Thursday, May 24, 2012

Modern Families, Modern Workplaces, Modern Music

--On Tuesday night, we did our spin class to the music of Donna Summer and the Bee Gees.  I forgot how good a lot of that music was.  And it's got a great beat, and you can pedal to it--I was very sore the next day.

--Of course, maybe I was sore because I couldn't stay for the cool down and stretching.  In taking care of my physical body, stretching is the area that I most overlook/avoid/skimp on.  The only stretching I do is the cool down after class.

--I do try to get up from my desk periodically to take a short walk.  I should incorporate some stretching.

--On my way to work yesterday, I listened to the Clash.  I have written before about listening to the angry music of my youth whilst on my way to meetings, so I won't do it again here.  Would my mood be different if I listened to disco music on my way to work?

--I've been watching old Mary Tyler Moore shows and thinking of how few modern shows depict the workplace.  No wonder I thought that having a career would be fabulous.  We never see Mary Tyler Moore wonder if her work makes a difference, if she's living up to her full potential.  Even the annoying colleagues are lovingly annoying, not annoying in a sociopathic way.

--Interesting, too, to watch the newsroom and to know what tidal waves of change are heading towards Mary Tyler Moore and her colleagues.  I seem to recall that the Mary Tyler Moore show spun off Lou Grant (the boss) in his own show where he went off to work for a newspaper--bad career move!

--Suddenly, I have an idea for a poem that I wouldn't have had without this blog post.  Here are lines that just bubbled up to me:

No one is sexually harassed on the Mary Tyler Moore show.

No one faces lay offs on the Mary Tyler Moore show.

Mary Tyler Moore faces few existential crises.*  At the end of the day, the evening news gives information and she can sleep the sleep of the satisfied, those sure that they are doing what they were put on the planet to do.

--O.K., for that last one, I probably wouldn't keep it as one line.

--Here's another poem idea:  what does Mary Tyler Moore dream of?  Piloting an airplane across the Pacific?  Going back to school to be  . . . what?

--After watching Mary Tyler Moore, I watched Modern Family and reflected on how the world has changed since Mary Tyler Moore.  A gay family!  Minorities!  Characters who move easily between Spanish and English!

--And last night seemed especially ground breaking.  I'll save the big surprises for those of you who have yet to watch it.  But I can tell you this without spoiling anything:  we finally see the gay couple behaving tenderly with each other.  While I agree that it's great to see them as a normal couple who fight and bicker and get frustrated with all the regular stuff of daily life, I'd also like to see them adoringly gaze at each other or--gasp!--kiss.

--What do any of these characters on Modern Family do?  How do they afford such nice houses?  One of them is a lawyer, and one sells real estate--both males.  What do the women do?  What year is it on Modern Family?  How strange is it that Mary Tyler Moore still seems so revolutionary in terms of depicting women working for a paycheck?

--We don't see many television characters who go to work, do we?  Of course, I don't watch much TV, and I know that scripted shows aren't as numerous as they once were.   Still, we don't see many characters who work outside the home, or characters who are wrestling with artistic ambitions, or characters who are wrestling with how to integrate their spiritual yearnings with their regular lives.

--I realize I'm not a typical viewer, but surely I'm not the only one who would like to see these types of characters.  A woman at midlife dreams of different narrative arcs . . .

*or at least few existential crises that can't be solved by the end of the episode

1 comment:

Lucille in CT said...

I have to say that listening to disco music in the car will likely be a positive thing for you. I know that when I listen to music of my youth or even the upbeat stuff of my early adulthood (Mambo No. 5, anyone?)...anything that makes me smile as a sing along, I end up feeling very happy in a humming sort of way----way different from when I'm listening to what I would term my "Angst" Playlist....

There's always the right time for the angst one though----I'm right now in the midst of what has become a 4-day long (and counting) data entry project, cleaning up errors from some programmer's mistake a month ago.... it's the type of mind-numbing robot work that gets me. On pop the earphones, on goes the Angst playlist---type type type away I go. :-)