Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Secretary of Taste
Unscripted television isn't my favorite. I don't mean unscripted like documentaries or Dirty Jobs, or Mythbusters even. No, I'm talking about all MTV programming and any sort of contest or race. From the parade of mediocrity that is Top Designer, to the painfully dull Next Producer and all the Rock of NY Love, or whatever the hell they are calling that tragedy now. I am not one for watching untalented people being fast tracked to fame and failure. Bo Bice, Taylor Hackford, where art thou?
There are two shows however, that manage to pit professionals against each other and may truly find true "Stars" within the talented ranks of their contestants by requiring professional results. One is TOP CHEF, and the other is PROJECT RUNWAY. Now, I was turned on to Project Runway by my roommate, who kicking and screaming, made me watch one episode of a marathon. Needless to say, I was impressed.
I'm not a fan of couture per-se, but certainly I am a fan of elegance and taste despite my facebook profile. During these monumental, hard fought, and historic elections, we had an enormous dichotomy in taste that i think highlights a major cultural divide in this nation.
To be frank, the last eight years have been some of the tackiest, most visually offensive and culturally bankrupt years in American history. And yes, that includes the reconstruction years when U.S Grant would walk around pants less, smoking a cigar and spitting bits of "Tabacky" on orphaned children. Even Queen Victoria remarked "We wish he would sport some trou."and ostracized that tacky boor. But the jingoism and chest beating of a post 9/11 world gave way to a free for all of our most base instincts, culminating in the superbly tacky Iraq war, awful imagery, and Britney Spear's breakdown.
Then, after Kerry's abortive attempt, and four more horrific years of "heh heh" from the White House, came the elections. It was a sight to behold really. Do we go with the lumbering tacky symbols and behavior of the last eight years? Or do we go with the smooth, visually pleasing, and classy change?
I could go on for hours about the "Wasilla Hillbillies" and their teen sex debut at the RNC, but the fact is, that now is the time for healing. We need to reach out to those who think THIS is ok.
Our president elect has decided to take the high road and, not rub it in dumb, gun-toting, racist, tacky ass red America's face, but rather bring them into the fold and thereby change the country, I mean SERIOUSLY change the country forever.
To this end, I recommend that President-elect Obama create the new cabinet-level post of Secretary of Taste. Furthermore I nominate Mr. Tim Gunn to fill the spot effective immediately.
I hardly need to give you Tim's credentials. He is the sleek asexual master of style that makes european monarchs look like inbred iron mongers.
Let's say, that GW Bush had tried to pass off the Iraq war on Tim. I can see the ever cautious Mr. Gunn saying
"Hmm. Ok, i can see what you mean to say here, but its not working for me. It feels rushed. Let's actually find some WMD's and I think that will make more sense. Ok? Just make it work."
Voila! One war/ quagmire avoided.
The fact is, that Tim Gunn is a careful methodical thinker. His every move and utterance is carefully calculated and phrased so as not to be disruptive, but rather constructive. THAT is what makes Tim Gunn a national treasure, and THAT is what this country needs more of.
No more knee jerk reactions, no more "Let's roll!" bumper stickers, no more mindlessly hating on the French, no more scapegoating, no more carelessness. As the inaugural looms in less than a week now, I return to my favorite quote from my favorite Kennedy "Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that." , and in the spirit of our new President and Project Runway, do our part to "Tame the Savageness of man" and avoid plaids and stripes.