Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Way to set the bar low, humanity

Whoever picks out the music for the show Cougar Town has a really good ear.  That you must understand if anything that follows is to be understood.

For those not in the know, the TV show Cougar Town (Courtney Cox' post-Friends vehicle) follows what is rapidly becoming the standard pattern for American Half Hour Comedy.  Which is to say 27 minutes of wacky jokes culminating in some sort of 'touching' montage which ties together the themes of the week in some sentimental way accompanied by a melancholy-ish tune by some band just not-quite-known enough to be affordable.

Whoever it is on the Cougar Town crew that selects the songs to be used for these has a taste in music amazingly close to my own, because I pretty much like all of their choices.  Which brings me circling around to my point.

One of the songs they've used on the show is 'Give a Little Love' by Noah and the Whale.

First off, yes - the reference should be Jonah, not Noah.  But Noah, being ark-bound, probably saw a whale or two as well so we'll let that slide.

Having looked up what the song was I tracked it down on line so that I could hear the entire thing (the show tends to just use a minute or so of them.)  I found the following video here.

If you have not just watched the video, let me fill you in on the salient point- The basic setup is one of those 'pay it forward' things, where one person does something nice for someone else, another person witnesses this act of unexpected human decency and they then are shown doing something above and beyond for some other stranger.  This is seen by someone else who is inspired... and so on and so forth.  Rinse, Lather and smugly repeat.

This is all well and good, and I am not at all opposed to occasionally having it pointed out to the world that it might actually be pleasant if we stopped being completely shitty to each other all the time, just for a change.

The problem sets in at approximately the three minute 2 second mark.

Having witnessed a litany of incidents along the line of helping a kid up after bullies push him down, assisting an elderly man to get his luggage off an airport luggage carousel, and walking next door to help the neighbor rake their yard - all things that genuinely qualify as having gone a bit above and beyond for someone else - we see a woman who - after witnessing the aforementioned luggage incident - shows what an awesome person she is by stopping a guy from walking directly in front of an oncoming truck that passes by less than 2 seconds later and would certainly have killed him.

Let's take a moment here.

Stopping someone from stepping directly in front of an oncoming truck IS NOT GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND.  This is entry level decent human behavior, people, not a merit badge opportunity.

It is not- and I can not stress this enough NOT - OK to let somebody get creamed by an oncoming pickup just because you're having a crappy day.

Letting somebody walk under a bus does not make you someone who just 'failed to go above and beyond',  it makes you a freakin' inhuman monster.  In the same way that it is not OK to apply for the Nobel Peace Prize on the grounds that you did not get around to committing any genocide this year.

Still a good song though.

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