Tuesday, May 16, 2006

CBS Hearts Moms

I should know better than to watch anything on television that touts itself as a news program. This past weekend,it was CBS' "Sunday Morning" that curdled my non-dairy creamer. I'll assume Sunday's show was intended to be a Mothers' Day nod to American women. Charlie Osgood stepped aside in favor of veteran commentator Leslie Stahl. Happily, we were not regaled with 60's-esque segments on keeping your family happy, healthy, and well-fed, while remianing the petite size 4 that attracted the husband's lacivious eye at senior prom. Program directors are way too savvy for that, regardless of the political preferences evidenced by media ownership these days.

So what did the network deem of supreme interest to today's American woman? In one segment, a reporter displayed two different diamond engagement rings to interviewees and asked them to make certain judgments--about the man who gave the ring, the woman who accepted it, their relationship, and their social status --based on the relative sizes of the diamonds sported by each ring. Big rock--"He's got a good job." "He really loves her." "She's confident, knows what she wants." Little rock (less than 3 carats)--"Well, it's a nice promise ring" "He's trying, but not very hard." "She's a nice girl, not materialistic." Who knew that we were all wearing little crystal balls on our third finger, left hand? Oh..and the median cost of a diamond engagement ring in today's market is $4900 and change. Let's see...that would buy two dozen copies of my 1970's vintage bling.

And then there was the report on handbags, where we learned that a purse is not merely a purse, it's a status symbol. That the guts of your life--the fruit roll-ups, pampers, current novel, and the bic from the teller's counter at the bank--need to be enfolded in an artfully arranged assortment of fabric, leather, buckles, zippers, and handcuffs, preferably displaying a conspicuously evident designer logo, that cost roughly as much as my first new car. And that there are $12,000 handbags which women will endure the ignominy of being placed on a waiting list in order to possess.

I don't know...maybe we are not up for images ofwomen grieving at the gravesides of their young sons or daughters who returned from Iraq in flag-draped pine boxes, or mothers in Darfur lovingly cradling lethargic, emaciated, dying babies, at nine o'clock on a Sunday morning. But surely there is more to American women than this program--this disgusting celebration of shallow materialism and rampant consumerism--contrived to suggest.

I hope you had a happy Mothers' Day, America. And please, contact CBS News and let them know how much you appreciated their "gift."


  1. Wow...I missed this gem of a program.  I love other people telling us who we are and what we want as women.  Oprah (who gets on my nerves a lot but I will watch her certain days) had Lance Armstrong's ex-wife on and she spoke eloquently about the LIE of marriage...that many women are blinded by the ring on their finger and look no deeper than its dazzling shine, size, color, cut to the reality of married life....which is hard and sometimes utterly disappointing.  A lot of women look to the ring as representative of their worth...never you mind that after she's hitched she's as miserable as the day is long because she thought the size of the ring was a promise that life would be dazzling and perfect and endlessly fun.  Material possessions are just that....at least as far as I am concerned.

  2. Sigh.  I don't see Sunday Morning much anymore but I always used to like it.  

    It's kind of funny.  I have a diamond ring, but it was my ggm's.  I never would have wanted my dh to spend money on an engagement ring.  And I was under the impression that purses are things that you try hard not to lose when you have no choice but to carry one (ie no pockets).

    Off on some other planet, as usual. . .    .


  3.     You know, Lisa.... If I had seen this program, I think I would have had steam coming out of my ears.  Besides the fact that both of these topics are of no importance whatsoever, what on earth do they have to do with mothers in our society today ? OR, with the majority of women in this country, if they weren't trying to hone in purely on the Mom thing.  Weighing  the intent of a person by carats, instead of positive attributes ?   And waiting on a list for a damned purse ?  This is beyond depressing.  I'm with you.  I'm sure they could have come up with something more substantial than  this pathetic excuse for women's day drivel.  Tina   p.s ... It's nice to be back and reading your entries, I've missed it !

  4. You know if it were back in April, I'd think CBS had pulled a belated April
    Fools. Maybe they did anyway. Where do they find these people? Give
    tests in how shallow you have to be before we'll let you on the air? Small
    wonder the country is going you know where in a tarnished silver-plated hand basket.

    Your description alone was enough to start me down the path of expletives
    deleted. This is one of the reasons I stick with the newspapers and the
    local cable news channel. We watch MASH reruns in the evening and somehow I
    feel more up on current events than if I watched the news.

    A twelve thousand dollar hand bag. What on earth is it made of?

  5. what ... no hard-hitting article on eye-liner?