Type of bloggers: Camouflagers
I’d like to begin by examining the types of soap bloggers. They are:
- Agenda pushers
- Carrie Nations
- Spitting cobras
In this post we’ll examine the camouflagers.
Camouflagers claim to be legitimate soap “press”. Following an alarming trend among the “fourth estate” they use their platform to push their agendas. They claim that their editorializing er reporting mirror the concern of their readers. Their favorite target is “all the violence” on GH which they blame solely on the mob story line while violent acts of other story lines and characters are ignored. Take for instance the character of Helena Cassadine. This woman gleefully wreaks havoc on the soap by kidnapping, slitting throats, murdering or attempting to murder characters (like locking them in crypts) to preserve her power and best interests. Her “best interest” is controlling her nephew Nicholas Cassadine the “heir apparent” and head of the Cassadine Empire. If Helena controls the Cassadine heir she controls the Cassadine money and power. This woman actually has a taste for murder and relishes using it. But she is campy and a snazzy dresser and she’s over 40 so they FLOVE her. Contradict much Soap Press? One minute you decry the glorification of a “cold-blooded killer” in the mob and the next you squeal yourself silly over another “cold blooded killer”.
The soap “press” also recycle old complaints as new as they bemoan the fact that little action on GH takes place in a hospital. One has to wonder how long they’ve been watching GH because that same argument was used in the 70s and 80s as original cast members (mostly doctors and nurses) were shunted aside so they could add action adventure heroes who rarely stepped into the hospital.
Particularly irksome is the claim that their “commentary and satire” mirror the concerns of their viewers. There is one news outlet that hosts a favorite actor and actress poll in every issue of their magazine The number one and two spot in almost EVERY issue are two actors who play mobsters. They not only DO NOT mirror the concerns of viewers, they IGNORE the people who READ their magazine. Also, their poll and comments are culled almost exclusively from online viewers. So they totally gloss over the people who BUY THEIR MAGAZINE AND ACTUALLY READ IT by not giving them a means with which to communicate their concerns or opinions. This seems to me to be counter productive to the well-being of the print medium. They really should cease to use the term “speaks for viewers” since they obviously don’t and they ignore half of their readership who are viewers.
It also seems counter productive to me to continually criticize a storyline or characters about which they showcase regularly to sell their magazine. Steve Burton and Maurice Benard have been used to sell a lot of magazines why not respect them a little bit more? Can’ they complement actors on a job well done? It’s much harder to play a grey character and make them likable than a hero who is easy to like. This takes acting chops. Acknowledge that somebody!
Sadly, tactics like these are evidence that many of the people writing for the magazine lack vision. This isn’t the 80s. Soaps in the Reagan Era offered up swashbuckling “top gun” adventure heroes who were easy to like. Thirty odd years later I know I want a different type of character than the bland Mighty Mouse heroes who lack depth. I like the new, gritty, characters who are written in shades of grey. They aren’t all good or all bad but they are real and complex and interesting. This type of character is provocative. They challenge parochial ideas of good and bad. They push envelopes and forge new territory for the soap medium. They are not always right and they may have committed some nefarious acts but they are honest about the fact that they are on the wrong side of the law and they do question their choices. They are not characters who are absolutely sure of their infallibility. I prefer this type of character to the robber barrons, corporate raiders, liars, cheaters, rapists and thieves who sometimes murder but pompously pass judgement on mobsters and spend little time on self reflection and have no doubts about the choices they have made.
Nagging GH for not offering up good role models is just plain silly. Its a SOAP OPERA not a morality play. And don’t preach to me like I’m ten. Just because I happen to like a soap character who’s a mobster doesn’t mean I’m going to run out and join the mob or rob banks or urge my nieces and nephews to flout the law or give them guns. I just find the mob story interesting and like the issues that the mob story stirs up. It challenges me and I like that!
My advice to the soap press is to quit worrying about the violence on GH and worry about the fate of the print media. I know the soap mags are experiencing financial difficulty and that subscriptions are dwindling more and more every year. Ticking off your readers by constantly harping on popular characters and storylines does little to help your magazine.
p.s. I flove Helena Cassadine