Why is “Friends” TRULY the Most Villainous Sitcom in Human History?

 

Just read this article about Seinfeld, if you’ve ever watched the show it’s worth a read.

I think it makes an important point, but one that should especially be taken into account regarding the show that owes it everything — Friends.

The difference between Seinfeld and Friends? If this article is to be taken as correct, the villainy and frankly anti-Christian behaviour in Seinfeld is to be read as satire. But by the time we get to Friends, all the characters have these same heathen attributes — they are all mean, all selfish, all promiscuous, all rich, all prejudiced — but it isn’t satire, we are made to empathise with them.

I remember my Dad saying that he thought the thing people like about Friends was that it had serious bits in it, but I think that’s the thing we should dislike about Friends. By inserting drama it becomes a show which can no longer be read as satire, I can’t watch Friends and think ‘is this what we’ve become?’ — which in theory I can with Seinfeld — I watch Friends and I think, ‘this is what we’re like and I love it’, which is awful and potentially dangerous.

I think my school-friend Zach summed it up well when one day he said, ‘I wouldn’t want to be friends with any character from Friends‘. He’s right. Rachel is a stuck-up, vein, mean-girl; Phoebe can often be homicidal; Ross is psychopathic; as is Monica; Chandler is emotionless and sarcastic to the point of death; and Joey is a greedy womaniser. All these are interesting characteristics in our society worth satirising, but the issue in Friends is that they are celebrated and encouraged.

 

All You’ve Ever Learned From Love (Songs)

Some say love is a burning thing,
That it makes a fiery ring,
Oh but I know love as a caging being,
Just a killer, come to call from some awful dream.
Phosphorescent – ‘Song for Zula’

Some say love is just a four-letter word,
Of nothing do they need to be assured,
Oh but you say love is pain to be endured,
A disease from which you’ll never be cured.

Some say love is a losing game,
One that’s lost in the final frame,
Oh but you say love made you feel such shame,
It was something you never ever overcame.

Some say love, love is a verb,
Love is a doing word,
Oh but you say love is a noun (like turd,
Or curd or nerd); love is a flightless bird.

Some say love is all you need,
The bah barararah and all that proceeds,
Oh but you say love makes your hairline recede,
And that it will make your ears and eyeballs bleed.

Some say love is all around,
Your fingers and your toes it will astound,
Oh but you say love was the reason you frowned,
And made you feel like you were being drowned.

I think you should throw out your radio,
And stop reading Smash Hits.

The Little Book of Calm

My poor wife is not feeling very well which is a very difficult thing in marriage because when someone is ill you can’t do that much to stop it, obviously I’ve made peppermint tea and got a bowl from the kitchen and tolerated a Jurassic Park video being on, those sorts of saintly acts, and I can pray for her to get better soon too, but it is a sad sight.

We’re going to London over the weekend to celebrate my sistah-in-law’s birfday. She doesn’t arrive until six on Saturday so I think in the daytime I’m going to go and see the performance artist that has been nominated for the Turner Prize, something to do with Spartacus and an Oracle. I think I’ll write about it for my course. Should be exciting.

Black Books is on now, s’funny. Our chameleon is busy hissing at her own reflection, s’even funnier.

Hola!

Alright?

I’m still infected thus am forced to sit here on my own in confinement. I just watched The Producers (1968) it was pretty jokes.

After much encouragement from my younger brother, I’m listening to the leaked Arctic Monkeys album, Humbug. I will buy it when it comes out, I pwomise. It’s very psychedelic and about as far from Mardy Bum as you can get. It’s currently under the genre Psychedelic Rock on my iTunes, that may change in time. I love the band though, they’re one of my favourites. I always assumed they were hugely popular in every circle, however I was talking to a Christian guy a couple of weeks back and he was surprised when I confessed my love for them. He claimed that Christians generally didn’t like Alex and The Arctics. There isn’t anything particularly offensive about them, they have the odd dirty word here and there, but it’s usually to dramatic effect. Most Christians play it safe with their music taste. Here’s my list of the top 5 non-Christian Christian bands/artists:

5. U2.

4. David Gray.

3. Muse.

2. Regina Spektor.

1. Coldplay.


Sibyl is my flu-friend and has opted to venture out and get me some tamiflu. According to her I might die if I don’t take it.

____________________

In the moonlight they’re more thrilling
Those things that he knows
As he leads you through the grinning
Bubble blowers in the snow
Watching his exit
Is like falling off the ferry in the night.

