Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wag the doggerel

Did any of you (three faithful readers) happen to catch The Unit last night on telly? I kept on looking up and behind me to make sure I wasn't on Candid Camera.

It's a show about a bunch of special fighters - secret soldiers, whatever - who have Boys' Own adventures each day and then get home in time for dinner. One of the characters last night even said something along the lines of "where else do you get to jump out of planes all day and go home to a warm bed at night?" or something like that - a variation on the classic army poster: Travel the world; Meet interesting people; Kill them...

I only caught bits and pieces while I was channel surfing, landing lightly on each channel for a minute or three until the continual stream of images of forensics, crime, despair, conflict and squalour drove me to the next channel. Honestly, it's gotten to the stage where I'm starting to prefer the ads.

But I did manage to pick up a few things that had me entertained. Firstly the alpha male is a black guy, which sticks out like a dog's proverbial. Then there was the independent 30-something with the lesbian haircut who is married to the young white guy (who has just joined the unit). She's the token rebel, the eduated shrew who could use some taming, demanding to find her own housing until the black guy's (black, Oprah-ish) wife convinces her to join the community - in one fabulous speech she says something about how being a woman, looking after your children, waiting for your maaaan to come home from fighting the enemy is "the history of the wooorld!!" (dramatic music, close-up of chastened young wife looking astonished - I like to think she was thinking "Frickin' K├╝che, Kirche, Kinder again?!"). Later she passes out or faints (or just isn't wearing makeup - I lost interest regularly, you must remember) when she sees something on the news that makes it apparent what the boys are up to that day. That I managed to make any sense of it at all is just a testament to the relentless crap on the other channels.

Anyway - later in the piece, after they've managed to rescue a bunch of hostages, killing all the "terrorists" and none of the passengers, there's a kind of horizon shot of the three of them walking back along the tarmac - guns tied to their legs with leather holsters, the sillouette reminiscent of those cowboys of old, swaggering towards the camera with their horsey gait, I swear they're chewing wheat, where's my freaking banjo when I need it?

And like all good little soldiers, Whiteboy gets home in one piece, goes to the fridge (as yer do when you're a hungry adolescent), finds a baseball mitt with a note in it saying "It's a boy". I was so overcome by all the testosterone references on the show that I'm having a pregnancy test myself on the weekend just to be on the safe side.

Reflecting on it today I can't help wondering how much of the storyline is influenced by wagging tails - could the universal unconscious be that cliche? Naaa.

And with today's announcement about the changes in Australia's media ownership laws one can only wonder what sorts of local tales will be wagging in the days and years to come.

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