… but maybe the writers will surprise me.

Complicating matters is Kat’s beautiful bipolar mom, Carol Baker (played by January Jones), a former skater who is demanding, annoying, and abusive. Carol interferes with Kat’s plans and sabotages her desires to be independent (and at her age, she really should be, right?). Kat has an enchantingly lovely younger sister, Serena, (played by Willow Shields), also a figure skater who jumps like a jumping bean, but isn’t as mesmerizing to watch as Kat is. Carol uses Serena, who evidently isn’t bipolar, to try to control Kat. Carol also dates Serena’s coach, the super cute Brit Mitch Saunders (played by Will Kemp). I might keep watching just because he’s adorable.

Justin’s father is wealthy and demanding. His stepmother is warm and kind. Justin’s and Kat’s coach is Russian and a little loopy. Kat’s best friend, Jenn Yu (played by Amanda Zhou) is quirky and funny… and it’s all set in the fictional resort town of Sun Valley, someplace out west, although it was filmed in Toronto, Ontario and at Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Ontario. Skating doubles are mostly Canadians. So far, I think they’ve done a great job of making the doubles look very much like the actors.

So… what do I think of the series so far? I’m about halfway through. It’s strangely compulsive viewing. I wasn’t very impressed by the first episode, but I decided to keep watching because I have nothing better to do and I might as well use my Netflix subscription. As I watched a couple more episodes, I was a bit more interested… although– and this is going to shock some people– there is one thing about Spinning Out that I don’t like very much. That is… there’s a whole lot of cussing.

I’m not surprised there’s so much cussing on this show. I watched 13 Reasons Why a couple of years ago. In fact, I resubscribed to Netflix because I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about. I didn’t like 13 Reasons Why for a number of reasons, but one of the main ones that I can remember was the gratuitous amount of swearing throughout the series.

I don’t mind and am definitely not offended by cussing. God knows, I do plenty of it myself. A well used cuss word can be quite effective in any communication. However, when every other word is the word “fuck”, it becomes boring, repetitive, and kind of stupid. I understand Kat Baker yelling “Fuck!” when her car breaks down, but is there any reason why incarnations of the f-word need to be used in place of other adjectives? Sometimes, the cussing is just unnecessary and seems to come down to lazy writing.

And while I enjoyed all of the movies this show seems to have been cobbled from, I do think a lot of it is kind of hackneyed and stale. If a blind figure skater shows up in a future season, I know I’ll quit watching… unless I want to turn it into a drinking game (ie; drink every time a figure skating cliche occurs— ETA- sure enough blindness is in the mix). Ditto to all the drinking… do athletes headed for the Olympics really drink that much and have so much sex? I guess if they showed realistic elite athletic training, it would make for a boring show.

Also, I think there was a misstep in casting. January Jones is not really old enough or mature looking enough to be the mother of the actresses who play her daughters. Kaya Scodelario doesn’t look young enough to be her daughter, so I have a heard time suspending disbelief when it comes to their scenes. Sarah Wright Olsen plays Justin’s stepmother, Mandy Davis, but every time I see her, I think of Jessica Simpson. I mean, she can definitely pull off the trophy wife look, although her on screen husband, James Davis (played by David James Elliott) is about 23 years older than she is. It’s kind of icky.

Still, even though I have a few complaints about this series, I’ll probably watch the rest of season 1. Why? Because I might as well. Some of it is kind of entertaining, even if it is kind of ripped off from other works. Some of the lines are witty. I especially enjoy Dasha, the Russian coach, played by Russian actress Svetlana Efremova. Her hair alone is intriguing. It looks kind of like a bad wig, although I’m not sure it actually is. And I’ll be interested in seeing if they do more with the bipolar angle. So far, I haven’t seen much that indicates the bipolar angle is going to be realistically put into play… but I still have a few episodes to go. Something tells me, it’s not going to be done well, but maybe the writers will surprise me.

Maybe I’ll update or write a sequel for this post. Maybe I won’t. We’ll see if I still care enough once I’ve finished the season.

Standard
Reality TV

This is an intervention…

Yesterday, I thought I might watch a movie or something. I like to watch old films from the 70s and 80s. I find them oddly comforting. The last time I watched TV, I watched a Canadian cop show called Under Arrest on Netflix. I ended up watching a couple more episodes of that, even though I had seen them before. Then I noticed that Netflix has Intervention available.

Intervention was a show that used to air on A&E. It was on for some time, and I went through a time of watching it a lot. I’m not sure what attracted me to that show, since it’s frequently very depressing. You see these young, often beautiful, talented, beloved people in the throes of horrible addictions of any stripe. The addictions are usually deadly or are going to lead to ruin, and if the addict doesn’t get help, he or she is destined for an early death. Although Intervention episodes often end with the target going to a treatment program, a lot of them quit treatment or relapse. Quite a few people who were on Intervention have died.

Last night I was watching episodes from 2008. Looking at my iTunes collection, I see that I could have watched them on Apple TV, since I purchased the episodes I watched last night when we lived in Germany the first time. I also notice, now that I’m looking at my library, that German Netflix has omitted a few episodes. No matter, though, because almost all of them are downers. It’s just that some people have more compelling stories than others.

