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The Reader's Eye on Television

You can't outrun evolution. You can throw a blazer over a half-tucked button-up, slip a sterling money clip into your back pocket, open the door, and ease your Dolce & Gabbana sandals over the pedals of your Audi. But you're still a hairy-backed mammal. A prize to the animal kingdom -- stinking and wallowing in need. Your petite filet in peppercorn sauce and three-bean shiitake salad on a bed of ginger rice? A fistful of berries and a bloody shank would serve you just as well; peel the pelt off and serve.

You need to keep your energy up to forge over hills, part the underbrush in a swath, and wage doom on a threatening tribe. Or a long day of power meetings with the VP of production, the CFO, and his incompetent assistant. Wonder no more as to why you want to smash a laptop into that little weasel's recessed chin and tear his throat out with your eyeteeth. You have to. The chemicals in your brain dictate that you dominate, feed, keep moving, stay alive, propagate your genes, breathe, breathe, breathe.

Wipe the blood from your beard, animal.

The woman in front of you at the bank. Her curves light off the lizard brain behind your eyes, fire alarms sound in your head, and in giant neon flashing letters that run from the nape of her neck to the small of her back spell out, "SEX! SEX! SEX!" Why? You have to.

Fight the lizard. Use your reasoning. Put your money clip in your wall safe and your keys in the dish by the door. Straighten your back, and think of the consequences society has built around our actions. Work as a team. Move the little levers on the machine at the gym, and don't stare at the bobbling ass on the elliptical trainer. Don't eat too much red meat, and wear your seatbelt.

Get home and you're a wad of entangled emotion all in perfect balance -- your fear repressing your aggression, your desire trumping your fear. Turn on Survivor and watch the bikinis, foliage, and contests. Pit your animal nature against the ones on screen. Get out your credit card and buy everything advertised. You have to.

WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK

Thursday, September 22

Hollow Man (2000)

USA 8:00 a.m.

Get it? He's invisible, but his actions ring of a man who's morally bankrupt. Hollow, one might say. Still. Being invisible would be pretty cool. Being Kevin Bacon would not be cool.

Twins

WB 9:30 p.m.

A set of beautiful twins inherits a lingerie company. Sounds a little too highbrow and chi-chi for me. Can we dumb this down so it appeals to my baser desires? Thanks.

Friday, September 23

Sex and the City

WGN 8:00 p.m.

Recipe for making a show half as popular as it used to be: Take one production that delicately balances soap opera storylines, nudity, and foul-mouthed women.

Remove the nudity and cursing.

Lose male demographic.

Lose half of female demographic.

Cook on high until all your douche-maker clients pull their advertising dollars.

Let sit in own juices.

Saturday, September 24

Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island

WB 9:30 a.m.

I hate to be that old guy who says, "Back in my day..." But dammit! Saturday-morning cartoons suck now. What is this, a Spongebob rip-off? "Fruit salad" when I was a kid meant Bugs grabbed a pair of scissors and lisped his way through a hairstylist scene.

G.I. Joe Sigma 6

FOX 10:00 a.m.

They've even managed to kill G.I. Joe and leave him on the battlefield. This American classic is now heavily stylized and X-Gamed up to be just short of underwhelming. If EVERYTHING is EXTREME, then NOTHING is, DUMBASSES! I can't go on. I have to start a letter-writing campaign.

Sunday, September 25

Golf

NBC 9:00 a.m.

I suppose if you want something really relaxing to watch on TV, golf hits the spot. But, wouldn't it be better to just go to the park? Golf does not inspire serenity in me. If ever forced to watch golf, the need to yell and scream and jump around is overwhelming. I want to run onto the green, wild-eyed, my hands clutching sweater vests and button-front caps, and I want to scream, "Do something! Stop staring at that little goddamned ball and for the love of God do something! Anything!"

Monday, September 26

NFL Football

ABC 6:00 p.m.

DUN! DUN! DUN! DUN! THIS IS MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL! DUN! DUN! DUN! TONIGHT! KANSAS CITY MEETS DENVER! DUN! DUN! BUT, WE'RE GOING TO WATCH IT ANYWAY! DUN! DUN! DUN! BECAUSE WHAT ELSE IS ON? DUN! DUN!

Tuesday, September 27

Supernatural

WB 9:00 p.m.

Another show about investigations into otherworldly events. Smell the rotting crap? It's fresh from the oven!

Wednesday, September 28

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

HBO 5:30 p.m.

Kip and I visited the movie boat, which is docked in San Diego's harbor. Grasping the helm and shifting my hat to the side like Russell Crowe, I started to bark orders at Kip who had tucked his arm in his sleeve to portray the little blond kid who got one of his limbs blown off in battle. "Heading Nor' by Nor'west, sir!" Kip yelled up to me. "Quiet! You little one-armed sissy!" was the last command I was allowed to give as captain. Boarding pirates (tourists) alerted the enemy captain (security).

Thursday, September 29

Going Tribal

DSC 9:00 p.m.

I've dropped "commando" in favor of "going tribal" as my main euphemism to mean "wearing no underwear."

