Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Real Summer Ratings Grabber for Fox News: The Car Chase.

I knew that Summer had started when I had the misadventure of travelling away from Los Angeles on Interstate 10 and sirens and flashing blue lights forced me over a lane.  Traffic came to a dead stop as up to five police cars slowly followed a small pick-up truck.  Behind the wheel was a young man apparently enjoying the commotion he was creating.

For most Southern Californians, Summer officially begins when Fox Nightly News and all the other local channels open with a “Car Chase in Progress.”  Regardless of what is happening in the rest of the world, their Newscasters excitedly interrupt  to bring viewers mindless babble disguised as “Breaking News.”  

I often wonder how the media becomes involved so quickly.  In one chase, the police shot the driver to death - on live television.  The media showed it in real time, but offered no apologies for broadcasting the graphic scene.  Admittedly, I am a news junkie, but I have my limits.

In my opinion, Law Enforcement should quietly carry out their duties without TV News Reporters adding to the excitement.  When Fox Nightly News becomes serious about the content and value of its news, Car Chase phenomena as a Spectator Sport will lose its entertainment value.

© 2010 Mouth Wired Shut

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dysfunction at dinnertime? No, thank you.

The geniuses behind TV Ads certainly understand the art of getting under the viewers’ skin. The numerous Ads about erectile dysfunction are the source of my latest pet peeve. Am I the only woman who finds these Ads offensive?

In my opinion, these ads offer unrealistic images. In one ridiculous scenario, a woman and man hold hands in a wide-open grassy field… while they sit in separate bathtubs? How many people enjoy gnats circling their heads while sitting in cold bathwater? This is not my definition of romance.

Another Ad shows a Caucasian man confronted by his reflection in a plate glass shop window about his inability to perform in the bedroom. If a man’s reflection talks back to him about his erectile dysfunction, then he should immediately consult a psychiatrist. This, by the way, is a win-win situation for the pharmaceutical companies.

In the most implausible erectile dysfunction Ad, we watch an African American man, over six-feet tall, carrying a bunch of flowers, and smiling at every one he passes on the street. Come on! This is America! We know White America freaks out at the sight of powerful black men. It is absurd to think that America would be comfortable with this image of a black man publicly celebrating his virility.

I am aware of the pharmaceutical companies’ desire to sell as much product as possible; however, during my evening meal, I do not wish to view, nor contemplate anyone’s sexual function, not even mine. I think these kinds of Ads should run during the 10:00 P.M News slot. If men benefiting from such products are too tired to stay up beyond this time, maybe they should rethink whether they need to satisfy their sexual urges.

© 2010 Mouth Wired Shut

Monday, July 26, 2010

Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina: California is not a Swap Meet.

Anyone who is an American Citizen understands and values the membership of an elite club. In 1985 when I became an American Citizen, I registered to vote. Since then, I enjoy the privilege of voting in every election. Therefore, it is hard to accept that Meg Whitman could not find the time to vote until she was in her forties. Now after years of working in the private sector, Ms. Whitman is suddenly ready to participate in America’s great democracy. Why should the voters of California take her seriously, or forgive her selfishness?

For the last year, she has disparaged everyone whom she considers her rival for the governorship of California. Her insidious ads flood the airways. She touts her experience as the CEO of EBay; however, that does not equip her with the qualifications to run the state of California. Arnold Schwarzenegger (the Austrian actor?) became governor of California without any qualification or experience. He is leaving the State on the brink of economic collapse. California does not need another trial by error governor. Whitman, with her limitless funds, believes she can simply buy the governorship of California.

Similarly, Carly Fiorina is proud of her leadership of AT&T, Lucent and Hewlett-Packard (I do believe that some of the former employees of those companies would beg to differ). She did not perform too well in John McCain’s campaign for president, and when she thought she was out of the earshot of the public, she criticized Barbara Boxer’s hair. Fiorina has no credible record of accomplishment in the private sector.

In my opinion, people who run for government offices should start at the grass roots. Whitman and Fiorina should start by building their base at the community level. People are not widgets, and California is not a giant Swap Meet. As Californians, we deserve better. The present governor thought he could govern California by osmosis. What a gigantic disappointment. Whitman and Fiorina should stick to what they know best: how to manipulate corporate spreadsheets.

