Thursday, March 23, 2006

Joey, Rachel, Phoebe & Jordan: How to hide from the future & still be "Friends"

Anya Kamenetz was on the radio this morning, talking about how the next generation is going to be saddled with all kinds of debt. Well, my young friend Jordan is already way ahead of the crowd. Already he's up to his EYEBALLS in debt and he's hardly even 18 years old. All he does all day is sit around ordering from the Home Shopping Network and watching re-runs of "Friends".

Poor Jordan. As you may recall, when Jordan and his brother Nathan became teenagers and could no longer be beaten into submission, his parents sent them off to various Brat Camps, where they trudged though various deserts and snowstorms for years on end. And do you remember how I fought to rescue that boy? And how the brothers intrepidly escaped from the brat camps against all odds? And we all thought everything had ended so well? Ha! Now Jordan is practically a bag-person and Nathan is back in juvie. How did all our hopes and dreams for those boys finally end up like this?


"But Jane, aren't you going to blame it on the Brat Camps? The boys' abusive parents? Too little funding in the educational system due to that corrupt idiot George Bush?"

Nope. This time I'm gonna blame it all on TV.

Watching all that television has finally convinced young Jordan that even though he has all this visible PROOF all around him that his world is falling apart, he's just not afraid. "How can anything go wrong with my life when everything is still okay on TV?"

Are you nuts, Jordan! You are mooching off friends and your brother is in juvie! You are almost in as much debt as Congress and even the HSN has cut you off! You just dropped out of school and are living on Twinkies! Things are NOT okay. Get a clue! Get a life!

Nope, Jordan just keeps watching re-runs of "Friends" and sincerely believing that everything will be okay just as soon as Rachel makes up with Ross. Sounds like what the rest of America is thinking as well. The war on Iraq will just go away as soon as Chandler can bond with Phoebe's puppy. Or Joey gets a date.

If Jordan ever wants to get his head out of the sand and DO something to save his own life, he needs to turn off the freaking television!

And if America ever wants to be safe from a very very very gloomy future episode of "Friends" wherein Monica and Phoebe and Chandler all starve to death in Bush's Great Depression and Joey and Rachel get their heads blown off by FBI agents who thought they were terrorists after listening in on their phone calls, Americans need to wise up and turn off their televisions too.

PS: Remember my poor sweet youngest daughter -- the one who was working her fingers to the bone trying to keep up with her rent, car insurance, college tuition and the need to eat food? And struggling to stay in school? That one? Well, just before Christmas something inside of her finally snapped and she quit her job and dropped out of school. Now all she does is watch re-runs of vampire movies and "The Simpsons" and "Charmed". But even though her phone has been turned off and she is getting nasty letters from her student loan program and she is behind in her rent and the utility company is filling her mailbox with warning letters and they are about to tow away her car, she feels all safe and secure -- safely cocooned in front of her TV.

So. Here I am. Screaming at my daughter -- and America. "Wake up!" But do they listen to me? Hell no. A TV is better than a hundred mothers. Plus, with a TV, you can always turn off the sound.

PPS: Speaking of telephones, does anyone remember that old James Coburn movie where he finds out that the evil alliance that is trying to take over the world is actually THE PHONE COMPANY? Talk about a movie being ahead of its time! Now that AT&T is back to owning a monopoly on America's phone systems, Coburn was obviously spot on. And speaking of television, doesn't AT&T also now own HBO and the WB?