Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Reality Shows

I would like to say something on the subject of Reality Shows, but am a little uncomfortable about doing so. You see, I've never actually watched one all the way through. (Sorry, but at my age, you don't have a lot of time to waste on crap, and these shows set off my BS detectors at maximum range.) Now you might think that having admitted at a limited first hand information on the subject, I would be be reticent to pass judgement. You would however be wrong. It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a dedicated viewer to glean the message that these shows are putting forward. So let me get right out in front of the subject by saying the following:
  1. There are too many reality shows on television! It shows that television has become a lot like the movies, and can't seem to come up with an original idea. It is actually a shame that either there is so little creativity left in Hollywood, or that corporate ownership has taken over so much that all we are left with is the spectacle and the gore as they incestuously feed on each other.
  2. It is scary to think that so many people have so little of a life themselves that they would find the lives of a former rock star, a former wrestler, a couple of washed up child actors, a tattoo artist or two, a bunch of arctic fishermen, or a few complete strangers living together in a pretty neat house or on an island (the list could go on and on) a substitute for that lack in their own life.
  3. The behavior exhibited on these shows might be used by religious fundamentalists as evidence that Evolution does not exist; or if it does, that God has nothing to do with it by choice. It's a shame that casting directors feel the need to seek out the "culls" of society for these shows. There can be no art in a form of media which exhibits the dregs, freaks, and mental and moral midgets of a society. These people should only get credit for performing the same task that the recruiter in a circus freak show does.
OK, I have that out of my system. The bottom line here is that these shows showcase the very worst about human beings as a species. Self-indulgence, self-absorption, and self-abuse vie with bad manners, bad behaviour, and bad genes in a cage match to the death of a polite society. What's makes it all worse is that the content of these shows not only exhibit and celebrate the worst depravities of the human soul (OK, sub-human), they in fact reward the worst of these characters and laud them.

Adding to the ludicrous nature of the whole thing is the feeding frenzy of the rest of the media. Instead of decrying the behavior depicted as examples of anti-social lunacy, like dung beetles many of them crawl over these bits of natural fertilizer in a feeding frenzy. Touting these performances as if they were bits of Shakespearean theatre, they gasp in breathless anticipation of the next episode's shenanigans.

You know, the Roman Empire truly began to die when the morals of its society decayed beyond healing. What followed was the growing spectacle of the arena and the slippery slide down the slope of societal degradation where brutality and victory were all that mattered. Well as the old Emerson, Lake, and Palmer song says: "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. We're so glad you can attend, come inside, come inside."
Enjoy the show my friends, because the hordes of barbarians not actually participating in these shows are standing right outside the gate, waiting to move in.

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