Should I be listening to Beach House again…?
Around 2PM on Thursday, December 26, 2013 my energy started draining precipitously from my body. Sitting in my cubicle and reading Statement of Work documents, the words started jumbling and blurring. I left work at 4PM, and I felt like I’ve worked a 24-hour shift. I knew I was sick and rushed home to rest it off, so I could maybe work the next day. Ironically, I ended up with an excruciating flu with a fever that would last nine days.
My vitality deteriorated quickly. The body aches were maddening and Advil did little to alleviate it. With an inability to focus for an extended period of time, my body in an anemic state, and boredom to top it off, I needed something entertaining to keep my sanity and distract me from the pain. In a state of atrophy, watching television shows on Netflix is the best form of entertainment.
I’m not sure who recommended The League, but that person must not know me very well. Nonetheless, when you’re drifting in and out of consciousness, dick jokes can be quite funny.
The League is a sitcom based on friends in a fantasy football league. It’s a bromance with guys who are complete assholes to each other. Thus, it has the same element of comedic treachery as other FX shows (e.g. Archer, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). The winner of the fantasy football league is awarded “The Shiva,” which is a trophy with a picture of the member’s high school valedictorian. Shiva is short for Shivakamini Somakandarkram who is an Indian American. The show has quite a few jokes exoticizing her name.
Besides dick jokes, ethnic exoticizing is one of the most monotonous comedic themes, which is more reprehensible than funny. Don’t get me wrong, there is ethnic humor that’s funny, but exoticizing ethnic minorities is boring. People who tend to exoticize ethnic groups tend to have a certain social distance from that ethnic group. In other words, the creators of The League probably don’t have many close friends who are Indian, Mexican, or Chinese. On the other hand, the Jewish jokes satirize the culture and demonstrate a familiarity with it. I wonder if the creators of the League know anyone who is Jewish…
The League focuses more on the lives of the people in the fantasy football league than fantasy football itself. At the same, it shows fantasy football as the simulacrum that steers their lives. Simulacrum is a thing that represents something else. For example, fantasy football represents football and The League represents the lives of a group of friends in fantasy football league.
Jean Baudrillard wrote about how seeing Disneyland as an imaginary place allows people to ignore the made up aspects of real life. The indulgence in the childishness at Disneyland conceals the childishness found in our lives. Similarly we might consider how the racist and sexist aspects of The League help us disregard the racism and sexism in our lives. And the callousness in shows like The League helps us ignore how we’re assholes to others. Baudrillard further suggested the imaginary world shapes our real world as reality copies hyperreality. So, we might consider how people develop a concept of everyday life based on the television show they watch. Our concept of morality, sense of humor, and taste copies the hyperreal and then we start laughing at dick jokes in our everyday life. As we begin to live these realities you realize, “Some things you can’t unsee, bro.”
From Good Eats:
To Douchebag Kitchen:
I didn’t know it was bring your “cold” to work day…
I didn’t have a cold, because I was responsible. Now keep your slimy little colds at home.