I am starting to wonder if my blog may, for the majority of viewers, be somewhat akin to that occasional serious car accident folks encounter while en route to their preferred destination. Unavoidable obstacle / annoying delay becomes morbid curiosity / rubberneck entertainment. That sort of thing, only less interesting.
I wonder, because lately I've been following the same routine myself. I cruise through blogs to see what grabs me, but usually become enthralled with the first obscure, banal, bizarre offering that I stumble across, rather than continue to search for more palatable, socially redeeming fare.
My theory? Eroding taste due to mental fatigue results in accidental readers staying on my blog long enough to become asphyxiated by the content and trapped by the resulting carbon monoxide. An Internet Roach Motel, if you will. And I'm glad to have you, you sweet sticky things.
Now as some of you may have noticed by my profile, my television viewing habits are somewhat offbeat, even geeky perhaps. And, because this blog panders shamelessly to my narcissism, I know that I must torment you with specifics as to WHY these shows have me in their kung-fu grip.
Fortunately, since I like to keep my posts to a reasonable length, and need to ration out my limited and rapidly diminishing number of brain droppings through long-term installments, today's post will focus on my preoccupation with "true crime" shows.
Needless to say, I am a die-hard (note the clever use of the word "die") aficionado of "Psychic Detectives", "City Confidential", "Unsolved Mysteries", "Forensic Files" and "Body of Evidence" (starring Dayle Hinman! ... I MUST do a future post about HER! File cabinets AND legs! Her show could be a "mobius strip" of just that opening/closing file cabs/legs segment ... and I'd still be hooked! Bureaucracy and sex: mutually exclusive NO LONGER! CSI, meet Caligula.).
And there are many others as well.
In fact, I just watched a NEW one on Monday night, but - lucky you - the name escapes me. I do know that this genre must be popular, since new variations seem to pop up like weeds every half-season or so.
The steady proliferation of these programs has me pondering the possibility of a sinister future where new crimes are orchestrated for no other motive than to keep these shows in fresh material and acceptable ratings.
I would have to say that my favorites are "American Justice" and "Cold Case Files". Why? Because both shows have a secret weapon: Bill Kurtis!
Having originally grown up in the Midwest (in the same city that you recently visited, BB ;-), I have listened to Mr. Kurtis since childhood, as he was (and I'm assuming - still is) based out of Chicago. His deep, soothing voice, and mastery of timing and inflection are hypnotic, and they never fail to suck me instantly into the story line.
Unfortunately, the story lines are graphic retellings of true crimes, almost always murder related, and as such they inevitably go into grisly detail. In the wrong hands, these accounts would likely be horrific and perhaps cause nightmares. In fact, as a child, I could NEVER read a true crime book or view a movie of this type WITHOUT having great difficulty going to sleep for the next few nights. I had to avoid them.
But with Bill Kurtis at the helm, I am carefully guided though stormy seas of human tragedy and depravity feeling safe, secure and ... entertained. This goes against human nature, I think. Subject matter of this nature SHOULD have a disturbing, disconcerting effect.
Yet here I am, time and again, working, eating and blogging with an audio/visual landscape of mayhem and murder lurking in the background, serving as a soundtrack for my life. And creepier still, American Justice and (especially) Cold Case Files ("CCF") are my lullabies, my preferred method of nodding off to sleep.
Bill Kurtis' deep, smooth voice is pure, aural NyQuil. And as icing on the cake, a warm and soothing 3-tone bass triplet (possibly played on a harp) announces every new scene on "CCF". It's relaxing ... peaceful. And it doesn't matter what Bill is describing. It could be hideous, gory, blow-by-blow carnage. It doesn't matter, as I am calmly serenaded to sleep.
It has to be a case of shorted wiring at the subconscious level.
I am reminded of a Saturday Night Live faux home security commercial, where the "product" is a collection of mannequins in burglar garb, holding weapons. One is brandishing an ax, another is jabbing with a knife; all are in threatening poses. They are arranged at foots of beds. One bed contains the kids, comfortably tucked in and blissful. The other has mom, in her room serenely drifting off to sleep. The selling feature is that any actual burglars that may be peeping in are tipped off that THIS house is already taken.
Perhaps, in my way, I am doing the same.
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