© 2010 Mouth Wired Shut

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Should our Nation’s Leaders Hold Office Indefinitely?

A few weeks ago, I was watching MSNBC and Chris Matthews said something we all think, but are too frightened to say.  He posed the question, “What age should senators retire?” The United States Congress needs to clean house.  Their age for retirement should be the same as the public.

The United States Congress is like a “Retirement Commune” for a majority of overpaid rich white dudes and a few privileged black ones.  The Senators and Representatives bumble around from session to session without accomplishing anything of substance. Some Senators nap on camera while in committee meetings.  Their electorates who anoint them with the privilege of occupying the highest office of the nation are disillusioned.  What other profession has senility as one of its outstanding attributes?

It is upsetting to have men and women in Congress well past their prime pretending to be working on behalf of the people.  The following Senators are prime examples: Strom Thurmond almost died in office at approximately 100 years.  Senator Jessie Helms probably had some form of brain damage.  Senator Robert Byrd, even though he suffered the after-effects of a stroke, held onto his seat until his death a few weeks ago.

U.S Senator Arlen Specter is another great example of someone who does not know when to exit gracefully. At almost eighty years old, his legacy would be more distinguished, if he held court and offered his insight and wisdom to up-and-coming, would-be, young senators. In my opinion, no Senator should serve beyond seventy-five years old.  But I guess the Senators will never pass a law to put themselves out of such a lucrative position.

© 2010 Mouth Wired Shut

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I am considering taking up yoga again after been sidelined by two knee surgeries and arthritic pain. I must confess that I am also interested in maintaining a youthful appearance and in anything that gives me an edge.

I have taken ballroom dancing, tennis, badminton, group aerobic exercise, swimming, yoga, tai chi, and even djembe classes; however, I am hopeless at every one of these. I have since turned to regular acupuncture. One might conclude that I am just searching for the fountain of youth, but Ha! I live in America, the country, or culture, where everything, and everyone, is youth oriented.

When I came across the advertisement for “Kangen Bottled Water” in a yoga pamphlet, it immediately caught my attention. After all, these are health fanatics, and are only interested in strengthening body and mind, so I thought. The ad stated that “Kangen” would slow down the aging process, increase the absorption of important vitamins and minerals, and promote healthy weight loss. This is exactly what I needed.

Believe me, I am not keen on drinking water. Growing up in the islands, it was a constant challenge to find unpolluted water sources. All our drinking water had mosquito larvae and water bugs dancing in it. Given all the benefits of the Kangen water, I put aside my long-held aversion.

I might have an open-mind, but experience has taught me to research any new idea or product before fully embracing it. In my research on Kangen, I discovered that it is a new water purification system from Japan. This “revolutionary” water technology turns acidic, contaminated, and chlorinated tap water into healthier alkaline water.

The whole thing unraveled for me when I found out that Kangen is really a multi-level-marketing business. I came out on the losing end of quite a few of these schemes. In fact, over twenty-five years ago, a similar business duped me. It was a portable water purification container that filtered all impurities from any tap water. The more people one brought into the business, the greater the opportunity for turning a profit. I carried the container with me everywhere, but could not even convince my co-workers to buy one.

Then there was the vitamin scheme to which my doctor introduced me. I went in for my arthritic shoulder and allergies and left with a multi-level marketing vitamin business. I only had to enroll a few people “downstream” from me and success was inevitable: the “American Dream.” I ended up taking all the vitamins myself.

At this point, I became outraged at the yoga club for offering to sell the fountain of youth in the form of a multi-level marketing water purification system. Give me a break! As free spending Americans, we love to try new innovative products and technologies. Admittedly, I am more Americanized than I want to be in this regard, but there is a limit. I will not totally submerge myself in this consumerist culture of eternal youth.

All I want to do is find a great yoga class where the instructors stick to teaching stretches and relaxation. And I will drink from my eco-friendly, BPA-free, stainless steel water bottle, with water drawn from my counter tap, filtered by my American Reverse Osmosis System under my sink.

