I heard about the Investigative Discovery channel when ads began touting a new Jodi Arias series. I will never have enough Jodi Arias, and I’m not alone in this. Jodi brings it, every time. As you may know, I am Team Jodi, still firm in my belief that Travis had it coming to him.
Anyway, the Jodi rehash was nothing new, but it introduced a new past-time for me. Now I can watch violent murders, hour after hour, from the comfort of my couch, which is beginning to sag in the place where I park my ass. You can’t imagine how many crimes have been documented and reenacted for this channel. Every one different but somehow the same.
I think it’s the sameness that I find comforting. There is a certain order to the grisly murders, with elements that that repeat like the stanzas of a poem.
Every victim has the sunniest temperament! “She always had a smile on her face.” “She was nice to everyone.” “She was just a really good person.” It’s an amazing coincidence but a reassuring one: No one will ever murder me. I don’t fit the mold.
The bad acting is interspersed with recorded footage, often including interrogation scenes. There are narrating talking heads, who turn out to be the victim’s sister or mother or best friend. They are sad, but not too sad to appear on TV. They all have bad hair.
When the victim is male, the motives are more diverse, but the players are consummate douches, even if they are doctors or lawyers or the guy next door. The perps are either violent losers or psychotic Jezebels. There’s a lot of messy blood, and there are forensics, missing bodies, lies, confessions, trials and prison sentences. It all works out in the end.
Once in a while though, the crime is so heinous or weird that I have to google it, to see if they made it up. Reading about it is not at all pleasurable though, especially in the case of the guy who shot his father with a high powered bow and arrow.
I’ve cut down on watching the news and I’ve stopped looking at Twitter. Giving up Twitter is a huge relief, and you realize almost immediately how liberating it is. You don’t actually need to know who is mad in response to what microagression, and who is being cast as the day’s villain. The tides of rage can go on without you. If something important happens, you’ll find out eventually.
Real life will slip away if you let it. Some of it is just too painful or frustrating. I’d like to hang on to the good parts but the older you get, the easier it is to feel the good parts are behind you. Maybe it just takes more energy to move forward and for that I need more sleep.
In fact, I’ve reached the age when you and your friends start talking about pillows and mattresses with the same fervor you once had for live music. We still like to have fun and get high, but mostly what we’re looking for is a great pillow like the one that guy on TV invented, only not as lumpy.
A good pillow, a good murder case, maybe some chips and salsa, that’s all I’m asking for as I walk the line between choosing life or oblivion.