Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Russian Television Post

So when I was in Vladivostok, I spent a big chunk of my time alone, in my dismal hotel room, reading, journaling, listening to my iPod or sleeping. There was a television, but there were no channels in English, so there was really no point in watching it since I couldn't understand any of it. But sometimes, the boredom overtook me, and I just had to channel surf. My last night there, I'd hit some sort of boredom saturation point. That's the only way I can explain what happened next. Not only did I channel surf: I took digital photos of the t.v. screen. There was so much weird shit on that t.v., that I had to document it somehow. So here's some explanation behind the photos:
  • First there was a talkshow like many of the ones I'd seen on the various channels there. They've all got these HUGE garishly colored sets, and the guests/hosts sit miles apart and, like the Jerry Springer/Jenny Jones shows here, they're usually yelling at one Russian, which is really kind of a redundant thing to do since speaking Russian in a normal tone of voice already makes you sound pissed off. But here's the thing that makes it weird: The guests wear head mikes a la Britney Spears. That's right: They're sitting on a couch with a head mike on, having an argument with someone 100 yards away on a tangerine colored couch. Very weird. The hosts sometimes have a hand held mike, but most of the time they're wearing a head mike as well. It's totally stupid.
  • Then there was another talkshow with a boy band-looking host who was standing among the audience members interviewing a little girl on the stage who was dressed like a total hoochie. I'm not sure what her "talent" was, but her dad/manager was sitting next to her in some sweet acid wash. And behind him? A cardboard cut out of the host. Um...why?
  • But the most intriguing by far was this hour-long documentary about this guy who's a Singer/Performer who is WAY gay. It was showing career highlight performances from the early 80s to the present, interspersed with current interview footage. Wow. This guy is so over the top and melodramatic in performance, that he makes Celine Dion look tame. And he just SUCKED. And yet there were stadiums full of people--mainly delusional women--swooning over him. And let me tell ya, homeboy has gone through some truly unfortunate hairdos over the past twenty years, including a faux dreadlock/Milli Vanilli wannabe phase in what looked like the late 90s. Yowzah. And the current interview footage was downright scary. He's still sporting the curly perm semi-fro look, but he's had more plastic surgery than Joan Rivers, and he's just freaky looking now. If anyone knows who this joker is, please give me his name. I'm sort of obsessed with finding out more about him. I'm sure he's got a website, and I'm sure it's fabulous.
Being without t.v. for a week is a good thing. But during my next trip, I'm going to be there about two weeks. With my mother. In a hotel room. Together. T.V. is going to be sorely missed, I fear...

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