“I didn’t ask for your life story.” #3

It’s become a slight cliché by now, most comedians will say it. ‘I decided to be funny as a defense mechanism’ [see George Eman Vaillant‘s (1977) categorization, defences form a continuum related to their psychoanalytical developmental level. Level IV – mature defences (i.e. humour, sublimation, suppression, altruism, anticipation)]. I do think it’s true, it was my way of surviving when I was made fun of. I didn’t necessarily make a conscious effort to do anything of the sort, but over time confidence grew. I was given the chance to stand up to a few people and in turn some of those people realised that I wasn’t really that square. (It also helped that I ditched my lame Reebok bag for a trendy nike string bag).


My decisions to be funny were not always made by myself. Take one normal Thursday afternoon for example. We had a supply teacher. Now for those of you who do not understand the concept of a supply teacher, allow me to explain. When your normal teacher is ill or unable to attend a lesson, the school sends in a substitute who’s job is to not cry as long as possible in an atmosphere of children who’s sole purpose is to make your life as difficult as possible. They will throw things at you, shout at you, tell you fake names, create reproductions of the second world war (using both sides of the classroom and various pieces of stationery as bombs) have a picnic, run around, and generally have the time of their lives. Which is not what school is for!

Artists impression of a chaotic classroom.

Artist's impression of a chaotic classroom.

On this particular occasion, some of the ringleaders of our class decided it would be funny if they forced me to pretend to be deaf. One boy even promised to give me £1 if I went ahead with it. That was the clincher for me, all I needed to do now was convince this supply that I had no use of my ears.

For some reason the fact that I was deaf, in my mind automatically meant that I should also act in a mentally handicapped way. I begun by rocking back and forth on my chair, I put my head at a 45 degree angle and begin to rapidly hit the desk, hard, over and over again. Then came the touch that made the routine so infamous – the loud wail. I wish that this could be put across in a better way, but there is no way I can reproduce that ear piercing noise. You see I was at that classic stage in puberty when the voice was midway between being the voice of a young boy, to the low voice of a man. Thus all I needed to do was put my vocal chords in a position where it was in-between those two voices, thus it would interchangeably sway between the two; creating a rather haunting, unignorable yell. It diverted any attention from potential work. I was the centre of attention; the whole class had some entertainment, and the teacher had a crisis on her hands. There was a child who was unable to control his vocal chords and she couldn’t tell him to shut up because not only was he deaf but by the looks of it he was mentally ill.

I became an overnight legend. Which for a good while was fantastic. I was respected by my class and for at least a week was very popular.

My problems came when a few days later we had another supply teacher. This time the teacher was not from the agency, he was the head of the maths department. Once again, because he didn’t know our class, I was egged on to do the deaf thing again. It slowly dawned on me that if we ever had a supply teacher, I would never have the chance to do any work and that I had no choice as to whether I should do the deaf act. This was my job, for the rest of my secondary educational life. My performance this time could have gone horribly wrong, but this time it was even better.

Someone had brought in a mini voice recorder. Cleverly, before they gave me it they recorded a few useful messages on it, that I was to play to the teacher. The main one which I played over and over again was ‘I need my care-worker!’. This teacher oozed condescension, he got down to my level and put his thumbs up, winked and said ‘okay’, then smiled. This was an amazing experience; I got to feel what it was like to be treated like an absolute idiot even though I simply had a (supposedly) mental difficulty. It was also great that the maths teacher had made a fool of himself in such a way.

So things went on like this, I was a legend and every single supply teacher we got, the act came out. It was taken the wrong way many times. Once we had a particularly feisty German teacher, who assumed I was making fun of her. She lined the whole class up at the front of the class and at one point shouted in my face for at least five minutes (only to end her rant by telling me I had beautiful eyes.)


However as Nelly Furtado so poigniantly put it, All Good Things (Come to an End). One teacher ended up asking our head of year (H.O.Y.) about the deaf child in the class she had taught. One day I was sitting in class and in walks the H.O.Y. himself. He stands at the front of the class, with a particularly furious look on his face.

WHOEVER’S DOING THE DEAF ACT, NEEDS TO STOP. NOW. IT’S WASTING MY TIME, IT’S WASTING YOUR LEARNING TIME AND IT’S WASTING THE SCHOOL’S RESOURCES. END IT. OR I WILL BE SPEAKING TO PARENTS.

From that day on I did not dare do such a thing again. It was suggested to me a couple of times that I should bring him back from the dead; I decided against it.

But I had made a discovery, sometimes I could be funny & sometimes I could be accepted! Being like that was a lot more fun than getting picked on. So for the next two years I sought laughter and popularity. I wonder where that took me?