Here are a few things that make me go What’s the big fuss? I don’t want to pass judgment on everyone who feels otherwise – but I probably am πŸ˜‰

  • Reality Shows on TV: It is everywhere now – Animal Channel, Discovery Channel, Home & Garden, Food network. My colleague and I joked that soon we will see them on CSPAN too. Then we both realized – Duh!
    • In essence, much of the reality show rage can be explained by We need Dirty Laundry as echoed by Don Henley in an awesome, awesome song (check out the powerful lyrics and the live video). The song of course is squarely aimed at newscasters – but based on the dirt on reality shows aimed at satisfying their audience’s thirst for it, I think it has much wider, almost universal applicability.
  • Beer: I really don’t get the fuss about beer. To my taste buds – it is a vile tasting, weak drink. It makes you very thirsty, and output at least twice as much as you input. So what’s the point? Now there are even non-alcoholic drinks that I love which others consider vile (e.g. coffee) – i.e. they are an “acquired taste”. So I can definitely understand that beer is like that – no problem. But what I don’t get is the status of beer. The fuss people in the US make about beer right from youth into college and into adulthood for something that is so blwa…h – I just don’t get it. There are much better tasting and much stronger choices.
  • Beer commercials: Even more confounding. It supposedly has the target audience as “the macho man” – i.e. the one who does not want to look stupid, and wants to swing it with the fairer sex. But paradoxically, the ads seem to convey the opposite:
    • A man ignores the offers of a sexy lady in favor of a lousy Heineken. Now which idiot would do that? And which “macho guy” would be idiotic enough to want to relate to that?
    • Just touch a Coors Light bottle, and it starts to get very cold and snowy, but ladies in skimpy bikinis appear out of nowhere and dance happily. The first time this appeared – you can say odd, but perhaps interesting imagination. But this is the theme of every Coors Light commercial! Are you taking me for an idiot? But I did try Coors Light just in case – no luck yet.
    • Every one of those Miller Light commercials. I would like a warrant out for their advertising folks. Enough said.
    • I did not think beer was exactly a drink of “the sleek and sexy woman” – but I guess it is so according to these well informed commercials.
  • Pickup Truck Commercials: Another one aimed at the macho man. Apparently, Chevy/Ford/Toyota trucks can haul anything you want, even a big 18-wheeler loaded with concrete slabs stuck in a huge mountain. Heck in fact, they can haul the entire mountain itself! I am sure such power can come in handy. And of course all of this is somehow patriotic. Perhaps they are going simply move the mountains “Tora Bora” with some Ford F-150s and Chevy Silverados so that they can literally expose Bin Laden.
  • Golf as a rage, and a major sport: Prime-time coverage – on par with baseball, basketball and football in the US. Now the sport I can believe is relaxing – but showing it on TV, and talking so much about it everywhere? I just don’t get it.
  • Hunting as a sport and on TV: Need I say more?
  • Men and Video arcade games: Never got into it and holds zero appeal to me. An outing to a place like Gameworks, or Dave and Busters does not get me excited, and I have had to go there many times for company celebrations, social outings etc. I try a couple of those car racing games – fun for a couple of minutes. But, I pretty much get bored in precisely 10 minutes.
  • Muscle Car Magazines/Shows and Babes: This is a superb example of a pure fantasy of a stereotypical male: Loves muscle cars, loves muscle car parts, and loves babes in skimpy clothes. Never mind that the last one does not exactly seem to be related to the first two. But who cares? He still thinks – wouldn’t it be so cool to somehow have all of these in one fantasy? Wouldn’t that be ultimate? But how? How? How? Eureka! Simply have the skimpily clad girls stretch sexily on the hood of a muscle car! You could have those girls talk about mufflers, brakes and pads. Now, which girl wouldn’t want to do that?
  • Popularity of obnoxious personalities: These are loud mouthed, pompous asses, but extremely popular – many times for precisely being that. Their ticket to fame is a similar theme: I am an open book. I am honest. I speak what is on my mind. And I believe in what I say. I always stand by my beliefs. People apparently love it when you say what you have on your mind – even if you come out as an obnoxious, opinionated, jackass. But for me, if you are a jackass that trumps everything else – you are going to be one whether you speak your mind or not. You cannot hide your “jackassity”. Besides in many cases, we find these guys are not that honest either. Well, surprise, surprise!
    • I stand for what I believe in: An admirable trait, but is a double-edged sword. It makes you not want to re-examine things, that perhaps you were wrong. It puffs up you ego and confidence and leads you to be a stubborn jackass, and not admit mistakes (but not to worry your fans will still admire you as a strong leader, since you stood your ground). There are too many obvious examples today of this.
  • Baseball: OK, I am sort of kidding ;)! I can certainly understand why it is so loved in the US. I am including this only because:
    • I love cricket for its elegance which I cannot find in baseball. Just cannot get passionate about a game that seems like a more boring (than cricket – if you can imagine that πŸ˜‰ !), pale imitation of another sport that I love.
    • There are too many games, and more often than not, my favorite re-runs on TV are not on because of a slow, and mostly meaningless regular season game. Aaarrrrgh!