The residents of Wisteria Lane might not look like philosophers, but that’s what they are, says Mark Rowlands
When Susan Meyer realised her marriage was in trouble, philosophy was ultimately to blame. Paraphrasing Henry David Thoreau, her ex-husband told her that most men lead lives of quiet desperation. The premise upon which the hit television series Desperate Housewives is built is that so, too, do most women. Or, as Susan puts it: “Really, do most women lead lives of noisy fulfilment?”
Her ex-husband, like the rest of us, is a philosopher. Philosophy is all around us, in the culture we inhabit, in the television programmes we watch and the magazines we read. All of us are the authors, producers, directors, stars and guest stars in various philosophical questions, issues, disputes, conflations and confusions – even though, most of the time, we have no idea of this. If you live life, and ever think about it, you’re a philosopher.
(Maar tragies genoeg, so min mense “ever think about it” veral nie die wat so vasgenael sit voor die TV om hulle gunsteling breinlose sepies te kyk nie. Kyk maar hoe gaan hulle nou weer die heel goddelike dag voor die TV sit om na die breinlose Britte en hulle kammaland sprokie te sit en kyk.)
The residents of Wisteria Lane, the most desperate place in America and the setting for Channel 4’s hit drama series, might not look like philosophers, with their gym-toned bodies and designer underwear, but that’s exactly what they are.
(you could have fooled me son!! Maar nou het ek `n goeie verskoning om met daardie bom van `n blond by die gym te gesels. As vroulief boosaardig bewaar maak kan ek vir haar sê bedaar, ons filosofeer net my skat)
The picket fences and polished fingernails contrast sharply with the harsh realities of human existence. Lynette Scavo, the mother of three ADD children and a baby, is desperate for her husband to stop getting her pregnant. (nou verstaan ek my ma en haar psigoses/angsaanvalle van destyds ook sommer beter!) The emotionally repressed Bree Van De Kamp has a husband who wants to leave her, and she is desperate enough to try to kill him rather than letting him do so. Gabrielle Solis is desperate that her husband doesn’t find out about her affair with her teenage gardener – there can be no better image of desperation than a woman in a ballgown mowing the lawn. And divorcée Susan is desperate for a date with the new man on the street, Mike the plumber
“noisy fulfilment” klink meer na noisy desperation vir my. Nou weet ek hoekom ek nie sepies kyk nie; te veel noisy philosophy na my sin dankie.