Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Yeah, Dr. Fail McGraw. That's how we say it around here.
Today, with little fanfare, Dr. Fail teamed up with American Girl to devote a show to teaching girls about important things they need to know. At first I thought this to be a most excellent development, because it's high time network television devoted an hour to the proper usage of the English language.
But alas, 'twas not to be.
Because you see, Fail's agenda was about tackling "the most important issues facing tweens. Parents, if your young daughter is asking questions about her body, bullies or the birds and the bees, don’t miss this special show! And, for the first time in Dr. Phil history, the audience is filled with girls! Find out what the younger generation has to say!"
Bodies, bullies, birds, and bees, boo-yaah. I'll give him points for the alliteration. But WTF, for the first time the audience is "filled with girls?"
And I don't think we're talking about Girls Gone Wild here. That, I could understand.
What kind of promotional angle is that? See here, Dr. Fail, you've set a dangerous precedent that you are going to be hard-pressed to top. I can see it now: "For the first time in history, the audience is filled with midgets!" Then the next week "For the first time in history, the audience is filled with ponies!" And it escalates: "For the first time in history, the audience is filled with Martians! Pope clones wearing 3D glasses! Dragons!" And then it turns tragic when the studio catches fire from dragon sneezes because everyone knows that dragons are allergic to bald asshats. Everyone except you, Dr. Fail. You could have prevented this tragedy by not populating your audience with young girls. Or dragons.
Let's call this for what it is: shameless ratings pandering for Dr. Fail and positive PR spin for AG in the midst of Gwen-Gate. It was terribly ill-conceived (As were you, Dr. Fail. Your parents told me all about it but tried to swear me to secrecy because they knew the truth would traumatize you. Surprise!). If CBS needed a cutting-edge ratings boost, they should have called me. Not only is the mere mention of my name sure to increase the karma of all who utter it, but FFS, what does Dr. Fail know about being a ten year old girl?
Oh wait, right, he's an expert. Or at least he plays one on TV.
I'll give him this much: Dr. Fail is an expert in hiring staffers who know how to stick cute text onto videos. And he's really good at showing his age by using all kinds of old-timey expressions. "Greasers"? "Pencil-necks"? (BTW, Grease? Terrible movie. Much as I love leather, don't put it on if it's not your thing. Especially not if some guy tells you to do it.)
But here's a plus: Dr. Fail did cite Pink as a positive role model for girls. I approve of that. Girls everywhere should be encouraged to be like Pink and kick John Mayer in the balls. The world would be a far, far better place if that were done more often.
On Dr. Fail's show, we got the typical "OMG my daughter/ZOMG but my mom!" tripe. Listen up, you whiners. The appropriate age for Facebook and Myspace is age 13 or older. Not going on 13, not looks like 13, but actually 13. Parents, don't permit your tweenage daughter to lie about her age to join online forums. Seriously, you suck if you do that. And yes, I'm looking at you, parents who say it's okay for your doll-loving underage child to join Playthings and/or who don't monitor your kids' online habits. I'm tired of chasing down your little girls and giving them the slapdown because you can't be bothered to do your own damned jobs.
What really pisses me off here is that while I'll grant you that Dr. Fail's AG Expert Person did cite the Facebook age as 13, no one there bothered to mention COPPA, the Federal Trade Commission Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. That's only the federal law that protect children's privacy and safety online. We don't make this shit up, you know? It's the LAW. Cousin Antonin could tell you all about COPPA but we're not speaking at the mo' seeing as how I'm still pissed at him for not including me in the acknowledgments for his new book. I edited the hell out of that book. You wouldn't think Cousin Antonin would be capable of such chatspeak. I blame his friend Clarence.
Anyway, after flapping around some more about "where are the parents?" Dr. Fail sold his message that we should all stick together. That's all well and good but let me tell you, I'm not going to sit in a circle, hold hands and sing Kumbaya with just anyone.
Truth is, you learn to stick up for yourself when you get knocked down enough, and you learn to stick up for those who can't speak until they find their own voices. And that advice to "speak up?" Yeah, well, don't kid yourselves; saying it doesn't make it so. It's not that easy. The learning curve is wicked. I write this knowing that there are those out there who think I am a bully, but in reality I am the Anti-Bully, the Robin Hood of Bullies, the Squasher of Asshats and Puncturer of Platitudinarians.
At the end of the day, it comes down to this: if Dr. Fail knew anything about anything, he'd be giving all the girls Jess instead of Chrissa. After all, it's but one small step away from Chrissa to Gwen the Homeless Doll.
But that's another topic for another day.