Random Acts of Ismael
Talk Show Deities
by Ismael Manzano
Believers and Nonbelievers, beware! The Talk Show Deities of the Television are growing stronger and more numerous by the moment. They threaten to overtake the land of TV, infect it with its pervasive, mind-numbing drivel, much like their counterparts, the Reality Show Deities have done with the latter half of the land of Television. I warn you now so that you will be prepared, for no matter how innocent or benign they may seem, if given the chance, these Deities will destroy all that is good and pure about our precious Television, leaving nothing but lowbrow, repetitious gibberish from which we will never escape.
In order to protect yourselves from these powerful beasts, you must first understand them and learn to distinguish between their various levels of influence.
I begin with the reigning Queen of Benevolence, Oprah. Members of her congregation has been known to be rewarded with gifts ranging from mundane to lavish, just for attending and applauding when told to. Now, at a glance, hers may seem a harmless vice—she showers you with gifts, encourages reading and shares aspects of herself with her followers—but be warned, all is not as it seems. Understand that by accepting her offering you are agreeing to become a member of her army to further her power. When called upon to perform the ritual of the boycott, you must do so or the Deity Oprah will become enraged. And you will soon learn that the literature she hands down like gold to her followers may be full of lies.
On her heels and pretender to the throne, the demigod Tyra, will similarly reward her worshipers with make-up tips and the chance to feel up her breasts. She has no real power yet, but with her brand of rewards, she will certainly gain followers quickly.
Another demigod to the high inquisitor, the Deity Barbara Walters, is the Hydra of the View. A beast so foul it pecks at its own worshipers with its unimportant gabble and has been known to cut off one of its own heads, just for the thrill of seeing another—aesthetically similar—head grow in its place. The Hydra is especially dangerous, because it's heads can separate and pursue its own agenda, always returning back to the whole to regain strength. That some have been known to mate with portions of the Hydra only proves how dangerous they truly are. If they breed—five at a time—how long will it be before they alone take over the land of Television?
Then there are the pseudo-deities of justice: Judy, Alex, Brown, and the rest of the lot. These mirror copies mock justice and common sense with their pseudo-wisdom and their pseudo-power and their pseudo-compassion, when all they really are, are pretenders to thrones, long abandoned by the only true Deity of Justice: the one called Wopner. They replace justice with sarcasm meant to pander to their followers rather than focus on the matter of guilt.
And finally, I bring to you, the head Deity, and reigning King of malevolent indifference, Jerry Springer (followed by his apprentice, Maury). He has suckered in a nation by forcing some members of his congregation to battle against one another to amuse the rest. He hypnotizes people with repetitive, catchy chants, bamboozling them into thinking that they are part of something grand. His sermons are all the same, and are all aimed at poking at the worst of people’s faults while feigning sympathy and understanding for his poor followers. With his enforcer, the gentle giant Steve, at his side, the Deity Springer is all but indestructible.
Avoid becoming one of its mindless followers at all costs. And if ever your spouse or mate or dog asks you to join them on the altar of the Springer Deity, do yourself a favor and slay them at once and avoid being crucified on the Coliseum Of Public Opinion, which is the life’s blood of the Deity Springer. From this it feeds; from this it grows strong and stays invincible.
I’ve done all I can; the rest is up to you. Heed my warnings or lose yourself among the ever-growing territory of the TV Deities.
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Random Acts of Ismael