Having repatriated to Suburbia about three and a half years ago, I find myself swimming in slightly different waters. Not so much with sharks, I have freshwater roots, after all—Large Mouth Bass might be more appropriate. Which is to say, I do understand the instinct and wish to tape shut the mouths of certain people—other females in particular. I’m picky about who I roll with, I admit, and mouthy is not my favorite look.
All that aside, watching “Jimmy Kimmel” sometimes last month, I was a bit horrified watching a heritor of the Johnny Carson legacy actually taking Scotch Tape to the face—mouth, nose and eyes—of a guest on his show (Katie Holmes?), multiple times, as part of some game. I was watching the show out of the corner of my eye and didn’t really catch what was happening at first, and then realized that the actress and guest had a face covered in tape. Mr. Host then got up from his chair and put more tape on her face . . . . While she was being filmed from an awkward lower angle kind of sort of up the skirt of her so short it is hard to sit in (on a TV talk show).
Like, OK, I’m old enough to remember “Feminist” “Feminazi” “Manhater” and other slurs for any woman who defends another woman and Jimmy Kimmel is one of the Folk Heroes of the contemporary era, but really? Com’on People, it’s the 21st Century—taping a woman’s mouth shut on mainstream TV as some form of entertainment. (Yeah, I know JK is just following the script.)
So, it’s like, I guess, you can say playing around with Scotch Tape is not that bad, but, really, what’s next, tearing a woman’s clothes off because she tried to say something? Maybe they could throw rotting food at her. Or, maybe she could slip and fall in the rotting guts of a dead, abused animal, like another show that I watched.
What is bothersome, is that this type of depiction of violence is insidious. It creeps into the consciousness and dull the senses and leads our minds in a direction of simply shrugging our shoulders—“eh, so what?”
Well, “yeah, what?” It’s funny until someone loses an eye—Yup, losing an eye probably would suck. So would having one’s nose cut off or mouth sealed shut. Or a lot of other forms of physical abuse or psychological abuse. A place holder for what is coming next, to see if anyone minds.
So, once again I’m the heavy, swimming upstream. Kick the feet, right then left, breathe as often as you want.