By Monte Lazarus
We were quietly enjoying our favorite television program, “The Real Housewives of Nome, Alaska.” It was truly an eye-opener. The housewives were spectacular. They all wore stiletto heels and mini skirts. We were both somewhat surprised since the weather report was that it was minus 47 degrees outside. We expected long fur coats, boots made of seal skin and fur hats with ear flaps. The house interior matched the ladies. It looked huge and very warm indeed. Designer furniture and Hollywood type art on the walls made our view of Nome different than what we expected.
Nome is located on Norton Sound of the Bering Sea. We pictured a quaint fishing village. It was a good thing that we were watching Reality, because we thought Nome would be “different” as a remote part of the Alaskan world. We pictured lots of small wooden buildings, and folks bundled up to deal with the freezing temperature. That was probably because we were brainwashed from our scant exposure to Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan. Thanks to the magic of television we now have Reality, and know better.
The five ladies – four of them were leggy blondes; the fifth was also leggy, but a flaming redhead – did not resemble the Inupiat Eskimos who are native to this thriving metropolis of 3,731 (as of 2011) brave souls, and another 1,200 assorted bears, sled dogs and moose. Not a short, dark haired lady in the bunch.
The ladies were sipping what looked like martinis while discussing the latest Nome news. “Gloria” (not her real Inupiat name) is married to a nameless wealthy gold merchant whose family roots go back to the gold rush days. “Angelina” is living with “Ed,” a stockbroker who makes a fortune investing for the very rich Nome population. The particular episode centered on the rumor sweeping around town, but not yet printed in the Nome Nugget (so, don’t bother researching) that Gloria has been, ahem, “fooling around” with Ed. The other blonde and redheaded Inupiat housewives were trying to restore domestic harmony. It would be unfair to reveal the ending since so many folks follow Reality TV. Deep gratitude is the only way we can express ourselves to the people who put on Reality Television.
This creates a perfect segue (one of them there modern words) into the entire matter of TV watching. My wife, who reads and understands everything in print, pointed out that there is a recent study that concludes watching television an average of four hours a day takes a number of years (two?) off the watcher’s life. The numbers may be slightly off, but the study does really exist – no fingers crossed.
I took the liberty of extrapolating from the study. If applied to kids, who seem to sit in front of the television set for endless hours, the results are frightening. Starting at around age two, through the teen years, the number of hours is astronomical. If the study’s conclusions are applied to the current generation, the average life span will be reduced by at least thirty years! Our society will be going back to the life span of the Middle Ages! Think of the ramifications. But, that’s another story.
Maybe they secretly had television in the Middle Ages?