Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pop Culture Poison

Today, we received our Nielson TV diary in the mail. That's right; Clan Amos has once again been chosen by Nielson to document our TV viewing habits. This will be our third or fourth time as a Nielson family which, considering the fact that we don't have The Cable, continues to amuse us. For this go 'round, our diary will definitely reveal an significant amount of public television viewing in the mornings, as well as a random assortment of shows (mostly crap) viewed nightly between the hours of 8:30 and 10:00 p.m.-the normal time frame for my visit with the elliptical machine.

For those of you wishing to promote your favorite program with a lift in its Nielson ratings, we are currently accepting donations of any kind in exchange for documenting the viewing of a particular show. Baked goods are welcome, as are babysitting services.

However, I will warn you of the previously documented Amos Television Curse. Over the past couple of years, we seem to be losing our tainted powers over television shows, especially considering the unexpected resuscitation from cancellation of one of our favorite new shows , Jericho.

The curse, at least in my case, has moved on to destroying my magazine favorites. Magazine addiction has me in a pretty tight, glossy grip but not as tightly as it once held me. I can now actually enter a bookstore, peruse the racks, and not buy a single magazine, my once insatiable cravings curtailed somewhat by my lack of independent income. Even my subscription volume is down from nine to seven 'zines that my dealer/postman slips into my mailbox.

About a year ago, once of my favorite glossies, Budget Living, was shuttered, and my subscription went through a number of iterations before officially kicking the bucket. Recently, I received notice that Blueprint, another of my favs and a fairly new one at that, was being shut down and in its place, I would start receiving Martha Stewart Living. Well, crap. Blueprint was a fresher, hipper imprint of Martha Stewart Omnimedia (Don't you just love how Martha uses omni in her company name? Delusions of grandeur, methinks.). Blueprint had a clean, modern design, and its articles and projects were appealing. It was from this magazine that I first got inspiration to start making my vintage button jewelry and make my own bathing suit. Apparently, a Blueprint blog with new content will be maintained, as well as a new column in Martha Stewart Weddings. Maybe I'll read the blog, but I'm certainly not plunking down any cash for one article in a weddings magazine.

So now I'm getting Martha Stewart Living which isn't a big deal since I once was a subscriber. But I don't drink the Martha Kool-Aid so much anymore; I'm convinced her complex recipes and intricate projects are tools by which she can browbeat her superiority into the American consciousness. Well, crap again.

I'm waiting now for another of my magazines to fold, leaving me with some sub par replacement rag for the remainder of my subscription. If experience has taught me anything, it's that once my poisoned tentacles curl around a form of media there's sure to be multiple victims.

Perhaps I can be released from this curse. Anyone got a chicken, some candles, and mandrake root? Meet me a few minutes before midnight in the graveyard.

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