Thursday, March 17, 2005


it says "what were we thinking" in latin. [photo courtesy]

to anyone who saw me on the 11 o'clock news on tuesday night: i apologize. i should have known better.

how did this happen? i'll explain.

on tuesday night, my friend tony and i went to the edwards cinema in mira mesa to catch a (free!) special screening of the pilot for a new nbc drama called "revelations." the show is about the apocalypse.

no, i'm not joking. the show begins with the premise that events foretold by the book of revelations are happening now and that the hour of judgement is nigh. it even has little fraser-like breaks where it'll quote scripture regarding our impending doom. as you can imagine, these quotes are far less charming than the ones on "fraser," because the ones on "fraser" employed double entendre, so you didn't know exactly how they applied to the following scene. by contrast, the quotes "revelations" used were more to the effect of, "i hope you're enjoying that ice cream cuz in three hours i'm gonna come down there, reach up your ass, and flip you inside-out like a reversible jacket. sincerely, god."

no, i couldn't find that one in the bible either, but i'm sure i can trust nbc when it comes to scripture.

at any rate, i can honestly say i enjoyed the show despite its heavy-handed dialogue, its intrusive, incessant, and overbearing score, and its unrelenting sense of doom.

once the program ended we exited the theater and were ambushed by the media, and by the media, i mean the one and only lynn stuart from the KNSD news team, and by ambushed, i mean politely asked for an interview.

and by we, i mean tony and i, though you really should have known that because i made it pretty clear in the third paragraph. pay attention, people.

tony was first up, and he's the one who should have made it on the news because he's photogenic, attractive, and because he won the award for best line of the night. stuart asked him if surveying audiences and using their input to make a show more appealing is the newest form of reality television, and without skipping a beat he replied, "i think the newest form of reality tv is me being on the news!"

i'm sure that brightened lynn stuart's day because she had just arrived from the scene of a hit and run accident in hillcrest, and thus knew nothing about the show, period. tony could have told her that the show was actually called "revelasians," about eight immigrants from the pacific rim in their twenties, partying hard in nyc by night, spending their days together lounging in a coffee shop, and spending a lot of time dressed up like women so they could keep their swanky pad in a girls-only apartment building. but because she's a professional, she would have immediately asked him a predictable quasi-intelligent question like, "and how did watching the show affect your attitude towards transvestite immigrants?"

unfortunately, i'm the one whose face was broadcast to hundreds of viewers throughout san diego. i swear, i never thought they'd actually put me on tv, and i'm truly very sorry that some people had to see my face shortly before bedtime, and especially if any children were exposed to that grisly sight. though i'm sure their first question was probably something to effect of, "mom, if he's there, who's scaring little hungry billy goats from under a bridge?" and the answer to that question is, of course, michael jackson. and i hear he's got candy.

seriously, though, i think when the camera man saw me coming he said, "now i know there's got to be a way i can make this kid uglier," because he shot me like he had a vendetta, like i had killed his turtle in the second grade and he'd been waiting his whole life for this opportunity. before tuesday night, i had never actually seen a face that looked like it was fashioned out of spare parts, but that's what my face looked like on tv. it was more of a collage than a face. my nose was twice as big, my forehead was short and wide, i was sporting some kind of sling-blade haircut, and though i knew that the camera adds ten pounds, i did not know that it also reverses years of orthodontic care. that camera fucked up my grill so bad that beetlejuice guy from the howard stern show sent me some sympathy flowers with the name of a good dentist.

plus i was operating on three hours of sleep and had been up for about 15 hours before i was interviewed, so i was putting all of my energy into fashioning coherent answers, but i guess when that happens my facial expressions go apeshit! did you know that eyebrows can move left to right? i didn't, until i saw the news. and not only were they doing shit with absolutely no regard for the rest of my face, but they were even moving independently of each other. i looked like johnny-five from those short circuit movies having an epileptic fit! and thankfully, the camera was there to record the moment for posterity.

if anything quiets the shame, it's that i'm not insecure enough to believe i actually look like an ogre. however, i was insecure enough to get up immediately following the piece and check my face in a mirror.

i wasn't even going to go on. several people were interviewed, and all of them made valid points. by the time my turn came, all of the useful comments had been made; whatever i had to say would be redundant. i put my hand on tony's shoulder and said, all right, dude, i'm ready to leave, and then lynn stuart stuck out her hand and said, "and what's your name?" and i believe i said "I'M GONNA BE ON TV! WOOOO!" i think media culture has me programmed. putting that camera in my face was like pushing some kind of a button; from the moment the interview started, i was on autopilot. i barely remember anything she asked, nor do i recall much of what i said, i just remember not thinking at all before i spoke, like i was some kind of a medium channeling the spirit of a fucking moron. in fact, i think i may have answered one of her questions by yelling "YAHTZEE!" but the editors were kinder than the camera man.

nevertheless, the actual experience was a lot of fun. not so much because of the events that occurred, but because of the feeling that i was getting the inside scoop on something. even if i don't watch tv, and probably won't watch the show... well, at any rate, i got to sit in a movie theater for free, and i wasn't going to pass that up. and all it cost me was shame and humiliation. which is really not terribly unusual for me.

1 comment:

zoe said...

I was interviewed after the 60 mile breast cancer walk a few years ago (because i had finished and was standing around cheering people on when the tv people were there). They asked what the hardest thing about the walk was for me, and I said "rolling up the tent this morning." (It was really hard! And I bunked alone!) Not the kind of heartbreaking or pitiful human interest story they were looking for. I didn't make it on the news.