Thursday, April 14, 2005
I've been holding off blogging about this because in general I'd rather not be mean to others. My folks always told me to live by the rule, "if you've got nothing good to say, then don't say it". It's a pretty good rule too, it limits angry outbursts, generally keeps you from pissing off friends, and your enemies remain blissfully unaware of your secret loathing.
So I've saved my public outbursts for the truly deserving; Saddam, Osama, Ted Kennedy, and of course those odious fools the French. Up until now its worked out pretty well. Occasionally I'll slip and mock a liberal or, when I still cared, spew venom in the direction of the Cubs. This, of course is not only impolite it's down right mean as one should pity and protect his inferiors - a social responsibility.
Now its time for a confession. For the past five weeks I have kept from you, dear reader, a secret shame, the horror of which is difficult to fully relate. I have made repeated trips to the abyss, driven by a sense of obligation that I only partially understand, and I have been so repulsed by the experience that I am left empty, fearing for my soul, and the future of our great country.
I won't pretend to know the depths that some poor depraved souls sink to, but I do think I understand the shame, the sorrow, the sense of helplessness that the weak among us experience. It started as a curiosity. I wanted to know what it would be like. I wanted to share the excitement, perhaps even revel in the reflected glamour if even for just a moment. I should have known better though. The pull was too much.
The first time was thrilling, I'll admit it. Damn, if only it stopped there, but you know this story don't you. It was there waiting for me the second time, like it knew I'd be back. Not even the least bit surprised. I think it was then that I felt it pulling at my soul. It was less than shallow - utterly empty and so powerful in it's nothingness. Every week, I'd go back and it would demand more always ending the same way: me in a fetal position on the couch screaming for it to go away, and knowing it would be back next week. That is when the self loathing would set in.
What, you ask is this addiction?
They're replacing Fabio.
Please, don't laugh it's awful enough. The whole truth is that Harlequin is holding a contest, a reality show, to see who can be the next "Mr. Romance". Normally, I wouldn't ever dabble with such a squalid event. I know these things exist, and I know some people inexplicably enjoy them. The only reason I tuned it in was because my daughter's ex-soccer coach was competing.
Hakkan. Freaking Hakkan man. Last year he coached my daughter's team, and we had him give her some private lessons as well. That's him up there back row, third from the left with the pointy hair and his thumb in his waistband - did I mention he is also a "hair model"?
Hakkan is a nice guy in a boyish sort of way, and when he mentioned that he might be on this show, well we felt an obligation to support him. What a mistake. Poor Hakkan is on this show with 11 of the most hapless mopes I have ever seen in my life. As if this wasn't bad enough, the show itself is truly about nothing. Hell, I can't figure out why these dolts at Harlequin even need a model for their book covers. Can't they just paint a picture of a good looking guy riding lions and rescuing damsels? I mean, the Brawny folks never sought out a real lumberjack, and things seem to be going just fine for them.
Back to the show. Each week, these pitiable fools - Hakkan excepted - compete in contests supposedly designed to measure their romance skills. Just as reliably, each week it is painfully obvious that none of these guys has a clue to what romance is all about. Several are "exotic dancers", others are "normal" models and the random truck driver or fisherman is thrown in to round out the cast.
We've talked about the decline of the American male here at the Pursuit before, but nothing has done so much to illustrate my point as Mr. Romance. When I was growing up, men dressed well (and generally kept their clothes on in public), respected women, and learned the fine arts of courtship, romance and ultimately seduction. All that is gone. Consigned to a different time, when people cared about the dignity of the individual.
God this show is awful. Fabio, who has turned into a bloated, wispy haired cartoon of his former self, begins each week with a description of what the boys will compete in. This is generally followed by some instruction at the "Romance Academy" and then the competition itself. Past events have been learning to "strike your five poses", where one competitor couldn't remember that he had to hit three different marks on the set for his pose. Another was picking costumes, and then appearing in front of a group of women where each contestant would tell them what romance meant to him. One guy became so lost for words, he literally cut off in mid-sentence and started acting like a lion. This was all he had. It's that sad.
Then there are the women. Generally, the boys get rated by a group of women during each competition. Where they dredge up these gals is beyond me. Most have either seen their best days years ago, or will never be sufficiently lucid to recognize their best days if they ever come. Did I mention the faux renaissance themes? Oh yes, they dress the ladies in costumes designed to evoke the romance of the middle ages. Of course, anyone who knows even the slightest bit about history is well aware that the period was fraught with disease, slavery, pestilence and if "Mr. Romance" is any guide - really tacky fashion. Draping these homely gals in wispy clothing that reveals every pock marked bump only serves to compound the pervasive sense of revulsion that one experiences watching this trainwreck. Yet each week, I'm back.
Mercifully, the contest is nearly over. This next Monday is the "Man Pageant" where the Fabio wannabees will compete in a pageant in front of 2000 women to see who lays claim to the title of Mr. Romance. Not satisfied with the regular one hour assault on taste and decorum, the fine folks at the Oxygen network have slated a two hour extravaganza. Drinking will begin early on Monday. It's my only chance.
If you want to help make this whole tragic event worthwhile for me, click on over to Oxygen and vote for Hakkan. Vote early, vote often. The way I figure it, there can only be 10 - 15 people watching this show, which means we just might be able to put our friend over the top. One word of advice though, what ever you do,
DO NOT WATCH THIS SHOW.
You have been warned.