Astrophysicists Saul Perlmutter, Adam Riess and Brian Schmidt were recently awarded the Nobel Prize for their work concerning the universe and everything in it. Their recent research has contributed greatly to the discovery that the universe is not only expanding, but actually speeding up.
The reasons for the universe’s expansion and increased acceleration are less certain. Astrophysicists believe the phenomena can be explained by a better understanding of the nature of gravity or dark matter. I personally believe that the universe is speeding up and expanding in an attempt to get away from “Dancing with the Stars,” otherwise known as DWTS to those enamored with C-list celebrity ballroom dancing.
On many different occasions, I have clearly articulated and enumerated my reasons for disliking DWTS (DWTS can also stand for “Don’t Watch This Show!”). Just in case you haven’t read or heard my previous complaints, I will summarize briefly. DWTS is a show where C-list stars ballroom dance. And that is pretty much the reason I can’t fathom its perpetual existence on the television calendar.
To make matters worse, I am in the minority in my observations and convictions concerning the show. Its popularity is not only inexplicable to me but also rather alienating. How can I exist in a world where rhythmically challenged, sequined pseudo-celebrities garner the attention of the masses? It might be a small world, but an entertainment chasm exists between my neighbor and me … or is it my mother-in-law and me?
I genuinely love my mother-in-law. I love her sincere love, kindness and faith. She has been nothing but supportive of me and my relationship with her daughter. She is a great friend and encourager. I truly love my mother-in-law … I am less enamored with her television preferences.
Namely, we see things very differently when it comes to “Dancing with the Stars.” By seeing things differently, I refer to the fact that I’d rather watch a CSPAN2 rerun of a House Appropriations Committee sub-hearing concerning how to eradicate the proliferation of Myrtle Wood Dung Beetles than watch a single episode of DWTS.
My mother-in-law is on the other end of the spectrum. For her, DWTS is must-see TV. Which would be perfectly fine, if we were not currently staying at her house. While our house is being temporarily “fixed up,” we’ve had the privilege of staying at my in-laws’ house. Which has been of great benefit, except for one irritant … one schmaltzy, Nancy Grace foxtrotting, Chaz Bono waltzing, Kardashian twirling irritant.
Did you know that DWTS is on more than once a week? As best as I can conjecture, it is aired between three and seven times a week. Besides learning of DWTS frequency, I’ve also learned that I dislike hearing DWTS just as much as I dislike watching DWTS. Hearing DWTS through muffled walls is akin to being forced to sit through a first-year violin recital without knowing any of the students in the program.
In search of solace and a DWTS free zone, I usually head upstairs early to search my iPad for other entertainment options. I’ve even downloaded an NBC television app that gives me access to some of the television programs I’ve been missing in my DWTS exile. This has given me some solace. However, I’ve confronted other new irritants in my new media ritual.
It seems NBC is new to streaming free television on the iPad and other tablet devices. Either new to it, or inept. This is demonstrated by NBC’s choice to repeatedly interrupt every single streaming program for the purpose of running the same two commercials over and over and over again. If you think my sentence is redundant, then you haven’t yet used the NBC television app. In the last two weeks, I’ve watched about five NBC shows on their app. During that time, I’ve seen the sitcom, “Whitney,” advertised somewhere between 70 and 7,000 times.
The 7,000 might be an exaggeration, but it’s a figure that best represents the emotional toll of seeing the same two ads, for the same program, over and over again. … I have no idea if “Whitney” is a good show, regardless, I will not watch it. In principle, I will not reward a promotional campaign based on techniques used to elicit terrorist confessions.
I’ve been thinking a lot about media and human preferences. At one level, humans enjoy a consistent, predictable and safe entertainment. At another level, we get tired of the same and mundane. We are a mix of new desires and old patterns, yearnings and justifications. We want more, but we like what is. … We are enigmas and contradictions. Everything seems to always be changing, yet some things stay the same.
The struggle is perpetually consistent. What do I embrace and what do I discard? What do I follow and what do I abandon? More importantly, can I live with the consequences of choosing a path that might not be understood by the masses? And how can I exist in a world where we are in some ways so similar and in other ways so far apart? DWTS will always be with us. The question for all of us is how can we best unite even in the face of such dissimilar preferences?
“Live from Seattle with Doug Bursch” can be heard 4-6 p.m. weekdays on KGNW 820 AM. Doug Bursch also pastors Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets at 10 a.m. Sundays at 2407 M St. SE next to Pioneer Elementary School. He can be reached at www.fairlyspiritual.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.