defective my ass

I’ve been debating the pros and cons of the TV show “Monk” with a reader by the name of Chelsea Lowe. She and I both like the show, but I’m quicker to dwell on what I see as its faults. I don’t want to get into the specifics right now, but sometimes when I watch “Monk,” as a guy with OCD (the anxiety disorder that the title character, Monk, who they refer to in their commercials as the “defective detective,” is supposed to have), I feel like a black person must have felt in the 1940’s when listening to white performers portraying the stereotyped characters of Amos and Andy on the radio. It is a good show, and I do like, but part of me feels as though my little subculture here is being played for laughs.

Maybe my analogy above doesn’t hold much water. I’ve heard it rumored recently that Tony Shalhoub, who plays Monk, actually has an anxiety disorder. Even if he doesn’t though, he’s a damned fine actor, and I’d much rather have him playing someone with OCD than Keanu Reeves. He makes the character real and sympathetic. He doesn’t just play the Monk character and his quirks for laughs.

My main gripe is that they don’t really delve too much below the surface. I know it’s difficult to do in an hour-long TV format, but I’d like to see a little less of his fixation with clothes in his closet and the fact that they all need to be facing the same direction, and a little more of the internal stuff, the fear of what will happen if the clothes aren’t all facing in the same direction. (Someone out there with OCD will know what I mean by that.)

With that said, it is a very good show and it deserves the Golden Globe that it won last week. And, Chelsea’s article is worth a read. Here’s a clip:

“Like me, Monk (played by Tony Shalhoub) hates touching money, sleeping in the dark, sharing bathrooms with strangers, and walking around outdoors without shoes (my recurring bad dream). He can’t abide handling rust, newly purchased groceries, or dirty car parts. He fears children and their germs, air travel, crowds, milk, any number of foods, and a whole lot of everything else. Monk is not, in the strict sense, real, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s real enough.

In the so-called defective detective, I feel as if I’ve found a missing twin, a character so true to life – my life, anyway – that I’d like to shake the writers’ hands. On second thought, maybe not.”

a state of the union address i’d like to hear
Columnist and author Arianna Huffington sent out an article on Friday outlining what she would like to hear in President Bush’s Tuesday State of the Union Address to the American people. I was going to reprint it all here, because I couldn’t find in on line (I’m on her mailing list, so I got it by email), but I just found it. So, to read the whole thing, just click here.

Here’s a clip from the piece, but I really would like for you to go and read the whole thing by clicking here.

“My fellow Americans, I come before you tonight to announce a historic undertaking, to call on the American people to put an end to our destructive and shortsighted dependence on oil.

“During World War II, President Roosevelt created the Manhattan Project — the remarkable wartime effort that enlisted the greatest scientific and technical minds in the country to help protect us from the tyranny of fascism. Today, as we fight the war on terrorism, we need to commit the same all-out effort to freeing ourselves from the nations and terrorists holding us hostage through our addiction to oil.

“With this in mind, I call upon Congress to enact legislation immediately raising the mileage standards for all cars and SUVs to 40 miles per gallon — a move that will save American car owners $45 billion each and every year on their gasoline bill. That is money that can be used right now to stimulate our economy.

“Congress also needs to close the senseless loophole that allows the biggest gas-guzzlers to get the biggest tax breaks. I’m taking the lead on this issue by abandoning that component of my new economic plan that would increase by 50 percent the already substantial write-off available to buyers of the least-efficient SUVs. People buying fully loaded Hummers, Navigators and Land Cruisers should not be able to immediately deduct the entire price of their vehicles.

“It isn’t fair, it isn’t smart, and it isn’t safe — as was made refreshingly clear earlier this month by my auto safety chief, Dr. Jeffrey Runge, who pointed out that, when it comes to SUVs, size doesn’t equal safety. The rollover death rate is three times higher in SUVs than in cars. Please join me in saluting Dr. Runge for his candor and his passionate commitment to passenger safety.”

I think this piece is great and love the fact that she’s using the idea of a Manhattan Project for Alternative Energy, an idea that I hadn’t heard anyone mention up until a few weeks ago. Not only is she using the idea, I’m also beginning to hear it from the Democratic candidates for President. Hopefully, the idea will get some traction among the people of the U.S. I’d love for it to become a deciding factor in the upcoming election.

If you would like to sign up to receive Arainna Huffington’s column by e-mail, just mash this button.

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