Moscow News
September, 2000

               What is worse than waking up early in the morning and going to work towards which you feel indifference bordering on aversion? Waking up to the sound of a radio-announcer early in the morning and going to work towards which you definitely feel aversion. The generically convincing voice coming off the airwaves startles you at 7 A.M. and proudly informs you that it is chilly outside and that the street-crime in your city has risen. Still, there is no reason to feel gloomy because America is getting ready to welcome back its 24 heroes. Squinting your eyes, you decide that the voice is absolutely idiotic, and that it is referring to the crew of the spy-plane which was forced to land on the Chinese territory by a single Chinese pilot. Despite the early hour, you fail to see the heroism there, but precisely because of it you give up searching for the clue and hit the snooze button with vengeance. You take the first morning drag off your cigarette and turn on the TV set to get the latest on the traffic: after all, you do have to pick the quickest route that will get you to your detested job! You are greeted by an impossibly pert anchor-woman, whose facial palette makes up in color what nature failed to accomplish on that chilly day.  She smiles with her bright pink mouth but says nothing of the traffic situation. It seems, she too is celebrating the imminent arrival of the above-mentioned heroes. 
            Flip channel. The same scenario: an anchor-woman with a different shade of lipstick is recounting the heroic tale of American crew-members who stuck together like a team and are on the way home. 
            No word on traffic at all. Flip. Someone on PBS, looking as excited as a cuumber thats about to be sliced, is begging for money to the music of Mozart. Flip again. A TV evangelist with a voice of a diseased nightingale and the eyelashes that stick together like velcro every time she blinks is in the middle of a discussion on a controversial subject: what is the most popular position people in America assume while they pray. That seems just about as interesting to you as the report on the preparations made to meet the brave spy-crew. Flip. Flip. Flip. No traffic news still. 
             It is now 8:30 and you are officially late for work no matter what route you take. On that note, it is a good idea to light another cigarette and continue flipping through channels adamantly. The star of Good Morning America is interviewing the President. Mostly congratulating him on the speedy retrieval of Americas heroes from China. Bush looks baffled but manages to look down at the piece of paper he is holding and read aloud: Thank You. I am proud to be an American today. Definitely flip! 
            PBS is still begging for money although now it is Bach thats accompanying the pleas. Another morning show is interviewing an Italian-American who is a member of a self-established, two-member organization, Italian-Americans For Fair Treatment. She and her Irish husband, whom she forced to join her club, are suing the creators of the only show on TV that does not yet annoy the general public, The Sopranos. Miss-Rights-Defender is appalled that the shows characters members of mafia engage in killing and money-laundering. The host, trying to look sensitive to her needs, reminds her that the main character sees a therapist after every wrongdoing but she is not appeased. There are lots of Italian-American who engage in positive.. Go, get a job, you loser! Kill something if you have to! Flip. Still no traffic news and at this point who cares? 
              It is 10AM time to ditch work for the day and concentrate on talk-shows that are about to grace the screen. Fat women in shiny bras and thongs are screaming at the booing audience that they are immensely proud of their bodies. Oh, well, there goes appetite for breakfast! Light another cigarette instead and watch. Is your mother trying to steal your boyfriend? If so.. Back to PBS but they are still pleading for money. Get real, people, ten dollars from the social security check of Mr. and Mrs. Greenberg is not enough to compete with the mother-daughter team who oh-so-obviously!-- belong to that delightful breed, commonly referred to as white trash. Especially as they are punching each other out over an obliviously toothless teenager from the same class. Oh, things we do for love!  Speaking of which It is time to forget the trailer-trash, the transsexual neurosurgeons having affairs with their straight patients brains and get in the mood for a mellower menu afternoon soaps. Trouble is, watching them is bound to turn even a half-educated dimwit into someone with an attention span of a lighting bolt. The Ken and Barbie look-alikes on them somehow no longer do the trick and your hand turns into a flipping machine until you doze off. 
              A demonstratively festive, energetically ego-maniacal voice awakens you and informs you that it is time for the World News Tonight. The anchor looks self-gratified as if he single-handedly created the news of the day for your entertainment value but before he has the chance to mention any one of the 24 heroes, you disdainfully and unpatriotically turn to the cooking channel.  You are happy to watch the flippant French chef prepare an unpronounceable dish until you are sure the news is over and it is time to flip again to the hit-reality-TV-shows. You absolutely do not feel like watching an overweight cop running after some teenager, suspected of marijuana possession, because the cops oversized belly is alas! too real. So you switch to another reality program where photogenic beings of indefinite gender run around on a desert island and are ecstatic to catch a glimpse of a wild boar who is charging in their direction with only one aim: to eat them regardless of their gender. They, however, being one-with-nature do not care. 
              And so it continues into the deep of night. If you are in the mood for some escapist movie, you have a slim chance of catching in on any major channel. Instead, learn to enjoy the amateur dramatic society, otherwise known as reality, and for escapism go to work where you undoubtedly pretend that you are, indeed, working and your bosses pretend that they are paying you. 

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