Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Monday, Bloody Monday

I’ve lost the will-to-live. (The REAL will-to-live, not Dr. Will Teauliff of "2000-Year-Old Man" fame.)

Mine flew out the window Monday when local late news plunged me and thousands of other Angelinos into a state of despair with tales of death and destruction, multiple multiple murders, cheating veterinarians, killer combers, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria--and that’s not even including political coverage.

Everyone’s lede was a brand new multiple murder—superseding the weekend’s multiple murder, the one that took five lives near the Nixon Library. (THAT multiple murder has been ruled a murder-suicide, so it should be a week before conspiracy freaks can connect it to the ex-President.)

This night’s multiple murder was of two kids and an adult (anchor toss), or, perhaps, two adults and a child (live shot, same station). All agreed the police had the suspect in custody. One station showed video of a victim’s hubby who—a reporter said—was just now learning of his wife’s death. The camera leered after the weeping man as someone tried to shield his face with the only thing handy, two water bottles.

That story segued nicely into the night’s next made-for-Prozac event. Someone had stabbed two patrons in a local multiplex. No one seriously injured, no one in custody, but by golly, we have hysterical MOS’s.

One interviewee said, “It just goes to show…you can’t drop your kids off and expect them to be okay.” That’s right, ma’am. LA is the new Baghdad.

Another opined, “It makes me think twice when I go into the theater.” It’s always a good idea to get your thinking out of the way BEFORE you enter the theater these days—especially if “Witless Protection” is playing.

Our homes aren’t safe; you can’t escape at the movies—how about visiting a nice California beach? Nope. High surf advisory, people being swept off piers willy-nilly by rogue waves—one man still missing. We got LIVE shots, people.

Well, at least there are our beloved pets to comfort us, right? Not so fast, Bunky. Fido is at risk from unscrupulous doggie docs. Six minutes was devoted to a hidden camera story about vets running up $600 surgery tabs on perfectly healthy pooches. Pretty good piece, but six minutes?

Meanwhile, a reporter at another station ladled on the Cutesypoo for another dog story. Puns flew about like flea powder—which is okay if the story isn’t about a dog awaiting execution. Would the dog—accused of biting someone—be put down? Or would “the judge throw him a bone” there on “doggie death row.” I think she worked in “let sleeping dogs lie,” too.

All this is enough to make you yearn for the good old days, right? Not so fast. TV news has a prick for that particular balloon, too. We learned some guy was just arrested in Saipan for a murder he allegedly committed in LA—27 years ago. As Fark would put it—nice police work, Lou.

Not all was grim. One station used handout video for a piece on “wind-suit sky diving.” There was a package on the return of once-banned Absinthe to the drinking scene. I’m not complaining. Strong liquor is critical to surviving Sweeps.

But no more drinks for whoever ordered up the banner and anchor-read claiming, “we’re getting breaking news from Miami, now.” All hysteria aside, the breaking news had broken a half-day earlier. I spose it’s possible some kind of tear in the space/time continuum delayed that word from reaching LA til then. After all, Miami IS near the Bermuda Triangle.

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