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TeeVee Mailbag XIII: Your Idiocy Explained

It's deep thinking time here at the ol' TeeVee Mailbag. Our reader e-mail -- normally semi-literate piffle demanding nude photos of some busty starlet or defending the honor of some dinner theater refugee whom we've slighted -- has taken a decidedly intellectual turn.

You're posing questions -- searing, insightful questions that have forced us to take a long, hard look at the way we used to view the world. You're making the kind of piercing observations we can only get from barflies after we've plied them with rum. You're doing the kind of a navel-gazing worthy of philosophy major at an Ivy League school.

A philosophy major who spends most of his time pondering the intricacies of Gilligan's Island and The Dukes of Hazzard instead of Aristotle, Wittgenstein and Camus and is probably going to flunk out of that aforementioned Ivy League school... but a philosophy major nonetheless.

We can almost hear the wheels turning in your brains, the gears shifting down into overdrive, the little hamster running around the exercise wheel as fast as his little legs can carry him. And rest assured, we stand here impressed.

The result? Your e-mail's still semi-literate piffle. But it's a much more enjoyable read.

Take this news flash from the frozen north, courtesy of Canadian correspondent Sanj Arora, who queries:

Has the TeeVee gang noticed that Entertainment hosts Mary Hart, Bob Goen, Lisa Canning are way to happy when they interview anyone ? like they have to suck up to everyone even though they know whatever the actors project might actually suck ?

And wouldn't you know it... Sanj is right! Entertainment Tonight hosts are way too happy. We guess we had always noticed it, but never really noticed it. You know? Sort of like how no one ever noticed Chachi on Happy Days until he and Erin Moran got their own show and never had to be upstaged by Potsie again.

We blame the "way-too-happy" phenomenon spotted by the eagle-eyed Sanj on the departure of John Tesh. No one read a celebrity birthday or segued over to Leonard Maltin the way John Tesh did. He brought a quiet intensity to Entertainment Tonight that's been sadly lacking ever since he left the program to follow his muse.

Of course, every time we watch Entertainment Tonight, the voice of Mary Hart reduces us to epileptic fits. So we don't really know.

Leave it to a Canadian -- an outsider -- to come up with a such a probing insight into our American pop culture. It has us Vidiots seriously considering a move to Winnipeg where we, too, might be able to broaden our minds.

But it's not just cutting observations about frothy syndicated infotainment shows that are filling up our mailbox. Rather, you readers have turned your jaundiced eyes and keen intellects to a subject nearer and dearer to your hearts... yourselves.

Last time around, we noted a frightening paradox into how our little articles are received -- namely, that negative critiques of popular shows like Seinfeld were greeted with high-fives and joyous hoots while blistering put- downs of mule-faced actresses were greeted with howls of indignation. And we put the question to you -- very politely, we might add -- just what the hell is wrong with you people?

Many of you took that to heart, and sent us volumes and volumes of e-mail attempting to explain yourselves. And mind you, we were quite impressed. It's not an easy thing, staring into the gaping maw that is one's soul and then sharing it with the world. Many of your letters were cogent, penetrating, even touching. And that e-mail gave us a greater appreciation of you.

Unfortunately, we accidentally erased those. So we'll just have to make do with ones like the letter penned by Meads from Vanderbilt:

Because it's more fun to pick on Jerry Seinfeld, silly! It's always cooler to mock the successful and powerful types, just like it used to be cool to harp about "the establishment". That's because, deep down in our dirty, dark little hearts, we are a bunch of "jelious" (to quote the brilliant SUperb 7999) little bastard freaks who want to know why we aren't the popular kids and resent the fact that folks like Jerry Seinfeld are when they're not really all that intelligent, funny or good-looking, and we have a sneaking little suspicion that we could do the things they do just as well as they could or come up with a way to do it on our own. Besides, it is a pretty low blow to go after someone as ugly and talentless as TOri SPelling. Her lack of talent and resemblance to certain barnyard animals are so obvious that pointing the fact out is totally unecessary and requires not even a modicum of intelligence or creativity. It's an easy mark and you can do better, so you guys deserve to get called on the carpet for stooping so low. And who can't love TIm CUrry in Annie and CLue?

