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November 30, 2004

Not So Stealth Blue State Bashing

It may be too late to watch this, but Fox's obnoxiously crass show Trading Spouses has been indulging in rampant Blue State bashing for some time.

The premise of the show is that two moms switch families. The recent switch is a Cajun Louisianan mom for a San Diego vegan ultra-liberal PETA type.

The latter woman is a complete jackass, forever lecturing, forever hectoring, always asserting her moral and intellectual superiority. The Cajun woman, on the other hand, seems uneducated, but is pretty sharp and wise. The contrast between them-- the PETA type always giving lectures; the Cajun woman taking a more "let us learn from another" take, couldn't be starker.

The Cajun woman was being harrangued by her new liberal family about the fact that, when she finds rattlesnakes near her home, she kills them. The liberal husband said that they employ a catch and release program with rattlesnakes. "So why would you kill one of God's creatures?" the husband wanted to know.

"Because it could kill my child," the Cajun woman said. Which, you know, seemed like a pretty good point to me.

No dummy she, she then asked what these committed PETA types do when they find deadly black widow spiders near the home. After a moment's pause, they confessed they killed them. "Why?" the Cajun woman wanted to know.

The liberal dad said, lamely, "Because they're dangerous."

The Cajun woman let that hang out there, hoping that the irony of it would sink in, but it didn't seem to.

Fox's editing job is particularly mean to the PETA mom, but honestly, she supplies them with so much damn material. It was pretty rich to watch her lecture the extended Cajun family about how meat causes cancer, followed up with a quick cut to her sucking down a cigarette.

I think that particular swap is almost over. Still, if you notice repeats of it coming up, it may be worth a chuckle.

Coupla More Funny Anectodes: The Cajun kid is great. He's precocious and a bit of a wise-ass, but not in that annoying, snide way that some people are wise-asses-- more in the charming, funny way.

Anyway, as the two moms are discussing the meeting they're going to have to mark the end of the swap, the Cajun mom says something bland, like that she just wants to share experiences with the PETA mom.

The PETA mom, on the other hand, has a more focused agenda. "I have to tell her all the mistakes she's making in her parenting," she announces.

Meanwhile, the Cajun kid seems like one of the best-raised kids in the world.

There's another bit where the PETA mom is at a Cajun dive restaurant with the Cajun dad and the kid. The dad and kid and chowing down on fried alligator, which, I gotta tell you, looked tasty.

The PETA mom won't shut up about her veganism, but at one point attempts to sound reasonable. "If I and my family were starving," she offers, "I mean, I would eat a dog if I had to." She meant this to be conciliatory-- for once.

But the Cajun dad said, "I don't know if I'd go that far."

"Why?" the PETA mom wanted to know. "If you were starving...."

The kid had an answer: "Because it's a dog. You don't eat Man's Best Friend."

It was a funny moment. She had been declaring her moral superiority as regards her treatment of animals for weeks, but now these two Cajuns were trumping her, at least as far as dogs go. You may have a rigid code about eating cows, they were saying, but you're not all that. You'd eat a dog. We'd starve first before eating Man's Best Friend.

She seemed a little discombobulated by that, and maybe upset that they'd one-upped her as far as care of animals, at least in regards to one special animal. Kind of a funny moment.

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posted by Ace at 01:20 PM

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