Viewer-discretion advisories are not something I ever gave much thought to. After all, I was well into my 30s, so I didn’t have to worry about something being too grown-up for my ears. I could take whatever the movie/TV show wanted to throw my way. Bring on the swears and nudity, I thought!
Photo by Ingrid Punwani
But it was only when I was assigned an article about viewer discretions that I really considered who they were for and whether or not they were good things. By the end of my research and after thoughtfully writing about the subject, I had a clear opinion and could speak knowledgeably about it.I’ve also considered the ingredients in everyday items like soap (Whale blubber? Ech.), assessed a celebrity’s career (remember when he co-starred with a mannequin in the ’80s?), and managed to write a levelheaded article about Jerry Falwell (you can imagine my desire to rant). It is all very compelling and educational. And never, ever boring!
I have been able to do things I wouldn’t have done otherwise, thanks to having to write about them. I’ve had crazy food like lamb testicles (exactly what you think they’ll taste like), interviewed celebrities (most are down-to-earth, regular folks, though some are really insane), and worked a grill at a restaurant—all to compile facts and experiences for an article.It’s not until I’m back at home and sitting at my little rolltop desk at the end of the bed that I really consider all sides of the issue I’m writing about: Are Westerns still a relevant genre? Why aren’t there more women chefs? Whatever happened to pesto, car songs, waterbeds and satin sheets?
I admit, it’s not Pulitzer/Nobel Prize-winning stuff. But maybe one day while I’m investigating immigration practices, for example, I’ll come across a story that I just can’t let go of because suddenly I’m aware of an injustice I can no longer live with. And I’ll be able to do something about it.Or, perhaps I will continue to be fascinated with pop culture, and I will be content to ponder questions such as:
• If Prop 8 gets repealed, will Brad and Angie really get married?
• Will TV scheduling ever get back to normal so that new shows start in September and end in May like in the old days? Or am I going to forever wonder when the new season of In Treatment begins?
• When I was a teen, were there so many tweens singing about love and high school drama while dreamily looking into your eyes with a tilt of the head? (The answer, my friends, is yes. Sigh.)