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El Destino versus the Nielsens
2002-01-21 22:44:20


Mocking Parade
 
As Americans, we reserve the right to mispronounce, misspell, fuck, or kill anything that crosses our path. This is why the French can't stand us.
-- The Compulsive Splicer

 

"This is Deborah with the Nielsen TV ratings service," the cheery voice on the phone said. Viewers across America were about to be represented by a degenerate freak like me...

You're a paranoid geek, sitting home alone, and your phone rings. What the -- I should've asked her how she got my phone number; it's unlisted! But okay, Deborah -- assuming that is your REAL name... Bring it on. What is it the Nielsen ratings want to know today?

"Well, first of all, sir: what kind of TV shows do you watch." There was a pause. Er, I'd always assumed the questions would be more specific.

"Um...cartoons?" I said.

"And news. Sometimes I like to watch the news."

"And comedies. I like comedies. And dramas." Ooo, yeah. That oughta mess with their heads. I'm stickin' it to the Man!

Sadly, that was pretty much the only question Deborah had. (Besides whether or not I was the head of the household.) Oh, and there was one more question. "Please bear with me, sir. Are you of Spanish or Hispanic origin?

"That is, are any of your ancestors, parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and so on, from a Spanish-speaking country. Like Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, or Spain."

Am I really sure this isn't some white supremacist group? I mean, she didn't ask if I spoke Spanish -- but rather, if I my great-grandfather may or may not have been Spanish. How will this help NBC know whether or not to bring back Blossom? I asked her to repeat the question, and sure enough, the Nielsen people had apparently written it out for Deborah on a little card.

"Are you of Spanish or Hispanic origin? That is, are any of your ancestors, parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and so on, from a Spanish-speaking country. Like Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, or Spain."

That offended me for some reason. Some stranger calls out of the blue and starts asking questions about my gene pool. "We want to know better how to exploit Hispanics such as yourself by popularizing worthless consumer products," they're really saying. "The Nielsen organization thanks you for your time."

I feel dirty.

So here's a tip from El Destino, all you TV-viewing ladies and gentlemen aross this fine, proud and diverse nation of ours. From now until doomsday, whenever a pollster calls you up...

Lie.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

wary@pigdog.org


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