What TV network does your tribe watch?

I recently came to the sad realization that Fonzie is a douche bag. It’s sad because I wanted to be just like Fonzie! He rode a motorcycle, had a leather jacket — he even had offices in the woman’s washroom! I bet the tampon dispenser was used as a fax machine on many an occasion.

If Fonzie were real, however, we would have never gotten along. Why is he always hitting jukeboxes to make them play? Maybe some of us enjoy sitting in a diner with only our depression and a cheeseburger to keep us company.  Come to think of it, a lot of my heroes from 80’s TV shows were typical douche bags that I would never hang out with:

Micheal Knight
Simon and Simon
BJ (Possibly the bear)
Jan Micheal Vincent from Airwolf
Buck Rogers
Steve Austin
The Highwayman
All of 21 Jump Street
The Equalizer
The Dukes of Hazzard
The Fall Guy
Jake and the Fatman
MAJOR DAD! (that one hurts… Well, not really)

So who am I left to hang with? McGuyver, Desiging Women, and that kid from Small Wonder? (Although I think the Small Wonder kid is still up for debate.) As I write this I do realize how odd it is that I relate (or not relate) to certain ‘types’ of people. I’ve always liked to think of myself as an open minded, but that’s not true, is it? I’m not a big fan of the douche bag type. For some reason I can’t understand how anyone could want to look like the assholes on Jersey Shore. Wasn’t that show supposed to be a warning to mankind that the apocalypse was soon upon us?

It’s that kind of thinking that makes me a “type.” Sure many would argue that defining yourself by what you don’t like can’t be healthy, and honestly I hate those people. Oh, and I’m sure my animosity for the douche bag is very vice versa. They probably stare at me like a confused Red Bull induced golden retriever because I own action figures, or when they see me reading “funny books.” Me who would rather watch “cartoons” than vomit on a side walk after a thrilling evening filled with attempted date rape and fist fights at an over crowded night club.

See I did it again!

I cling to this “outsiders” label like it still exists. Like it makes me better — but truth be told I’m just as mainstream as any dude in a tight Aeropostal T-shirt. Maybe more! Big Bang Theory is the hottest sitcom on TV. Kevin Smith is a self made man, and Wolverine works for Walt Disney.  Long gone are the fringe alternative labels of being Nerdy/Geeky. It’s cool to be a nerd. Which is hard to imagine, especially for people like me who grew up in neighborhoods where knowing more then one element on the periodic table, was reason enough to get rotten fruit pelted at your head. Forget a cure for cancer or discoveries that could benefit the human race, you best kept that knowledge shit to yourself, son!  If someone asked, “Did you just say aluminum has the Mass of 26.9815386?”  The proper response would be, “No no no, I said Zap from American Gladiators can kick that other guys ass 26.9815386 more times then Nitro.”

I’ve always always hated the idea off people trying to fit in because I never felt I did.  To me it’s easier to judge than to put effort into acting like something you’re not, just to belong. I was happy to be the “weirdo” — not out of any profound statement against the mainstream, but pure laziness. Now along with time and patience, that laziness has paid off; I’ve become a part of the status quo.

I understand this shift in status quo because I’ve watched a lot of TV over my illustrious life…of TV watching. TV has helped me to understand humanity’s desire to belong. People just want to fit in, even if fitting in means they become a demographic…and nobody does demographics better than TV. It’s the reason why I can play the game “Guess what network they watch?” when I’m in public. The idea for this game is simple. You see someone, and then you decide what network they most likely watch on a regular basis. If you get it right, you move on; if you get it wrong you take a hit off a meth pipe (there’s no meth). For example:

Single midget Mother = TLC.
Faux-hawk guy with a full illusionist look = Spike TV.
Scared old person coming out Church = Fox News

What fun!

The awesome thing is, no one is excluded from this game.  I’m just as much of an advertiser’s wet dream as a 12 year old upper middle class girl from a two income family (= Disney),  I’m just a touch more obscure. In network terms, I’m what would happen if PBS and the Cartoon Network ran a train on BET.  Like an episode of NOVA and Squid Billies picked up 106 & Park at sleazy bar, after finding each other on Craigslist.


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