THE BLOG
03/29/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Perpetually Forgetful

A wise philosophical mind once proclaimed "you never forget your first time." Depending on the context, that sentimentality may be less than accurate. Certainly when applied to the myriad topics available on network television's morning talk shows, it seems readily apparent that not only are people forgetting their first time, they're forgetting several instances thereafter. How else could one explain the repeat topics that continue to pervade the morning talk shows?

Any given point within the calendar year seems to afford no shortage of material for such programming. But holidays allow for programs such as The Today Show, CBS Early Show and Good Morning America to operate at their most fertile in providing what they seem to believe are highly enlightening and informative segments.

There was a time when I considered morning talk programming to be the quintessential "appointment television" with story lines that were truly enthralling and ground breaking. Unfortunately, however, I eventually began attending kindergarten for a full day and, thus, was no longer able to tune-in each morning (with my dear babysitter) to Good Morning America. To put it mildly, my relationship with GMA has not been the same since.

Today, I often regard these stories as regurgitated mundanities, rife with vacuous platitudes and only able to be adequately appreciated by amnesiacs, the attention-deficit disorderly lot and stoners who can mistakenly watch The Today Show when they think they're watching Sesame Street (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Turkey Lurkey Leftovers on Thanksgiving:

If this past November afforded you your first Thanksgiving in the US (or on the planet), and you found yourself at an absolute loss over what to do with the turkey leftovers, you need not look further than any given morning show. Thankfully, they were able to inform millions on a number of staggering leftover possibilities such as: turkey sandwiches, turkey jerky, turkey pot pie, tetrazzini turkey, turkey casserole, and then it became clear that an eventual commercial break was the only hope of ever concluding the leftovers litany.

Considering that, since the advent of television, turkey leftovers has been the essential topic on talk programs the day after Thanksgiving, it begs the question whether their target audience is those who have never before experienced Thanksgiving, or the perpetually forgetful (of which all the aforementioned groups in paragraph 4 qualify). Considering the other topics available at any given time of the year, one might find the latter choice more plausible. Let the illumination begin...

It's a Sale, Stupid:

Worried about overspending on birthday/holiday gifts? Good Morning America has a whole team of experts to help you purchase wisely. They stress the importance of grasping the notion that an item simply being "on sale" does not necessitate an actual purchase. The primary reason for this stems from the fact that the basic principles of math are at work here, and the money you have just "saved" is not somehow magically handed to you or deposited into your bank account. In fact, the money you used to pay for said sale item is actually removed from your accounts (be it cash or credit). I agree; it's completely misleading and slightly illogical.

Exercise foresight with your gift purchases. If you're buying a DVD, the recipient requires a dwelling with electricity, a DVD player, and a television/computer. An elephant gun is never a prudent use of your funds. And if the 'giftee' doesn't already own a dog, watching a 'Snuggie' commercial at 4 am is not a valid explanation for suddenly buying them one (the dog, or the doggie Snuggie).

Family Ties:

Want to survive the next holiday get-together with the family? Better call a psychologist. Thankfully, the CBS Early Show has one on retainer.

They suggest you steer clear of "hot-button" issues for discussion including: abortion, gays in the military, gay marriage, (they didn't come out and say it, but you can assume that anything having to do with "the gays" is going to cause a ruckus with the backward and close-minded members of the family), the whereabouts of Obama's birth certificate, Obama's Nobel Prize, etc. And don't ask your 35 year-old cousin why she hasn't dated anyone in over six years and if she's still "on the right team."

If an uncle has gained a significant amount of weight since you last saw him, do not dwell on this fact in conversations. Perhaps keep in mind that weight gain is a fairly natural occurrence within the human life cycle. Likewise, expect young children to have grown significantly over the years. It's not required fodder for the dinner table to dissect the intricacies of: "how big Timmy has grown." This is because it is in no way remarkable that ten-year-old Timmy has sprouted a few inches since you last saw him, during W's first term. Again, it's all part of the life cycle. However, if Timmy has not grown over several years, it is your duty to investigate potential explanations including: scurvy, nutritional deficiencies, tapeworms, undiagnosed dwarfism, etc.

Keep some sort of prescription painkiller or tranquilizer at the ready (not in the medicine cabinet that your guests will undoubtedly be rummaging through on their first bathroom break). Keep the booze to a minimum (hard liquor is often stronger than beer or wine) unless a blackout is a more tolerable alternative to conversing with any given member of the family.

Self Improvement:

Wondering how to stay healthy during flu season? The Today Show offers some rather revolutionary pearls of wisdom such as making efforts not to cough and sneeze all over your hands and then proceed to extend them to every individual in which you come into contact all the live-long day. Surprisingly, they've pinpointed some preemptive steps you can take to keep yourself from falling ill including: hand washing, hand sanitizing, showering regularly, washing food appropriately, and refraining from picking your nose, rubbing your eyes, etc. If this is all coming as a newsflash and you tend to include the practice of picking your nose within your regular routine, you stand to see a world of improvement in your daily life.

The Winter Holiday Office Party:

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but GMA's perpetual opinion is that you may want to consider minimizing consumption of adult beverages, and trying not to sleep with anyone who is currently married at your office holiday party. On second thought, the latter is no longer considered overtly taboo. You might even contemplate making it a contest amongst your co-workers and see who can wreck the most homes in a single evening.

You may, however, want to reconsider posting all of your pictures from the evening on Facebook. And remember that posting pictures of you ingesting alcohol can lead to strife by way of an intervention if either A) you have an alcohol problem, B) people think you have an alcohol problem.

Valentine's Day:

Wondering how much to spend on your Honey Bunny? The CBS Early Show contends that if the relationship is abusive and miserable, you ought to go with a more economical option. And whenever you're finished shopping you might decide to deal with the root of the problem within your miserable relationship. Additionally, if you've been dating for a week, you ought not max out the credit card just yet. Use the length and quality of the relationship as a barometer of sorts.

When carefully analyzed, it's quite astonishing that we're able to find the other sock in the morning without the guidance of The Today Show. Thankfully, there is no sign of morning programming diverting from the vein of common sense and useless trivia. If only there were something important to discuss such as: a number of conflicts involving American soldiers in harm's way, the continuing unemployment crisis, or the health care debate (which really ought to be properly explained, without bias, to the masses--specifically anyone sans health insurance who feels like a big winner after the election in Massachusetts), to name but a few. Perhaps we have to take the time to acknowledge issues in order to incite the cycle of forgetting, reminding, and forgetting yet again.