Another week, another Wednesday night. No, I’m not talking about the dollar beer club down at the Danish sandwich shop. Smørrebrød and beer are, indeed, substances from which one can cobble together a diet, but that’s an ode for another time. This Wednesday, I’ll devote my energies to My All-Time Number-One Favorite Family Spy Show Aired on ABC–yes, friends, I am talking about Alias.
As an academic (how I do love to begin sentences that way!), I find it behooves me to refer to my television addictions as educational–it’s a form of Cultural Studies*, homes, so don’t be dissing. It is in the spirit of embiggening** my understanding of US government and intelligence that I devote one hour a week to watching this extremely enlightening and well-constructed contemporary masterpiece. Here’s just a taste of what I have learnt so far:
1. The CIA is dangerously understaffed. So much so that their most elite black-ops divisions are made up solely of people who are either related, dating, or ran over each other’s cats.
2. Perhaps as a result of their being so understaffed, the CIA encourages its operatives to work at home–by bringing their CIA lap-top, which has full access to all CIA systems, home with them.
3. Middle-aged international vixens are not to be trusted. This goes double if they have ripped arms, dangerously-arched brows, or the best hair you have ever seen on any human. Or, you know, any combination thereof.
4. Do not become a world-class physicist, unless you want to be kidnapped by terrorist mad-men and made to construct apocalyptic weapons based on 15th Century designs. Apparently this happens about once a year.
5. It is not necessary to speak any foreign languages well (or, indeed, convincingly) to be an international spy. Clever use of cleavage will distract your conversant: basta! (And to think I have wasted all my time in rigorous study when I could have been buying more push-up bras! Oh, nevermind; I prefer the former, really.)
6. People who claim a CIA agent, former KGB agent, or family member of either is dead are probably lying to you. Also, anyone claiming to be a literature graduate student and to work part-time “at a bank” ? Yeah, also probably lying.
*My use of this term is in no way intended to condone its current ubiquity in the academe. No. Friggin. Way.
**It’s a perfectly cromulent word.