17 February 2008

On Motion Sickness

(Or: QUIT IT - That Funky-Motion Camera Thing is NOT COOL )

First, let me say this: I get motion sickness really easily. Really easily.

I cannot sit in the back seat of a car without keeping a constant watch out the front window. I cannot sit in the back of a bus. I can't even sit sideways on a bus (Some of the shuttle buses at Fabulous Private University are set up like this. When I see them coming, I walk instead).

And if you didn't think any of the above qualifies me as motion sickness impaired: there are certain TV shows that I cannot watch because they do this funky thing with the camera where they jerk it all over the place. The camera people, apparently, think they're really clever. It makes me puke.

Now The Husband - who does NOT get motion sickness (like, ever, as far as I can tell) - thinks this makes me certifiably insane. (He also thinks this means his mother, my mother and his sisters are certifiably insane. Right. Clearly. It's just us. All of us. But I'm not griping about him. Today.)

"That just isn't possible," he says. "It's all in your head."

Of course, it's all in my frikkin' head! It's called the inner ear, buddy!

And when the inner ear gets confused and can't figure out which way is up, it makes the inner stomach feel quesy. It does this so that the owner of said stomach will sit down and STOP MOVING until the inner ear can get its bearings and establish which way IS up.

However. When you're sitting still on your couch and watching TV - and you're already Not Moving - what the fuck are you supposed to do?

Your choices are pretty much limited to going into another room or turning the Idiot Box off. Either way you are no longer watching the program that thought it was so goddamn clever by jerking the fucking camera all over the place, spinning the image and otherwise doing its best to pass itself off as the Vomit Comet.

Not only that, but the program has just lost a viewer and, perhaps more important, probably managed to PISS OFF a (now former) viewer.

That is the situation with me, my Idiot Box and the Shiny, New Kitchen Gadgetry program I wanted to watch this afternoon while Ms. Baby took her nap on my chest. She's been sick, so this was going to be a welcome break that might, possibly, have lead to a much-needed nap for me, too.

Instead, after 10 minutes of watching rapid-fire images of a clown kitchen and trying NOT to watch a spinning image of a really cool island sink, I found myself growing increasingly nauseated. I actually reached the point where I had to get up - ever so carefully, so as to not wake the oblivious Ms. Baby - and lay her down in her crib and run to the bathroom.

I got lucky. Ms. Baby remained asleep, despite her hasty change of location, and I didn't actually puke, but GRRRRRRAHHHHH!

There are very, very few things worth watching on the Idiot Box, and my general rule is to discourage others from turning it on and to ignore it when it is. But Shiny, New Kitchen Gadgetry programs are one the exceptions I make. I don't make plans to watch them, but if I happen across them, I really enjoy them -- EXCEPT WHEN THEY MAKE ME WANT TO PUKE.

So my question for the makers of the Shiny, New Kitchen Gadgetry programs: WHY??!?? Seriously: the clever camera jerk-age does not make the Shiny, New Kitchen Gadgetry you're showing any shinier or newer, so what the fuck is the point??


Leslie said...

I hate cinema verite! I think NYPD Blue was the first time I ever realized what a stupid "artsy" thing it was. Ugh. And on a cooking show? That's just weird.

Bethanie said...

So the motion-sickness camera technique has a name, huh? And a French name, at that. Well, that figures, doesn't it? (Nothing against the French, really, but one has to wonder whether it was the French who actually named it that or whether some artsy-fartsy, I-am-TOO-cool-to-use-English director just went with French so he/she'd sound smart. OK, I'll stop now. I'm having flashbacks to Jr. High French class....)

I've only ever seen one thing where I thought the technique was used effectively. It was a movie, a fairly recent one, and the name escapes me at the moment, but rather than making me want to barf, I felt like I was actually IN the crashing car (it was some action-adventure film... damn! the memory-like-a-sieve fails me again).