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You can't outrun evolution. You can throw a blazer over a half-tucked button-up, slip a sterling money clip into your back pocket, open the door, and ease your Dolce & Gabbana sandals over the pedals of your Audi. But you're still a hairy-backed mammal. A prize to the animal kingdom -- stinking and wallowing in need. Your petite filet in peppercorn sauce and three-bean shiitake salad on a bed of ginger rice? A fistful of berries and a bloody shank would serve you just as well; peel the pelt off and serve.

You need to keep your energy up to forge over hills, part the underbrush in a swath, and wage doom on a threatening tribe. Or a long day of power meetings with the VP of production, the CFO, and his incompetent assistant. Wonder no more as to why you want to smash a laptop into that little weasel's recessed chin and tear his throat out with your eyeteeth. You have to. The chemicals in your brain dictate that you dominate, feed, keep moving, stay alive, propagate your genes, breathe, breathe, breathe.

Wipe the blood from your beard, animal.

The woman in front of you at the bank. Her curves light off the lizard brain behind your eyes, fire alarms sound in your head, and in giant neon flashing letters that run from the nape of her neck to the small of her back spell out, "SEX! SEX! SEX!" Why? You have to.

Fight the lizard. Use your reasoning. Put your money clip in your wall safe and your keys in the dish by the door. Straighten your back, and think of the consequences society has built around our actions. Work as a team. Move the little levers on the machine at the gym, and don't stare at the bobbling ass on the elliptical trainer. Don't eat too much red meat, and wear your seatbelt.

Get home and you're a wad of entangled emotion all in perfect balance -- your fear repressing your aggression, your desire trumping your fear. Turn on Survivor and watch the bikinis, foliage, and contests. Pit your animal nature against the ones on screen. Get out your credit card and buy everything advertised. You have to.

WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK

Thursday, September 22

Hollow Man (2000)

USA 8:00 a.m.

Get it? He's invisible, but his actions ring of a man who's morally bankrupt. Hollow, one might say. Still. Being invisible would be pretty cool. Being Kevin Bacon would not be cool.

Twins

WB 9:30 p.m.

A set of beautiful twins inherits a lingerie company. Sounds a little too highbrow and chi-chi for me. Can we dumb this down so it appeals to my baser desires? Thanks.

Friday, September 23

Sex and the City

WGN 8:00 p.m.

Recipe for making a show half as popular as it used to be: Take one production that delicately balances soap opera storylines, nudity, and foul-mouthed women.

Remove the nudity and cursing.

Lose male demographic.

Lose half of female demographic.

Cook on high until all your douche-maker clients pull their advertising dollars.

Let sit in own juices.

Saturday, September 24

Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island

WB 9:30 a.m.

I hate to be that old guy who says, "Back in my day..." But dammit! Saturday-morning cartoons suck now. What is this, a Spongebob rip-off? "Fruit salad" when I was a kid meant Bugs grabbed a pair of scissors and lisped his way through a hairstylist scene.

G.I. Joe Sigma 6

FOX 10:00 a.m.

They've even managed to kill G.I. Joe and leave him on the battlefield. This American classic is now heavily stylized and X-Gamed up to be just short of underwhelming. If EVERYTHING is EXTREME, then NOTHING is, DUMBASSES! I can't go on. I have to start a letter-writing campaign.

Sunday, September 25

Golf

NBC 9:00 a.m.

I suppose if you want something really relaxing to watch on TV, golf hits the spot. But, wouldn't it be better to just go to the park? Golf does not inspire serenity in me. If ever forced to watch golf, the need to yell and scream and jump around is overwhelming. I want to run onto the green, wild-eyed, my hands clutching sweater vests and button-front caps, and I want to scream, "Do something! Stop staring at that little goddamned ball and for the love of God do something! Anything!"

Monday, September 26

NFL Football

ABC 6:00 p.m.

DUN! DUN! DUN! DUN! THIS IS MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL! DUN! DUN! DUN! TONIGHT! KANSAS CITY MEETS DENVER! DUN! DUN! BUT, WE'RE GOING TO WATCH IT ANYWAY! DUN! DUN! DUN! BECAUSE WHAT ELSE IS ON? DUN! DUN!

Tuesday, September 27

Supernatural

WB 9:00 p.m.

Another show about investigations into otherworldly events. Smell the rotting crap? It's fresh from the oven!

Wednesday, September 28

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

HBO 5:30 p.m.

Kip and I visited the movie boat, which is docked in San Diego's harbor. Grasping the helm and shifting my hat to the side like Russell Crowe, I started to bark orders at Kip who had tucked his arm in his sleeve to portray the little blond kid who got one of his limbs blown off in battle. "Heading Nor' by Nor'west, sir!" Kip yelled up to me. "Quiet! You little one-armed sissy!" was the last command I was allowed to give as captain. Boarding pirates (tourists) alerted the enemy captain (security).

Thursday, September 29

Going Tribal

DSC 9:00 p.m.

I've dropped "commando" in favor of "going tribal" as my main euphemism to mean "wearing no underwear."

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