That's news to me...

It's Saturday afternoon. The evening meal has ended. The family has been fed. The plates have been once again sullied. Daddy dons his apron in jubilant anticipation of the peaceful high and meditative state achieved when one washes dishes while the children play in the background and Mumsy putters around wiping and refrigerating leftovers. As is daddy's wont, the evening news will be the crowning touch, a gentle white noise to complete his nirvana. He knows how important the evening news is because it is drilled into him all week long by the newscasters themselves. He just has to watch at 5 o'clock to see what some underhanded politician has been caught doing in Washington with a homeless poodle who had a small basket of contraband drugs lashed to it tail as it ran though a burning shopping mall that was slated for razing because a nondescript centrist religious group failed in it's politically correct lawsuit for 72 million dollars against an HMO that had given its CEO enough money to last his progeny a gazillion years while people in the streets of Baltimore were dying of curable diseases. Dad is also admonished to stay tuned at 11 that same evening to hear the shakeout of some final BIG story about a women in Mishawa County who had been trimming her hedges with a runcible spoon when her kneecap became entangled in a garden hose...and the weather update has to be gotten before tucking in for the night. And don't forget to tune in tomorrow morning to get your day going. No doubt about it, the evening news is critical. How could we live without it. But wait...It's Saturday! Daddy flicks the dial. Golf, Lawrence Welk rerun, Star Trek in one form or another, the TV Guide Channel, Home Shopping Network, a sleazy dating show that accentuates the importance of tawdry sexual innuendo and alcohol in young peoples' lives, another program where only French is spoken, CSPAN, Golf again, the hometown channel that is showing for the 3rd time today a rerun of the Gala Summer Watermelon Footrace, somehow originally taped withot sound and the movie where Raquel Welch is being miraculously injected into a man's artery in a submarine that has somehow been made to fit into a hypodermic needle. What happened to the news that was so critical and necessary to our needs during the week? Where did it go? News does not rest! More dial flicking, click click click...the dirty dish pile is starting to look threatening instead of peaceful, serenity is going down the drain, anxiety is building exponentially. Where's the news that was supposed to be so important, so necessary? Where are the perpetrators and neer'do'wells? The holes in the ozone? The gruesome war footage? How is Daddy going to make it though the rest of the evening without knowing who or when somebody did what, where and why? Arggghhhhhhhhhh. The night's been ruined. Daddy sulks and starts to snarl at the cherubs and Mommy. He's been sold a bill of goods. He's been suckered again. Instead of trusting his own instincts, he's trusted the people on the television whose work was so important that they could afford to take the weekend off and leave him clueless as to what was happening right outside his own window. Deprived of his Big Picture, Daddy takes a hockey stick and and some pinking shears, starts this weird guttural thing going in his throat and heads off to his brand new car (just like the one he saw in the commercial) looking like Jack Nicholson did in that chilling shot in "The Shining." He drives off into the night. So much for the weekend evening news...just another of life's unsolvable mysteries.

Here is a great gift for our future generations...I've read where our water is slowly becoming undrinkable. Poisoned. Polluted. Tainted. This is not a positive thing, because where we , as humans, are made up mostly of water and have to keep it constantly replenished to continue living. Once it's done, it's done. I don't know if we could take all the filters from all the discarded cigarette butts and make some gigantic water purifying filter that might save us at the eleventh hour, but I have my doubts. Maybe we could concoct a chemical that added to water would cause spontaneous purification, not that we don't have enough chemicals in the water already. I just read this week where fluoride, which we've been adding to out water far years and years, is out! C'est la vie. I see where the industrial giants who have the rights to The Sopranos have warned bar keeps and restaurant owners that "Soprano Nights" are taboo and against the law and that their patrons should go home and pay for their own HBO to help keep HBO's already burgeoning coffers overflowing. Are not the cable companies who sold the HBO signals to the bar and restaurants in the first place are, in effect, agents of HBO themselves and, therefore, responsible for knowingly allowing the broadcast to take place where ever it sells an account. Did these cable companies purposefully sell these entrepreneurs a big lie knowing that the customers would not be allowed to use said product when there were patrons present? Maybe this is where Daddy is talk to these legal HBO folks in his brand new overpriced car that he bought because of the mesmerizing effect of the commercial on TV while he was he was watching the weekday 5 o'clock news that is not broadcast on weekends. Have a nice day.

J. Jules Vitali is a sculptor and a columnist. Vitali is the artist who developed the artform, Styrogami. His art form was recently featured in an article in the Boston Globe. He is a resident of Freeport, Maine. Contact him at or visit his website