My fourteen-year-old had some friends over tonight. We have limited space in our apartment and the writing I was doing was not going so well with the racket of their talking and joking and watching YouTube videos they found hysterical.
So I went and turned the TV on and ended up switching channels between the Broncos/Patriots game, the Miss America contest and ADAM'S RIB. I don't watch sports much anymore, hardly at all. But when a post season game offers up the kind of drama that matches the Patriots' star quarterback who throws perfectly against the Broncos quarterback who throws poorly but has managed to make it this far with last minute "miracles" as many of his fans see it that help his team with unexpected come from behind wins in the last quarter or in overtime. Well, seemed like it might be an interesting thing to witness.
I don't watch beauty pageants anymore either, but there it was trying to present itself as all contemporary and almost post-feminist, while still being the same old campy throwdown of lockjawed smiles and tearful finale. Well, it seemed worth a look.
And Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in ADAM'S RIB, well, I can always watch them.
And in the end, it was ADAM'S RIB that seemed more relevant to these times and its challenges, as well as more watchable and more satisfying. The game was a a fiasco. Tom Brady threw mostly straight and true and broke a record for most touchdown passes thrown in the first half of a post season game, or something like that, as the announcers tried to make football fans statistic freaks like their baseball counterparts. It was actually embarrassing. The Broncos seemed to fall apart almost immediately, and Tebow's miraculous last minute save was nowhere in sight. So for all his fundamentalist Christian followers does this mean God wanted the Patriots to humiliate the Broncos and Tebow, who flaunts his religion in ways that the Gospels he touts actually discourage?
As for Miss America, I could think of many women of all ages, in fact a lot of them women I know well, who are more lovely to look at, more naturally beautiful and poised and intelligent and accomplished. And I bet any of us could find a young woman in our own communities more beautiful more accomplished more etc. Though it wasn't their faults. Some of them were obviously working very hard to try and achieve this goal presented as somehow a giant accomplishment though in the end it seemed totally arbitrary and totally canned.
The little of it I watched was embarrassing too. The answers to the judges questions, the few I caught, were better than the old days, thank God, and the questions more relevant and challenging, but the "swimsuit" display, which the announcer tried to foist off as a competition for health or something, made me feel so bad for these women traipsing across a stage in bikinis, that for the most part weren't very flattering, I went back to ADAM'S RIB and watched some real women—Hepburn and Judy Holiday, as well as many of the minor characters—represent something much more worthy of crowning with accolades.
Weird night. But at least we won't have to read and hear about Tebow until next Fall.