I watched the episode about a woman named Brittany who was born five years after her sister was abducted, raped, and murdered. Brittany’s sister, Terri Sharee Jones, was apparently my age. She was just nine years old when her killer took her from her bedroom while she was sleeping. Naturally, her parents were appalled and devastated by the crime, and Brittany’s mother, Diane, apparently blamed herself. Baby Brittany, born in 1986, gave Diane a new lease on life… but the whole time she was growing up, people compared her to her dead sister and acted as if Terri had been reincarnated through her. Then, one of Brittany’s father’s friends molested her. It seems that sexual abuse and death of a sibling often lead a person into the hell of addiction, and Brittany got a double helping of that.

Brittany became addicted to Dilaudid. Her mother and grandmother were supporting her habit, and Brittany, who had been such a beautiful, happy, talented child, fell into prostitution. But she did agree to go to treatment, at least, even if she didn’t stay the course.

I was curious about Brittany after I finished watching. I went Googling, and found that Brittany was arrested a couple of times and looked absolutely horrible in her mug shots. And then, in September of this year, she finally died. Her obituary was very sad. I noticed that besides her sister, Terri, Brittany was predeceased by another sister, Tracy, was just 44 years old when she died, and her father, who had seemed so loving on the show. I don’t know why Brittany died at just 33 years old, but I could see by her mug shots that she’d had a tough go of it. I can’t even imagine the grief her mother deals with having lost three out of her four daughters.

I watched another episode about a woman named Nicole who had an eating disorder called dysphagia that caused her to use a feeding tube for many years. She was unable to swallow, so she would constantly spit into cups… saliva and chewed up food, mostly. Then I was reminded of how, back when I was writing content for a few content mills, I wrote an article about Oral Expulsion Syndrome (OES), otherwise known as “chew and spit”. I first heard of OES in the 80s. It was a very obscure disorder, and I want to say I read about some celebrity that suffered from it. Years later, when I needed a fresh topic to write about for a freelance project, I wrote about OES.

I sold the article to Associated Content, which included passages within it about Dolly Parton, who had written about it as a diet technique in her book, My Life and Other Unfinished Business. Dolly had promoted the idea as if it wasn’t dangerous. She wrote that a lot of celebrities keep thin that way, even though it actually is a harmful habit. I happened to read Dolly’s book by chance. Back when Bill and I were broke, I used to buy books at the thrift shop on Fort Belvoir. I’d read and review them on Epinions.com, and sometimes make money if the reviews were popular. Over about eleven years, I made roughly $12,000 writing there, which isn’t bad when you consider that a lot of my reviews were about books, travel, or music (not typically well paying specialties). I probably paid a quarter for Dolly’s hardcover book and made many times that using it as a resource for writing projects, including my article about OES.

Well… I have found that article about OES floating around on the Internet, although it’s no longer attributed to me. There’s not much I can do about it, since I did sell the rights to it (for not enough money, apparently). I guess now, I’m just amused by it, since back when I wrote the article, I could barely find any information about Oral Expulsion Syndrome or its other names. Now, if you Google Oral Expulsion Syndrome (also called Rumination Syndrome), you will find a lot of references to it. I guess I hadn’t imagined that obscure article from the 80s, after all. Here’s another Web site that uses hacked up bits of my writing about Dolly and her OES habit.

I have to be careful not to overdose on Intervention, though, because sometimes the stories on that show make me want to write/vent, and that gets me in trouble. One episode I watched in 2010, when it was new, and several years later, was about a woman named Jackie. She lived in North Carolina and had been married to a doctor. She had a beautiful daughter and was well off financially. But then she became an alcoholic and got a divorce. I’ve seen that episode twice, and after both viewings, I felt compelled to write about it. I was absolutely disgusted by the way Jackie’s family treated her. She was a very sick woman and, it was plain to me, that most of the people in her family were also sick. But they treated her horribly. I was particularly horrified by the heartless way Jackie’s sister and daughter treated her. So I wrote an angry rant about it…

After some time, I got a comment from the mother of the daughter’s boyfriend, who was angry that I was writing about Jackie’s daughter. She suggested that I “lock down” my blog and that I had gotten the girl all wrong. Ultimately, I deleted the original post and rewrote it, slightly softening my stance… but ONLY because Jackie’s daughter was a minor when the show was taped, probably had no choice in being on the show, the hour was obviously edited for entertainment purposes, and she was clearly manipulated by her aunt. Above all, I changed the article because when it comes right down to it, she lost her mother, and that’s a tragedy. It didn’t change how I felt about the family or the girl’s behavior. She’s now a grown woman and, I hope, less selfish and callous than she appeared to be on Intervention.

Anyway… last night, I had originally planned to watch something less intense than Intervention is, but you know what they say about good intentions. I’ll probably watch a few more episodes today, and maybe do some shopping for the holidays and planning for our big trip to France. I joined The Fork yesterday, which is a Trip Advisor owned reservation service that appears to be popular in France. I kind of hesitate to use it, though, because it gets bad reviews. Also, I don’t know when we’re going to get to Beaune. I just hope we can find something there… although I guess there’s always the Carrefour.

Standard