Zeitgeist and other signs of the times

So it occurred to me that the last time we discussed zeitgeist was in the context of Republicans ignoring “Girls” at their peril due to its zeitgeisty reflection of our times.  I’d pretty much forgotten about it (the zeitgeist and Girls…) until I saw today that the season premier of Duck Dynasty drew a cable record 11.8 million viewers.

Just for grins I searched for “Girls ratings” and right up top was this story from the LA Times:

There are two ways to look at the ratings for the season finale of HBO’s “Girls.”

The old way would be to see that 632,000 people tuned in on Sunday night at 9 p.m. to watch “Girls,” which is a decline of almost 40% from last season.

But that won’t really tell you how many people ultimately saw the show.

For a more accurate reading, one has to include the two other times HBO ran “Girls” on Sunday night. Do that, and the number grows to 1.1 million.

But even that won’t give you a real sense of the audience for “Girls” because numbers from HBO On Demand and HBO Go are not factored in. Nor are numbers from people (like me) who recorded “Girls” on their digital video recorder and then watched the show later.

Throw all those numbers in and the episode ends up averaging about 4.6 million viewers, which is on par with its first season.

Another way to look at is that almost twenty times more people took time out of their day to drop their asses on the sofa and endured numerous commercial breaks to watch the season premier of Duck Dynasty.  Which says nothing about zeitgeist.  Reality television is the zeitgeist of the Obama years if you ask me.  We’ve got the ultimate reality show president aimlessly trying to remain likable while ham-handedly attempting to accomplish tasks he is ill-equipped to competently perform.

Frankly, imagining it’s just some Truman Show like illusion is all that keeps me going.

In other zeitgeist news, two celebrities were allegedly treated rather shabbily by employees of public businesses much to their chagrin.  Obnoxious harpy Oprah Winfrey recounted her recent brush with racism while publicizing her new movie about racism.  It seems a store clerk working for a ritzy boutique in Switzerland steered Oprah away from a handbag she asked to see by telling her she couldn’t afford it.  Imagine!  Telling one of the richest and most powerful women in American media she can’t afford a handbag solely because she’s black.  That kind of behavior is unacceptable in America today.

I assume Switzerland is an upscale suburb of Beverly Hills.  Because the relevance of a perceived racial slight that occurred in Europe to race relations in America would be retarded, at best.  Since Oprah is obviously a pretty sharp cookie I’m going to say it’s grotesque and malignant.

Then one of the aforementioned Duck Dynasty stars, also while publicizing his show, was escorted out of a New York hotel by one of the employees who believed he was one of the homeless.  A clear cut case of class discrimination.

“The first thing that happened to me at the hotel was I got escorted out,” Robertson said, joking that it was a “facial-profiling deal.”

Robertson said that the hotel employee simply didn’t know who he was.

“I asked where the bathroom was and he said, ‘Right this way, sir.’ He was very nice,” Robertson explained. “He walked me outside, pointed down the road and said, ‘Good luck.’”

Robertson continued, “So I circled back around and my wife said, ‘What happened?’ and I just said I just got kicked out.”

Robertson took it in stride and didn’t blame the employee for the incident. Robertson continued to stay at the hotel despite the incident.

At least he was spared the indignity of being recognized and discouraged from looking at a $38,000 purse because he’s black.  Or worse, what if the Swiss clerk didn’t recognize the most powerful and wealthy black female media mogul in the United States – if not the entire world?  Those duck fellas do look like homeless folks but there’s only one Oprah.

I’m not sure which scenario would be more shocking.  Either way, I’m very disappointed in America.

Anyone up for a diversity reality show where we follow around a gender-balanced group of aggrieved EEOC/OFCCP protected class people while they point out and kvetch about all the perceived slights they receive each day?  I believe it will perfectly capture the zeitgeist.

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