Dec 02

Cats Who Like Dogs Who Like Dogs

In effort to compete with the brand new reality show from the Sundance Channel called ‘Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys’, The Canine Network (TCN) today announced it would be airing its first reality show, Cats Who Like Dogs Who Like Dogs …. (A Species Apart).
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I recently caught up with the show’s creator, co-producer and star, Mick  Cody. Mick had just finished a strenuous backyard workout with his mom and was having his muddy paws cleaned as we began our chat…

Rep: ‘Mick, thanks again for finding time to meet with me. Man, are you ever panting!’
Mick: ‘Yup. My mom really puts me through my paces. She’s a personal trainer.’
Rep: ‘So I’ve heard. So, tell me about your new reality show, Cats Who Like Dogs Who Like Dogs …. (A Species Apart).
Mick: ‘Sure. The impetus was human reality TV programming. My co-producer, Rooney Cody and I are totally really fed up with it. This latest nonsense about girls who like boys who like boys was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Or, the stick that broke the dog’s back, if you prefer. So, we decided to produce a program that would simultaneously mock human reality shows while taking the entire genre to a whole new level.’
Rep: ‘Do tell.’
Mick: ‘I’d need a Beggin’ Strip to do that.’
Rep: ‘Damn. How many of those things do you down in a day? Fine. Here. And, lay down. You’re still panting heavily.’
Mick: (now stretched out comfortably in front of a roaring fireplace): ‘Human reality shows have gone so far beyond bizarre that they leave me speechless (literally). I mean I can respond to your command to speak, but I can’t speak per se.’
Rep: ‘I get your point. Please stay on subject.’
Mick: Sorry. Well, I mean, who cares about girls who like boys who like boys? Boys who like boys who like girls? Gimme a break. And, gimme another bone while you’re at it. Anyway, we’ve decided to go far beyond mere hetero/homo/transgender content and elevate the programming to a new level: trans species content. That’s why we’re using the subtitle: “A Species Apart.” I always loved that old Merrill Lynch tagline.’
Rep: ‘It’s bold and brash to be sure. Can you give us an idea of the plot?’
Mick: It’ll be fashioned along the lines of The Jersey Shore which, as you know, is the only TV reality show Rooney and I will watch with you. It’ll be set in our back yard. Rooney and I will have different monikers: I’m JMick and Rooney is FleaMan. We invite cats to our crib and then treat them like the scum they are. Instead of calling the ugly ones grenades, though, we’ll call them Furballs.’
Rep: ‘You have some real issues with cats, don’t you?’
Mick: ‘They serve no purpose whatsoever and are arrogant, egotistical asses. Cats Who Like Dogs Who Like Dogs will reveal the sleazy underbelly of the cat world. It’ll be positively groundbreaking. And, speaking of ground-breaking, I need to go out again. Would you mind?’
Rep: ‘Not at all. Best of luck with Cats Who Like Dogs Who Like Dogs. I’d use the old showbiz expression ‘break a leg,’ but I know that can be fatal with canines.’

May 15

Talk about sending mixed signals

May 15 - cougar-199x300 It was only a matter of time before the sleazeballs responsible for reality TV programming stumbled upon the 'cougars' concept. For the uneducated, cougars are older women who date younger guys. Cougars are considered hip, cool and uber-hot.

At the same time they're celebrating the rise of the cougar, though, the reality TV programming sleazeballs continue to entrap older guys who hit on younger girls. Chris Hanson and Dateline NBC have been ensnaring middle-aged guys in search of younger 'dates' for years ('C'mon in. I'm just getting changed. There's some lemonade and cookies on the counter for you.').

Ok, I know there's a big difference between men who cruise underage chat rooms and arrange meetings with teens and older women who date younger guys. But, why ensnare and entrap one while empowering and enabling the other? Isn't there something disturbing about both?

And, why does society 'wink' when female teachers sleep with grammar or high school boys but show immediate disgust and contempt to male offenders caught doing the same heinous thing?

Middle-aged guys have been taking a beating at Hollywood's hands for years. We're always depicted as stumbling and bumbling, and in desperate need of the distaff side to save the day. That's B.S., and sends serious mixed signals to our kids in general, and little boys in particular.

Yes, Virginia, society says it's cool for older women to hit on younger men. We even give them cute, animal nicknames: cougars. Older guys who do the exact same thing get animal nicknames as well: pigs. And, trust me, that's one word you do not want to hear in the midst of a swine flu epidemic.

Apr 21

This is wrong in so many ways

Can you believe US Airways Flight 1549 Co-pilot Jeff Skiles is being represented by a 15MIN speakers' bureau that is positioning him as a for-hire expert authority on training, teamwork and corporate culture?

It's unconscionable and yet another example of the shameless society in which we live.

Skiles deserves all the credit in the world for the heroic work he and good ol' Cap'n Sully did in landing the crippled airliner and achieving what New York Governor Patterson memorably coined as 'The miracle on the Hudson.' But, our hero quickly goes from mythological to moneygrubber status when he tries to cash in such a patently bogus way.

Leading Authorities, the bureau representing Skiles, is asking somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 to $20,000 for an hour-long speech from this overnight management guru. And, you know what? A few clueless organizations will pony up the money. Skiles will rake in an extra hundred grand or so for the next year or so (or until he becomes yesterday's news.) And, Leading Authorities will collect a handsome commission.

The whole tawdry tale cheapens what occurred on the Hudson that day and, in the final analysis, is really sad to see.

But, Jeff Skiles isn't to blame. We are. We've allowed our standards of basic human decency to sink in the same precipitous way US Airways 1549 sank beneath the Hudson that fateful day.

Call me old fashioned, but heroes of the past simply didn't capitalize on their 15 minutes of fame. In our reality TV show world of 2009, though, Jeff Skiles is just the latest in a long line of get rich quick schemers and dreamers that includes Joe the Plumber and every single contestant to ever appear on “American Idol.”

It's almost enough to make me want to take the train the next time I travel. Almost.