So, I was on my way to a meeting the other day, when I inadvertently kidnapped a neighbors’ cat.
Really… it wasn’t my fault.
See, we have this big black cat named Oliver. And Oliver has gotten it into his head lately that he should be able to roam about his domain, namely everything he can see from the window behind my work chair, any time he wants.
Sometimes, the boys let him out in the morning.
And sometimes, he slips out when no one is looking.
And there are those days when he sits on someone’s keyboard or climbs on the back of their chair in order to attack their hair while they’re typing forcing someone to decide to actually throw him out… but, I digress.
Any who, I was just driving down the street, sort of patting myself on the back for being on time for a change, when I see a couple of guys in a state vehicle, standing on the side of the street with this black cat.
Immediately, it registered with me that it looked like Oliver.
Almost simultaneously, it registered that even government employees don’t deserve that kind of torture.
When I was three blocks away it also registered – “Holy monkey pee, they might actually take the cat with them!”
I mean, it is my youngest son Max’s cat, and for some bizarre reason he actually likes the furry little asshole, despite his tendency to attack Max when he’s trying to sleep.
So, I doubled back and pulled up behind their truck.
“Did I see y’all with a black cat earlier?” I asked them. “I think that’s ours. He likes to get out in the morning and terrorize the neighborhood.”
They pointed to the other side of their truck where a black cat with a pink ribbon around its neck was standing.
Naturally, since I was now running late, I grabbed the cat, threw it in the van, thanked the guys for their help and took off.
It wasn’t until I was halfway to the highway that I realized…Oliver doesn’t have a collar.
Looking a little closer at the cat, I realized Oliver doesn’t have as round of a face or such a small body.
Then it hit me – I’d grabbed the wrong cat!
Apparently, you really CAN just grab ‘em, even if you’re not a celebrity. Some of them really do just let you.
There were other indications this wasn’t Oliver, as well… for instance, this cat was nice.
This cat would let you pet it more than three times in a row without feeling the need to attack your hand like it was a mouse bathed in tuna juice.
This cat looked up at you with eyes that said “Love me please!” instead of glaring “Are you planning on feeding me anytime soon, or do you get the claws again?”
This cat was also a girl.
Clearly, I’d made a huge mistake.
I decided to name her LaLa Land.
Barreling down the highway, late to my appointment and talking to LaLa, I tried to figure out what I to do. In response, LaLa decided to curl up in my lap, rest her head on my arm and fall asleep.
Who can resist that?
I briefly considered taking off the collar, putting it on Oliver and switching them out when no one was looking. Hey, if it worked for Patty Duke…
For the next four hours, I talked to LaLa as we ran errands and ate lunch. She curled up in my arm while I was driving and wandered the car when I wasn’t. I shared a bit of my chicken caesar salad with her, and poured her a cupful of water. She purred in contentment and never once nipped at my fingers to protest anything.
Finally, I stopped in front where I’d snatched her from and put her back where she belonged. She alternately clung to me and scrabbled to get away as I took put her on the sidewalk.
I swear she looked back at me with the melancholy gaze of a hostage with Stockholm syndrome.
And although I briefly thought about grabbing her back up and whisking her away to our house where she could live as my special cuddle cat for the rest of our days… I resisted. Two cats are enough, my husband says. Anything more than that borders on hoarding.
Or so I’m told.
I’m not sure I believe that.
LaLa was a pretty good listener, despite being a catnapping victim, and she was much nicer than Oliver ever had been. She didn’t even mind being in a minivan – which is more than I can say for my other son.
But still, kidnapping someone else’s cat, no matter how nice and accommodating the cat is, is no way to acquire a new pet.
Again, I’ve heard this, but I’m not quite sure I believe it. Surely there are exceptions … like when a cat really likes you, right?
And even though she was in my life for only a short time, I like to think she was happy… and that she taught me a life lesson I’m not soon to forget – namely, that I am seriously just one bad relationship away from becoming a crazy cat lady…
Copyright (c) Liz Carey 2017
A lot of words have been hurled at angry women voters lately.
My particular favorite is “Nasty Bitch.”
In the words of Inigio Montoya…”You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.”
I was in a meeting a few weeks ago with a woman who was discussing complaining to your congressman.
“You have to be polite to them and deal with them with respect,” she said. “But, the minute you lose your temper or start to get upset, the first thing those guys do is start talking about how you’re a ‘nasty bitch.’”
I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, and I guess that’s one of them.
But I don’t think it has the effect on women that men think it does.
When I was a kid, being called a bitch was far from a compliment. It wasn’t even something you heard everyday.
My first recollection was probably from “Dynasty” or an old Bette Davis movie.
It was, at the time, something slung at a woman to diminish her femininity and effectiveness. It meant they were an evil-scheming woman who was willing to do whatever necessary to get what they wanted.
And it was a pretty big blow back then.
One could spit out that word like it was some flaming epithet that could be hurled at someone like an atom bomb, decimating them at the end of an argument, or even the beginning of one.
There was even a time when I think being called a bitch hurt my feelings. It was one of my first jobs, and I was in sales, and I was arguing about whether or not a client was mine instead of another salesperson’s. I was told to stop being such a bitch.
It hurt. It really hurt.
But somewhere along the way, the meaning for that word changed.
At some point, there was a shift and being a bitch stopped being a bad thing. It meant a woman who was willing to stand up for themselves and to fight for what they wanted. It started to mean someone who didn’t care if they made other people uncomfortable with their actions.
It began to be looked at like a compliment.
It started to mean someone who was willing to stand up and take charge.
What’s wrong with that?
I’ve been called a bitch for standing up for myself, for standing up for my family, for standing up for the things that I believe in. I’ve been called a bitch because I argue with people when I think they are wrong. I’ve been called a bitch when I did what I needed to do in order to get things done. I’ve been called a bitch when I didn’t give in to pressure to do something I knew was wrong.
As if any of those are bad things…
After Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton a nasty woman, we all became “nasty women.” And now, as people hurl more insults, we WANT to be “nasty bitches” – because that means we’re being listened to and getting under people’s skin.
The lady at the meeting was in her 70s, I think. I sat there and watched while she discussed her call. You could tell from the twinkle in her eye, this wasn’t her first rodeo as an activist.
You could tell this wasn’t her first fight.
And you could tell, just by looking, that she wasn’t used to backing down.
And then, she said the one thing you probably wouldn’t expect to hear.
“If they think I’m a bitch now, they haven’t seen anything yet,” she said.
That’s the thing, I think.
Some women aren’t up for being shrinking violets anymore, or afraid of being seen in a negative light. They’re ready to take on actions that will help them to fight for what they think is right.
Being called a nasty bitch, just doesn’t mean what you think it means.
It’s a compliment. It’s a motivator. It’s a goal, in some ways.
And calling us that definitely isn’t going to stop us.
Copyright Liz Carey (c) 2017
Today, I was working on my cookbook. It’s a book I’ve been working on for my sons for the past 10 years. First, handwritten, and then entered into the computer and now organized and digitized, it’s almost finished. I’ve got a few more recipes to add, and a few pictures to throw into place, but I think it’s almost done.
If I can just get them to stop asking me to add more recipes…
But as I was reading and editing, I found this – the introduction to the cookbook (aptly named “Don’t Cook in Your Bikini, and Other Things I’ve Learned in the Kitchen”), a letter to my sons as they turn from boys to men.
I hope they listen.
Dear boys –
Over the past 30+ years, I’ve spent hours in the kitchen. Probably days or weeks, if you add it all up.
And I’ve learned a lot from all that time sautéing, roasting, spicing, creating and burning… I mean, browning… the meals that y’all have mostly enjoyed. I’ve learned from my successes and I’ve learned from my mistakes.
Mostly, I’ve learned enough to keep you all from sending me on to “Worst Cooks in America.”
If there’s one thing I’ve learned though, it’s – Don’t cook in your bikini.
Why not cook in a bikini?
Well, let’s just say “grease splatters.”
It’s all well and good to think that even though a summer storm has popped up outside, you can still grill burgers inside on your griddle. But, when you decide to keep your bikini on and only cover up with a holey sweater, then you’re not really thinking.
And I wasn’t.
Right up until the moment when some of the grease from the griddle jumped up and splattered burn marks all over my stomach.
Then I started thinking a lot of things, many of which ended with “%$#@!!!”
Not that there are that many people who actually WOULD cook in a bikini, but it occurred to me that if I was stupid enough to do it, then YOU might think it was a good idea too.
Apple. Tree. You get the idea.
It occurred to me, however, that cooking in a bikini was a lot like wearing a three-piece suit to garden in – it’s just not a good idea. For every particular job or activity you’ll do, you’ll have “appropriate clothing.” And there’s a reason for that clothing. You don’t see chefs wearing bathing suits in the kitchen. You see them in long pants and comfortable shoes, and short-sleeved shirts.
To protect themselves from spills, or dragging their sleeves through the food, or, you know, catching on fire. Yes, honey, that’s a real thing. And you don’t normally see businessmen in jeans and a t-shirt. Why? Because the formality of their attire matches the air of importance they give to their products and services. It’s simple sales, really.
All that got me to thinking … there are a lot of things that I’ve learned in the kitchen that apply to other parts of your life.
Little bits go a long way. When you’re seasoning something, the best thing to remember is to add a little at a time, and let it cook for a bit before adding more. Think about it – if you added pepper to something and throw in a full tablespoon of it, you run the risk of having whatever you’re cooking come out way too hot. But if you add a pinch or two at a time, you can get to just the right taste.
And that’s kind of like life too. When you’re adding things to your life, try not to add too much at once. Don’t decide you’re going to start a new job, start playing softball, start dating a new girlfriend and move all in the same month. Pick one, do it for a while and then add another until you feel like you can take on something else. Add too much at one time and you’ll be overwhelmed by it all.
You’re not always going to be able to do that though. Life has a way of looking at all of your well-laid plans and happy little dreams, and saying “HA! You are SO cute when you think things are going to go your way like that…” Sometimes life is going to throw a million things at you at once. The best thing you can do when that happens is to just sit down and eat a little at a time until you’ve cleaned your plate. Then you can take a step back, rest up and get ready for dessert.
Don’t be afraid to try something new or make something up, but be creative with a measure of caution. You really should never be afraid to try new things, seek out new people or combine things you love together. For every goofy idea, there is a great success, as much as there is an abysmal failure. You know, buffalo chicken quesadillas started out as a crazy idea, but it worked! Same with the Skyline Lasagna. You should never be afraid to mix things up – whether it’s with a recipe or in your life.
But, remember… just because you like two things, doesn’t necessary mean they go well together. You may like chicken and you may like bananas, but that doesn’t mean chicken and bananas should ever, under any circumstances, in any part of the world, and in any way, shape or form, be combined in one dish and put on a plate.
Similarly, beer and skiing; steak and strawberries; Chuck E. Cheese and a migraine; lima beans and …well…anything… probably not a good combination. Be careful, but always be brave and try new things.
Know when you can fudge a little. Sometimes in cooking, you have to measure carefully. Sometimes, you can wing it. You just have to know which time is which. For example, in barbecue and pizza, really, there’s not a lot of measuring. In those cases, a little of this, a little of that goes a long way. But when it comes to baking, if the recipe says “1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda” you’d better damn well be sure that you measure out exactly 1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda. I’m not kidding. Exactly.
The same is true in life. You may be able to be to skip sweeping under the coffee table every other day at home, but when it comes to work, you have to do the best and most thorough job you can as quickly as you can. You’ve got to know when it’s okay to wing it, and when it’s important to do your best. It makes a huge difference in how successful you’ll be in the long-run.
Be careful where you put your fingers. You know, it’s important to know where your fingers are when you’re slicing something. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve told you all to curl up your fingers when you’re holding something to cut, and to be careful with knives and food processors. That applies to burning your fingers in the oven (note my hands some day) and putting stuff in hot grease too.
But it applies to other people’s business as well. You don’t need to go sticking your nose or fingers (or any other body part) into someone else’s business. If they want you to know about something, they’ll tell you. If they want you to get involved, they’ll ask you. If they want your help with something, they’ll let you know. I’m not saying, don’t ask if someone needs your help, but certainly don’t take on someone’s problems if they don’t want you there. Be loving and caring with people, and by all means, let them know you are there for them, but don’t stick your fingers in places they don’t belong.
Quit holding on to your recipes Everyone has secret recipes and things that are theirs and theirs alone. But it doesn’t do anyone any good to hold on to them too tightly. Sharing your gifts with the world is the only clear way to get something back in return.
If I weren’t to share my recipes with you, either by writing them down for you, or cooking them for you, they’d all sit on a shelf and go to waste. But by sharing them, not only do they get a life of their own, but you give me something in return. Whether it’s “Oh, Mom, this is the bomb,” or “I loved your recipe for chicken bog, did you want my recipe for chocolate cola cake?” you get a little quid pro quo action going. When you give a little of yourself, you get a lot in return.
The things you make with love will always surpass the things you throw together Every time you cook, you should absolutely put your heart into it. And by that I mean, when you are creating something, care about the result, because someone is going to be eating that. Do you want to eat something that someone threw together without caring how it tasted, whether or not it was burnt, what kind of texture it had, whether or not the ingredients were rotten? Of course not. You want to eat something that shows someone took the time to do the best they could just for you.
Would you want something that showed someone took the time and effort to make something really great? Or would you want something that someone threw together without thinking about the end result? Put effort into what you do, care about the result – whether it’s in the kitchen or not – and your results will always be better.
Simple ingredients and simple cooking methods are sometimes the best – Eating at a French restaurant can be an amazing thing. Your Dad and I have always said French cooking is about taking out every ingredient you own and cooking them in every pot you own, cleaning all the pots and using them again to come up with an entrée the size of a walnut. It’s all very expensive and very complex and very beautiful and very tasty.
But none of it compares to a bowl of soup beans, or chicken bog, or a really good fried bologna sandwich. Not everything has to be about microgreens, or vodka-infused something or the other, or even about pan roasting something with black truffle oil and pink Himalayan salt. Sometimes, the good stuff is just about three or four ingredients put together and cooked up in the most simple of ways – strawberries and sugar with whipped cream; bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches; scrambled eggs with cheese. It’s the simple stuff that makes a difference.
And in that same vein, when you’re working, sometimes just having good quality products, without all the bells and whistles and razzle dazzle, is all you need. Got a Powerpoint slide show to do? Just do the presentation and make the information sing. Do you need slides that swoop on to the screen and blast the text from out of nowhere? Not really. Let your work stand on its own without trying to baffle people with bullshit. People know what bullshit looks like, regardless of how much glitter you sprinkle on it. Trust me.
I wish I had some beautiful, lyrical words to tell you about living a great life and making a success of yourself and being happy. I don’t. Because I really don’t know what the secrets are.
But I do know this. You only get one chance at life. Do what you want to do. Be who you want to be. Take the risks that will make you happy. It’s always better, in my mind, to look back with a smile at the end of your life and say “I can’t believe I actually did that” instead of looking back with regret and saying to yourself “I wish I had tried to do that.”
I love you both so much. You have made my life better just by being a part of it. Even when I was screaming and angry or crying and worried, you have been the biggest part of my heart and you always will be. I never knew that I could love someone so much that I would give up anything to make their life better. I know I haven’t been able to give you everything. I know I’ve made mistakes. But I also know that I tried to be the best mom I could be. And I know that no matter what, I will forever keep trying to be that and that I will always be here for you.
Probably will still be asking if you’ve brushed your teeth and done your laundry, but still… I’ll be here. :-*
Copyright (c) Liz Carey 2017
For the last few months, I’ve been watching a lot of Gunsmoke.
It’s on in the afternoons, and as things begin to wind down, I find myself relaxing in the company of Marshall Matt Dillon, Miss Kitty and Festus.
Secretly, Festus is my favorite.
But, I’ve learned a lot of things I didn’t know about the Old West from Gunsmoke. It wasn’t all wagon trains and cattle rustling you know.
No one ever bled. Gunshot wound to the neck? Just a schmear of red here and there. Gunshot wound to the gut? Barely a blood stain the size of a hockey puck. The alcohol must have served as a blood blocker. Regardless, a gunshot wound, no matter where, was almost instantaneously fatal. Unless you were one of the main characters. The main characters had the best aim ever and if they shot you from 300 yards away, you would fall down dead where you stood. The plains of Kansas apparently are littered with the bones of dead bad guys and innocent by-standers. And if you were a main character, you would be able to survive a gunshot wound to the spine and not only not be paralyzed, but also be able to fight through the pain to reach a gun, just in the nick of time. Just saying. If you’re gonna be in the Old West, make your way to the inner circle. All those guys wandering around Dodge City might as well have been the guys wearing red shirts on Star Trek.
No matter what happened, nothing could damage Miss Kitty’s Old West make-up and eyeliner. Fall into a stream after being thrown from a stagecoach? Wet clothes, but perfect face and smile. Beaten and bruised by bad guys gunning for Marshall Dillon? Dresses and hair may be messed up and torn, but the eyeliner would be perfect. It didn’t even run when she cried. God, what I wouldn’t give for make-up like that. I wonder if she had some Indian princess tattoo it on her or something….
If you had the right nose and skin color, you could be any one of sever different ethnicities. It was only through stereotypical clothing and accents that you could tell if someone was American Indian or Jewish. And all the bad guys were easy to identify because they all looked the same. In fact, some of them looked so much alike, you would swear they were twins, if not the exact same person.
I guess there are deeper messages that I could learn about life from Gunsmoke, but… I was a child of the 70s. Nothing really gets much deeper than Steve Austin fighting Bigfoot and realizing he was never the real enemy after all. What can Gunsmoke possibly say to top that?
Copyright (c) Liz Carey 2016
It’s Halloween night; so naturally, I find I’m a little sick of Christmas commercials.
Not even lying.
This weekend, in the midst of a marathon horror movie session, I got just a bit tired of watching Best Buy’s Christmas commercials. Apparently, nothing says Christmas like going into debt to buy another meaningless gadget.
Unless it’s Rent-A-Center’s new living room or dining room ensemble. God knows your family will look down their nose at you if you don’t have the newest sofa, or the perfect dining room table with that extendable leaf.
And major retailers weren’t the only ones in on the Holiday Cheer. Cable channels got their Ho Ho Ho on too… The Food Network was already promoting its Christmas baking competitions – the ones where you too can feel inadequate over brownies, cookies and themed cakes you never knew anyone wanted or needed.
And The Hallmark Channel was gleefully showing “Love’s Christmas Journey” and “Hitched for the Holidays,” among about a million other sappy syrupy sweet movies where everything ends happily in a quiet snowfall that makes you want to curl up in your snuggy with hot chocolate and a peppermint stick.
IT’S HALLOWEEN FOR CRIPES SAKE!!!!
This is not the time for glittery white snow or elaborately decorated cakes or even sappy feel-good movies.
This is the time for scare-me-out-of-my-pants horror movies, binge eating trick or treat candy and dressing up like something other than yourself. This is the time to be lost in the crisp cool air hitting your face while leaves crunch underfoot and the smell of burnt pumpkins as candles sear the insides of jack o’lanterns permeates the air. That’s my kind of pumpkin spice.
This is the time for fake blood, pasty grey skin and fake teeth that mimic anything from a witch, to a zombie to a dead illegal voter.
Can we not, for once, just celebrate one holiday at a time though?
I went to the store on the way home this afternoon and all the Halloween candy was gone.
Okay, there were some orange pumpkin peeps and blackberry cobbler candy corn, but who wants to hand that out to a trick or treater? Can you say “Egg me, please!”???
In its place was an aisle of candy canes, egg nog, gingerbread flavored biscotti and snowmen Tic Tac dispensers.
I preferred the Halloween themed orange monster Tic Tac holder. But then again, Trump was probably still on the campaign trail…
At least the guys at the cable channel El Rey got it right by running “Gingerdead Man III, Saturday Night Cleaver” a horror movie about a killer cookie come to life who travels back in time to the 1970s to wreak havoc at a roller skating rink.
I’m not sure whether I’m impressed by the melding of the two holidays, or of the fact that more than one of these movies was actually made. There were four in fact. Proof positive that people will watch anything…even Christmas commercials in July.
Why, I have to ask retailers, do you insist on putting out Christmas decorations in August? Do you think we don’t KNOW Christmas is coming? Do you think we’ve somehow forgotten that we’re supposed to be budgeting to spend a small fortune on presents that will be forgotten, broken or out of fashion come February?
(Note to friends who don’t follow the news – Pokemon Go is dead and a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 should only be given to those you really want to burn your bridges with… literally)
According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend on average more than $935 this holiday season. In their opinions, we (the public) need holiday commercials because our minds are way too concerned with the election to pay any attention to the holidays right now.
“Everywhere you turn — whether you’re picking up a newspaper or watching television — political advertisements are taking up ad space that retailers typically use to get holiday shopping on the minds of consumers across the country,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Once the election has passed, we anticipate consumers will pull themselves out of the election doldrums and into the holiday spirit.”
Do you think we’ve forgotten that there are major holidays that don’t revolve around this fiasco of an election? Do you honestly think we’re all not frantically looking for an excuse to NOT think about who is running for President?
I think that’s what Halloween is FOR!
I mean, sure… getting scared by a flesh-craving zombie may be scary, but not half as much as the idea that one of these people will actually become president on Nov. 9.
We need scary movies and cute trick or treaters and eerie music to take our minds off of the horrors that the first post-election days will surely bring. Subconsciously, I think, scares remind us what we’re all really thankful for – family, friends, full-sized Snickers bars from the good neighborhoods and clown-proof security systems.
But NO! You all have to fill your shelves with sugarplums and wreaths and jingle bells.
My husband went into Party City and Michael’s on Oct. 21 to buy Halloween decorations for our Zombie Pub Crawl.
There weren’t any.
They had all been replaced by Christmas decorations and craft supplies.
Then again, we bought some of our Halloween decorations in August, right around the time we should have been shopping for back-to-school, so we should have been prepared.
But aren’t we missing something?
It’s bad enough that we’re practically skipping Halloween to market Christmas, but have we all forgotten there’s another holiday in there that needs attention too?
What the heck happened to Thanksgiving?
You know, turkey, family, football – all the good stuff that we really need now more than ever? I haven’t even started to stress that my house won’t look like a Norman Rockwell picture after I spend six hours in the kitchen to make a dinner that will last about 15 minutes before everyone goes back to video games and football yet and you want me to fret over $75 full-action Barbie Doll Commandos? Whatevs!
Sure, it’s hard to make a buck off of Thanksgiving if you’re not a grocery store, but it’s still an important holiday. It’s the one where we’re all grateful for all the things we have.
Maybe that’s why they want us to overlook it… if we’re thankful for the things we have, perhaps we won’t be as inclined to go out and buy more.
Seriously, retailers, you all have come together and realized we don’t like the idea that you’re open on Thanksgiving and more than 40 of the big chain stores have decided that they won’t be taking part in Black Friday on Turkey Thursday.
Now, do you all think you can get together and make a pact to not put up Christmas decorations and sale items until the Christmas music starts?
Which, of course, will commence first thing in the morning on November 1.
Copyright (c) Liz Carey 2016. All images remain the property of their original owners.
I will never watch The Walking Dead again. After last night, I’m done with it. Really.And spare me your sanctimonious uber fan status with “It’s just like in the comic book.” I didn’t read the comic book. I don’t care what happens in the comic book.
I’m just not interested in seeing what happens after last night’s season premiere.
No,… I take that back. I’m not just “not interested.”
I’m unsubscribed to my weekly AMC Walking Dead email. I’ve unfollowed them all on Twitter. I’ve deleted the apps and pages on my Facebook page. I don’t want to have anything to do with it anymore.
And I know I’m not alone.
I’m not just “not a fan” anymore.
I know, I know – we’ve all seen violence and gore on the show before. I can hear some of you now… “God, it’s just fake. It’s entertainment.” Or “What kind of a wimp are you if you can’t take this? Maybe you should go, because it gets much worse.” Or “Jeez, you hyper-sensitive liberals, what’s next? Zombie rights?”
By the way, spoiler alert
It’s not about Glenn. It’s not about Abraham. It’s not about Negan.
It’s that I’m not a fan of all of us somehow deciding that sadism and snuff films are now quality entertainment.
Here’s the thing – this isn’t a comic book. It’s a television show. It’s real and it’s moving and it’s graphic. It’s happening right there in your living room. It’s viewed and taken internally in a different way than a comic book. It becomes a part of your home.
I don’t want that in my home.
We’ve watched for six seasons as the violence on TWD got increasingly more intense. The gore got gorier. The deaths became more shocking. The attacks got bigger and bigger.
So… of course, they had to amp it up this year, right? It’s all justifiable in the name of “good TV”, right?
Not in my mind. It used to be about the zombies. It used to be about the human condition and the will to survive. It used to be about wrong vs. right.
Now… not so much. What I saw lat night, was a film maker daring me to continue watching.
As I’ve said to film makers who make films like “Saw” and “Hostel” who seem to get gorier and nastier and more sick with each film, all of the following ones getting worse than the first, each daring us to not get sick, to not look away, to not be disturbed by the content, I will now say to Nicotero and company…. “Okay. I won’t watch anymore. You win. Happy?”
The ever up-ticking episodic violence has reached a level where it’s not just disgusting, it’s disturbing. What’s next? A slow painful disembowelment? Death by gang rape? Draw and quartering someone? Will that be shocking and awe-inspiring enough for viewers? Where will it end?
I guess the idea that these were not zombies that got hacked to pieces, but people we’ve come to love, is what made my stomach churn. I’m no big Glenn fan and I’m certainly no Abraham fan. Heck, if they’d done the same thing to Michonne and Eugene, I would have said the same thing. It was just too much.
And the story lines used to be about how the group helped each other, not how one man bent another to his will in the most sick and sadistic ways possible. Since when does sick and twisted have a place to sit around our living room table.
I’ve long had a problem with television news showing the last moments of someone’s life. Whether it’s a train wreck, a police shooting, a video-taped terrorist attack, or people falling from the World Trade Center towers – I’ve taken issue with using someone’s death to hedge up ratings as they continue to do on the nightly news. It’s a snuff film. Only, it’s news, so it’s legal.
And this was no different. We watched Glenn die. When I looked at him and saw the divot in his head and his eye bulging out while he tried to speak, I decided I was done. It’s not heart-breaking or gut-wrenching… it’s a moment-by-moment play of a man dying in the most brutal way imaginable for “entertainment.”
You realize that is what they say about snuff films too, right?
Entertainment for me was when I watched in the beginning and there was spirit and the drive to survive and create a new place to call home. Entertainment was the fight inside ourselves when faced with a gut wrenching decision to kill someone who looks like a loved one. Entertainment was seeing how horror didn’t kill the desire to be human.
Entertainment was not watching a man grapple with whether or not to cut his own son’s arm off or watch seven people die. I find no joy in that. It crosses a line for me.
And maybe it’s just my line and my little judgment call and my little sense of what’s right and moral. But at least I have a line.
As I’ve watched all these seasons cross lines and break barriers and push further than any other series has, I could never help but wonder – when will it stop? What will the next crossed line be? Where will the go with the violence and the gore? When will enough be enough?
Fortunately for me, I won’t be around to see it.
Sorry, Kirkman. This Kentucky girl is done.
Copyright (c) Liz Carey 2016