Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Secret About Spending A Life In TV

Last night I went to see Frank Warren, creater of PostSecret, speak at a local bookstore. He was reverent, funny and passionate about the project. I felt a sense of warmth and community just sitting in the room. Sitting in a room of fans, at a concert, bookreading, speech, etc. is a one of a kind feeling. It's hard to duplicate that overwhelming sense of commonality.

I bought Warren's newest compilation, "A Lifetime of Secrets." I thumbed through the pages and searched through the artwork. I was reminded that if I ever turned in one of these postcards, I would be more self-conscious about my chubby-fingered artwork than the secret itself. A few pages in, I saw one that caught my eye. Not the piecemeal collage, or the faded type. The secret itself yelled into my face.

"TV lied to me about how life would be."

Cut out pictures of the cast of Saved By The Bell and Buffy the Vampire Slayer graced the card. Saved By The Bell (and a jillion other teen shows), lied to me too. I think it decieved a lot of small children. We wanted to befriend the principal, play 8 different sports, have a friend group we could constantly pluck romantic interests from, be the class clown. They neglected to talk about the awful parts of high school. Rejection, depression, loneliness. I was ill prepared for that part.

But who is to blame? The good people at SBTB, who just wanted to make money shilling neon green tank tops and giant cellular phones? Me, for believing it was all too real? My folks for setting my brother and I in front of the TV on Saturday mornings while they made breakfast? All of us? I've spent the last 24 hours wondering. Who am I and what have I become, what have I experienced as a result of a lifetime of televison misconceptions? All of this may be crazy, but it made me think.

Mission accomplished PostSecret.