Sunday, January 21, 2007

Giving up

I've said in the past that I watch and read things not in spite of knowing they will offend me, but in fact because of that. I used to enjoy the anger, the righteousness, the ire. Not so anymore. Perhaps it's a sign I'm growing as a person, perhaps it's merely a sign that I'm just finally overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of offensiveness out there in the world.

I can no longer watch Law & Order: SVU at all. Granted, I've become much more interested in serialized, character-driven drama (or comedy, really), but I think that show has also seriously declined in quality. My watching it these days had already been reduced to keeping it on in the background while I surf the net if it happens to be the only thing on at a time when I'm sitting on my couch anyway. But even doing that makes me batty now. It seems they can't air an episode that doesn't contain any or all of the following elements:
  • A faked rape or story of childhood sexual abuse
  • Police officers suggesting to the victim or to their fellow detectives that despite witness reports of having seen the victim arguing or fighting with a man prior to her alleged assault, that man may have been her boyfriend or an acquaintance (as if those people are never rapists), or saying "Maybe she just had one too many and woke up with the wrong guy, so she decided to call it rape in retrospect".
  • Benson and/or Stabler telling a survivor that it's her responsibility to report the rape to the police in order to protect other women from being assaulted in the future
  • Various members of the detective squad telling the victim's family, friends or boyfriend about her having been assaulted without that woman's permission or even knowledge.

Honestly, the first three are becoming so expected I'm just sick of getting angry and offended about them. But they treat the last as though there's nothing that would even cause them to question doing such a thing, as if the importance of the victim's privacy and power over who has access to that information has never crossed their minds, and as if the boyfriend's--for it is indeed most often the boyfriend--right to this knowledge takes precedence over any recovery issues with which the victim herself is dealing. The lack of any voice at all that questions this action shows me that the writers feel that it's a given that this is "the right thing to do", or at minimum, that they're too damn lazy to care about what was occasionally interesting about their show, which was presenting the politics, differing opinions, and struggles that surround the perpetration and prosecution of sex crimes. Fuck it. I can't waste my breathe and keystrokes anymore.

On a lighter note, after I "watched" SVU on Tuesday night (meaning I let it contaminate the airspace in my apartment while I read some blogs and stuff), the next thing to come on to CTV was the premiere of American Idol featuring, as usual, the heinous and largely delusional audition round. I only left it there for about 5 minutes, but that was long enough to see that as they were showing shots of the large crowd gathered to put their talents on display for the judges and the world, they were playing the opening strains of The Who's "Teenage Wasteland". That? Is pretty meta and hilarious, and a much better use of that song than as the theme song for CSI: Buttfuck Iowa or whatever.

No comments: