Friday, September 28, 2007

She who does not suffer fools gladly.

Dan Quayle on Murphy Brown and some other stuff:

Ultimately, however, marriage is a moral issue that requires cultural consensus, and the use of social sanctions. Bearing babies irresponsibly is, simply, wrong. Failure to support children one has fathered is wrong. We must be unequivocal about this.

It doesn't help matters when prime time TV has Murphy Brown - a character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid, professional woman - mocking the importance of a father, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another "lifestyle choice."

I designed this online, and am thinking of ordering it. I am, however, worried about its current cultural relevance.....

My Mom didn't really "believe" in feminism, or so she said when I was an overbearing adolescent and, like, wouldn't shut up about Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, but she believed in Murphy Brown, and that was sufficient for me. My dad, however, didn't believe in either, and many fights were had on Monday nights over whether to watch football or Murphy Brown, often culminating in me screaming, "We don't need you! Divorce him Mom! Divorce him!" But my parents had sex then (and still do? Mom, verify?), and so their whiny little brat insisting on divorce for "the principle of it" didn't really have too much effect on them.

I was persistent though, and eventually the problem was solved by purchasing a second television for my parent's room and shutting my Dad in there to do his testosterone-y football thing all by himself. Though really he was just in it for the attention because he ended up coming back into the living room for most of Murphy Brown just to add his own "This show is not even funny" commentary track....OR MAYBE BECAUSE HE WAS AFRAID OF MURPHY BROWN'S FEMINIST INFLUENCE ON US. I think I believe one explanation more than the other.

Lots of men were afraid of Murphy on the show. She was smart and sassy, also funny, but her funniness was never based on her gender (Ahem, Apaturd). Rather, she's funny because she is absurdly good at her job and no one else around can live up to it--literally. In an episode from the first season she's hardcore grilling a corrupt judge who midway through the interview falls silent. He's dead.

Being very susceptible to TV, I can say for certain that Murphy Brown inspired me to do the following things:

1.) Buy a power suit.

2.) Join the debate team.

3.) Feather my hair frequently.

4.) Want to become a reporter.

I probably would have tried to get pregnant and be a single mom too, but I was fugly, and couldn't get anyone to have sex with me. This, of course, does not mean Dan Quayle was right. It just means I am too impressionable.

My favorite description of Murphy Brown is from the show's bio on The Museum of Broadcast Communications website, and is as follows:

Smart, determined and difficult, she does not suffer fools gladly.

I'm hard-pressed to think of a female television character today with an eponymous tv show who does not suffer fools gladly. Definitely not her, or her, or her. Maybe she does. Oh wait, she's gone too.


Meredith said...

My favorite episode was when she and her mom hustled a bunch of guys at pool. I used to do stuff like that with my mom!

Thanks for reminding me why I love me some MB.

Perfect Ratio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Perfect Ratio said...

I just ordered all the DVDs-- we can have a super lez sleepover viewing party.

Simone said...

i look forward to watchin' some murphy brown with you in the near future. i also watched it religiously as a child, and thought that corky or whatever her name was was real purty.

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