Tuesday, November 23, 2004

OP Ed #1 Trading Spouses

I wrote that, from time to time, I 'd offer up my own opinion on various subjects, away from the dissecting of characters, plot and story. If I totally dissolve myself in my stories then I fear reality will disappear.

Reality television programs are not my usual choice in entertainment. I feel that most of these programs are loosely based on anything reality based. How many people stranded on an isolated island have to compete for prizes? Is it fathomable for 10 to 12 complete strangers to live together under one roof and have to play silly games for peanut butter? What is the reality of two families swapping mothers without at least a divorce certificate or an agreement of an "open" marriage? Even with the unrealistic plotlines I have fallen into the abyss of addiction with one show in particular, Trading Spouses.

The hook in my jaw was the conflict between different cultures each family poses. The last two episodes, for instance, pitted Jew against Christian and vegan against meat eaters from Louisiana. Funny stuff.

My real interest was with the California vegans and Louisiana mudbugs. I can't wait for the conclusion next week.

This show taught me that the activist is a person who will not bend, no matter what the circumstance. The woman came in the home of the Cajuns and instantly began trying to change their viewpoints. Tell me how an activist from Cali is going to change years of Southern tradition? But she tried and is appalled that the locals are not accepting of her activist views. She must not understand the Southern (especially the Louisiana) culture. Southerners are hospitable, up to a point. That line is crossed when you try to take away their food. Southern cuisine is their very lifeblood. They may try a few "foreign" dishes but, in the end, they will always go back to the boiled crawfish and etoufee. (I'm hungry)

She claimed the vegan diet is much healthier. From the first scenes I could personally dispel that belief. The Cajun wife arrived at the airport in Cali, and expected the man meeting her to at least help her with the luggage. Southern men, by raising, are required by tradition to help any woman. This is called being a gentleman. The Californian husband claimed he couldn't lift the bags. I suspect the mediocre diet had something to do with his weakness.

The Cajun wife said she was going to introduce the party with a favorite dish, gumbo. The Cali man stated that even if there was one ounce of red med in the stew that the entire party would walk away, without even tasting. That attitude seems a little close-minded. At least the Cajuns tried the vegan dishes. I did laugh when the Cajun woman tried to give a group of ladies alligator heads for gifts. Again, funny stuff.

I believe the Cali woman has met her match, and not by on old codger or elder. But from a 12-year-old boy. This kid has spunk and is about to lose his control with this woman. I busted a gut when he looked her in the eyes and said, "You're fired." Classic. Southern man don't need her around, anyhow (Thanks to the great Lynard Skynard for that wonderful line). She should of thought twice before she tried to put her controlling thumb on him. He hasn't quite learned the virtue of quietness. And she did get an earful.

Next weeks episode should be great. It looks, from the preview, that the show is going to dwell on the hypocritical vegan lifestyle. I say hypocritical because the woman preached no harm to animals and then a scene showed her spanking the family dog. Next weeks OP Ed should be good when I discuss the whole craziness of the stance of not killing anything, including bugs and rodents.


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