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tmi
let’s not k.i.t.
by robert a. melos
11.19.08
pop culture

I used to be all about too much information. As a Realtor early on I discovered that buyers and sellers wanted to know everything they could about the market, and given even a little information they thought or acted as though they suddenly knew everything about real estate. Since people wanted to know about the market I would provide as much information as possible, usually more information than was necessary. I was a firm believer in providing an overabundance of information because I discovered if you give people enough information they will, metaphorically speaking, hang themselves.

I also was a person who didn’t believe in boundaries when it came to sharing what some think of as personal information. This concept came to me because I felt if you kept nothing secret than no one could blackmail you or hold anything over you in any way. The thought of blackmail came to mind at an early age for me, which should give you an idea of the dysfunctional atmosphere in which I was raised.

However, after the four year political campaign and the ensuing media coverage, I now am feeling inundated with TMI and need for it to stop. I don’t need to know that Hillary Clinton buys granny panties from Wal-Mart and Sarah Palin buys thongs from Victoria’s Secret. I don’t need to know that Larry King needs Viagra to keep his socks up.

Bob Dole helped convert me from my TMI fascination with his Viagra commercials. Here was an old man telling the world his wife hadn’t been sexually satisfied since the 1960s. I don’t know if I really needed to know about wrinkly old man sex. Sure, some day I’ll be a wrinkled old man, but until then I don’t need to experience it even if it is only in the image of himself naked in an excited state he planted in my mind while hocking those little blue pills.

From that time on I became less open to TMI. I don’t need to know that Paris Hilton is in search of a new Best Friend Forever. In fact, why are there still people out there interested in who Paris Hilton pals around with? Yet the moment the election was over, for a brief second, people stopped paying attention to politicians and shifted back to celebrities. Of course since the media has spent the last four years doggedly reporting on every aspect of the lives of every politician they’ve forgotten how to actually report on real news, so now they are dragging out the campaign and calling it the transition of power.

It isn’t that I don’t believe some of the stories are news, such as cabinet appointments, with the exception of the hoopla over Hillary Clinton possibly being offered Secretary of State. If she were to be the Secretary of State it would be news, but it really doesn’t warrant an episode of Larry King questioning whether or not she should be offered the position. Speculation isn’t news, and unfortunately speculation has become news according to CNN, Headline News, FoxNews and MSNBC.

People like Nancy Grace, Greta Van Susteren, and Larry King all create speculation stories into hard news. To me this is just a step away from Entertainment Tonight, Hollywood Extra, Access Hollywood, and the likes. Since when has gossip become hard news? In all fairness to Nancy and Greta, they do report on hard news, in the beginning. It isn’t until the fifth or sixth week of dragging out the story of a mother who killed her children or a college girl who gets murdered on vacation in the Caribbean that it becomes a speculation piece and too much information.

After the past few years of being beaten over the head with this amount of information I’ve become saturated with TMI. It isn’t immunity to the overload of information; it’s more a point of drowning in the information. If I take in any more information on the habits of Barack Obama, John McCain, or Britney Spears I’m going to explode. So I’m becoming a bit of a recluse.

I have a friend who doesn’t own a television or computer. When he told me of this amazing lack of technology at first I thought it was bizarre to not own an instrument that would keep you in touch with the information super highway, but when I thought about it, after realizing how inundated I was by the TMI syndrome, I began to like the idea of being out of touch.

I already feel out of touch when young people talk about current film stars, because I don’t go to theaters any longer. They cost too much, I don’t like crowds, and Netflix has spoiled me for the real world of film viewing when I can get a DVD in my mailbox and watch it at my convenience. Sure I have to wait a few months until the films come to DVD, but given my sense of being out of touch by the time I hear about the film it already is on DVD.

Since I’m already starting to feel out of touch, maybe I can let this lack of information seep into other aspects of my life until I reach the point where I don’t know the name of the President of the United States, nor would I care, and I won’t know who Paris Hilton considers to be her BFF.


ABOUT ROBERT A. MELOS

Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

more about robert a. melos

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