Just Above Sunset
August 21, 2005 - Reality TV as Dadaist Entertainment

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World's Laziest Journalist

August 22, 2005

By Bob Patterson


We had absolutely no interest in seeing the first installment of Tommy Lee Goes To College, until we saw a promo for it on one of those axis of buzz TV entertainment news programs.  It showed Lee in his car. 


Was it a Cobra?  There was a Cobra emblem on the steering wheel, but nothing on the hood, nor was there any medallion on the side.  It could be a replica from Factory Five - we'll have to read their newsletter to see if they mention anything about product placement on the Lee show.


The first episode showed him arriving at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, but then the car disappeared from the plot.  We kept watching hoping for another glimpse of the red car.  Nebraska's color is red.  They ran two episodes in a row.  By the time the second installment was well underway, we realized that, other than resenting the fact that we hadn't seen the car again, there was something else that bothered us about this new reality TV show: it was not credible.


A reality TV show that is not believable?  Isn't that very Dadaesque? 


What's the guy's major?  How well did he do on his entry exam?  Is he playing dumb to make the program more entertaining?  Suppose they just showed him, doing the reading assignments, studying late into the night, working hard at band practice, and writing out his term papers?  That's like the old Laugh In line: "Booooring!"


He's a high profile student and shouldn't the University have a very good idea of what, other than doing the TV show, Lee wants to achieve by attending their school?  Do they really want an image as a safe haven for rock stars? 


Is he feigning dumb to add to the drama?  That would be similar to this columnist saying he enjoyed Lee and his band, especially their hit: "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap."


Will the season end with Lee quoting Nietzsche: "A sedentary life is the real sin against the Holy Ghost?"  Would any TV show ever dare to utter that sentiment?


If Lee has no academic motivation for attending that school and if they go along with it, then Dadaism has a modern example.


How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?  The correct answer is: "the chair!"


In Edinburgh, the Peppermint Lounge became the Cabaret Voltaire.


NBC is using its time for Tommy Lee when there are some very serious matters that are more important, such as the hot rumor in tinsel town (a friend told me he heard it being discussed on talk radio) that Tom Cruise and Katey Holmes "have split and the wedding is off."  If that's true shouldn't the networks do a one-hour news special?


The thought that this example of Reality TV was implausible made me recall the words of Andre Breton: "To see, to hear, means nothing.  To recognize (or not to recognize) means everything.  Between what I do recognize and what I do not recognize there stands myself.  And what I do not recognize I shall continue not to recognize."


The next morning Bill O'Reilly devoted an hour of his radio program to Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Jennifer Aniston. 


A quote from Milan Kundera came to mind: "Listening to a news broadcast is like smoking a cigarette and crushing the butt in the ashtray."


Recently while listening to KXLU, they played a rap song and the lyrics seemed to say: "Guns don't kill people; flowers do."  If you eat an oleander, isn't that exactly correct?


Jean Kerr, who wrote Please Don't Eat The Daisies, was from Scranton Pennsylvania.


When Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor, there were some Democrats who threatened to use the recall process if he didn't do a great job.  The governator (or as some folks call him, the grabinator) doesn't seem worried even though his poll numbers are falling.  If the Democrats nominate Hillary, will Arnold stump for the Republican candidate and use his "girlie-men" line every time he speaks?


Ahhhhhh, yes.  An actor is the governor of California.  The war is divisive and the Rolling Stones are touring.  We are in a spare no expense effort to bring the Sixties back.  The Boho fashion trend is just a new name for the hippie look.


The movie Citizen Kane was made in secrecy and known only by it's production number RKO 281.  What does RKO stand for?  The Answer is Radio Keith Orphium.


If Andre Breton had written a newspaper column, would he have produced a collage with facts?


Have you seen the random surrealism generator online?


Some folks will tell you there is no such thing as a 1985 745i, BMW, so getting a ride in one was a surrealistic treat for this columnist.


Is it surreal to handcuff a seven-year-old kid?  Not in Los Angeles, but I contradict myself, because LA is the surrealist's capital of the world.  [OK.  I'll give you an example: on Saturday August 13, while riding in a friend's car out in the Valley, we saw a mint condition 1957 Chevrolet police car going in the opposite direction.  It happened too fast to get a picture.]


"No rules exist, and examples are simply life-savers answering the appeals of rules making vain attempts to exist."   Andre Breton  (Tommy Lee couldn'ta said it better.)


Regular readers might be expecting to hear this column close out with Louis Armstrong's Hello Dali or the entire Surrealistic Pillow album by the Jefferson Airplane, but the disk jockey is smiling wickedly, because he is going to play Le Sacre du Printemps, by Igor Stravinsky.  Our DJ thinks that playing that piece of classical music for an audience expecting Rock'n'Roll is a riot.  We'll fight our way out of here for this week.  Until next time, have a Dadaesque week.


Wait a minute!  Stop the music!  We're not finished, yet!  Maybe if we give Tommy Lee's program an glowing review and some excellent quotes, he'll lend us the car so that we can finally drive a Cobra from LA to New York City and back, and write about it online?


Tune in again next week for the latest developments.  Ciao for now.




Copyright 2005 – Robert Patterson

Email the author at worldslaziestjournalist@yahoo.com




Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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