Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Haunted TV

Published by Political Grind - September 5, 2007
"No. This one will never forget...ever."
Snooper - Take Our Country Back


My television set is haunted. The ghosts -- there are two of them -- can materialize on my screen suddenly and without warning. Generally, they make their intrusion right in the middle of an interesting program or movie; and, even though they were assigned no major role in the production, their unexpected appearance is so startling, so overwhelming and powerful, that they immediately dominate the screen, upstage the actors and trivialize the plot.

They are, like most ghosts, the uneasy vestigial remains of an existence cut short prematurely and violently. These visitations shock me into remembering them, or perhaps reproach me for having forgotten them. We existed, they say, we existed exactly the same way as you are existing right now. We are gone now, but you must never forget us.

These unsettling apparitions show up repeatedly on my screen in the most unexpected places -- comedies, documentaries, even old episodes of "Cops".

Last night, for example, I was watching a rerun of Bryan Singer's 1995 "The Usual Suspects" when, at precisely 34 minutes and 37 seconds into the movie, suddenly, there they were and almost immediately, the intricate and sinister machinations of the fictional crime lord Keyser Soze were rendered foolish and inconsequential.

Once again, the ghosts of those two tragic towers reappeared, dominating that familiar skyline, eloquent in their silence, incomprehensible in their size and majesty. We are gone now, they said, but you must never forget us.

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