© 2010 Mouth Wired Shut

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Whether information comes from the radio, television, internet, or newspaper, one cannot help but hear the talking heads and so-called experts admonishing Americans on their weight problems.  Some overweight Americans take it personally.  They try to do something about it. On the other hand, others take a defensive stance.  They revel in the idea that being fat is gorgeous.  Even Americans of normal weight, begin to wonder if they too should be on a diet.

These experts offer solutions or suggestions as to the root cause of this problem.  Most of it, of course, is either their speculation or opinion.  Jamie Oliver, the energetic young Brit, vies for the top spot as the new guru of America’s weight problem.  He believes he has the solution to their overeating and fast food addiction.  He hopes to teach America how to cook and eat right.

On a recent episode that I stumbled across, Jamie teaches one-thousand Virginians how to cook stir-fry noodles and frozen vegetables.  He maintains that America’s diet is devoid of variety and nutritional value. Jamie Oliver’s idea of teaching Americans how to cook and eat correctly is like “selling coal to Newcastle.”  Americans already enjoy the greatest variety of food in the world, and are not scared to experiment with their palate.  Jamie’s stir-fry noodles and frozen vegetables are not going to cut it.

Some television networks, without artistic imagination or merit, use those who are overweight as cheap entertainment in the guise of a “reality show.”  Their shortcomings and failures play out for the world, larger than life, in the pretense of weight management.

Every week, “The Biggest Loser” has Americans glued to their television sets enjoying the pain of these grotesquely overweight human beings.  The host takes on an air of judge and arbiter of these people lumbering their way up some steps to an industrial-size scale.  Jillian Michaels and her partner put these people through their brutal, rigorous, and sometimes humiliating exercise regime only to find that some of these people are gaining, instead of losing, inches.

Other networks dispense with advice all together and choose to “document” the enormity of the weight problem through following the lives of individuals who have completely lost all self-control. Millions of viewers look forward to watching shows like “The 1000-pound Man.” Sadly, I am also guilty of indulging in the spectacle. I must admit that a person eating his or her way to 1000 pounds must be very determined; it makes for compelling viewing.

With the aid of their family and friends, we watch them eat their way through mountains of starch and grease every day. Watching this behavior reminded me of a captivating show about a society of insects presented on Discovery Channel. During the show, worker termites scurried about gathering food for their enormous queen. The workers’ job is to feed and protect her.

It is hard to conceive that humans could so closely mirror insect behavior. However, just like the queen termite, morbidly obese, and immobile, people require help from others to fuel their voracious appetites. Unfortunately, this is also detrimental to their health. The queen termite’s sole purpose is to lie around and reproduce; humans need to be mobile.

After catching a glimpse of the outside world while propped up in his bed for the first time in years, a TV station offered the 1000-pound man help to become mobile again, in exchange for live daily coverage. The TV producers, doctors, dieticians and camera crew created a circus-like atmosphere. After losing something like one-hundred pounds, they used a forklift to hoist him, bed and all, onto a flatbed truck, and drive him around town. People lined the streets and waved, as if paying homage to a sovereign.

Listen up America; you have it all wrong again. Americans do not want to hear how to eat, exercise or lose weight. Do not believe all that hype about overeating and fast food. You are immune to diet and exercise programs.

In my opinion, Americans became "fat" when leisure suits hit the market and became fashionable. You expanded when you could not feel your belt tightening around your waistline. Another thing, cheap sweat pants made in China got Americans hooked on comfort. You are convinced that sitting around on mountains of soft tissue is the norm. This might be stretching it a bit, however I think there is one way to attack your weight dilemma: restrict or totally ban the use of “stretchy” materials for clothing.

Spandex only temporarily alleviates your weight problem. Yet today, “Spanx” is mainstreamed. Even men wear “Spanx” to streamline their beer gut. Denim is no longer made of one hundred percent stiff cotton, but eighty percent cotton and twenty percent, you guessed it, Spandex. We no longer have to hold our breath to pull up the zipper on our jeans. It is trendy to wear something to control loose flesh. A minimum amount of flexibility in clothing is acceptable, but not solely to accommodate ever-expanding bodies. In my opinion, Americans will regain control of their weight, when they lose their addiction to elasticized materials.

© 2010 Mouth Wired Shut