PS: If you decide to use this letter to publicly ridicule me, do not feel justified in level ing criticism at my SPELLING. I can spell perfectly well, I'm just not much of a typist and I'm too lazy to fix my typos. letters

Oh, Meads... do you really think we're such monstrous boors that we would point out the irony of you calling us lazy in one paragraph and then defending your own lazy proof-reading habits in the next? Do you, Meads?

You shiftless, lazy-ass illiterate.

Then there's mlaski, who dropped us a line to let us know:

People, I think, actually fee sorry for people like Tori Spelling (horse- faced, poor acting, a father who thinks more of his mansion than his daughter), Rosie O'Donnell (kinda chubby, lost her Mom to cancer, eager over-achiever), Tim Curry (just plain scary looking). Jerry Seinfeld has been America's darling for about 10 years, has enough money to balance the federal budget...what could anyone EVER say about this guy that would ruin him? I think even charges of pedophilia would make people chuckle - "that darn Jerry!" So, Jerry's an easy target and people don't have to feel guilty about blasting him as they probably know he is just sitting back with that smug look on his face saying, "go head, take your best shot - I'll always be Jerry Seinfeld."

This is not to say I don't enjoy the show from time to time. I just wanted to help you guys out because, you know, I feel kinda sorry for you guys, too, sometimes.

Well, mlaski, that's really nice of you to say. It's readers like you who... hey!

While we were busy crossing mlaski's name off our Christmas card list, Carolyn Gonzalez fired off this response:

I think the people who have half a brain (i.e, those not watching Tori Spelling) appreciate good wit, even if it makes fun of beloved tv shows. I know I cracked up laughing reading the railing that Knauss gave the show, even though I totally didn't agree with it. Why? Because I appreciate intelligent writing and intelligent humor even more. I just wanted to say that you are all doing a wonderful job, and I know a daily visit will keep me smiling.

Now, Carolyn... did you actually think tacking that compliment on to your e-mail would spare you from the ignominy and public ridicule that everyone who submits to the ol' TeeVee Mailbag must endure?

Well, you were right, Carolyn. We hope Meads from Vanderbilt was paying attention.

As good as we felt about ourselves after that, along came Loyal Seinfeld Fan in Georgia to stomp on the begonias of our self-esteem:

I don't understand a world where Tori Spelling is defended tooth and nail while such a stupid critique of Seinfeld gets only gleeful affirmations. God, you people are idiots. I know Seinfeld can be smug and the characters way annoying, but even if you don't get into it, anything's better than Tori Spelling in ANYTHING! Engage brain, people!

A hateful letter. But then we're used to hate. We can take it. But one thing we won't stand for -- what we simply cannot tolerate -- is for Loyal Seinfeld Fan in Georgia to spew his bile at the good men and women who read TeeVee. Not after Carolyn Gonzalez said we made her smile. Not after Sanj Arora took a bold stand on Entertainment Tonight. Not after Meads from Vanderbilt opened up about his atrocious spelling ability.

Besides, hurling insults at readers is our department.

So, Loyal Seinfeld Fan in Georgia, we beseech you -- please keep your ugly temper in check. Follow the simple lead of reader Robyn Davis who, after reading our April Fool's Day parody, informed us:

Y'all are some serious buttholes, suckering me in like that!

Actually, Robyn, it would be more accurate to call us frivolous, whimsical buttholes. But we concede your point. And to other readers out there who stumbled upon our Entertainment Weekly parody and mistook our forgery for the real McCoy, no, TeeVee has not been swallowed whole by the sinister Time-Warner conglomerate. Although we did trade them Gregg Wrenn for Atlanta Braves season tickets.

Anything to get us closer to our good friend Loyal Seinfeld Fan in Georgia, after all...

Additional contributions to this article by: Philip Michaels.


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