Sunday, February 15, 2004

Rant; Reality TV & its "Reality"

Reading over an article about Fear Factor got me all pissed off about Reality TV; which I beleive is one of the most perverse voyeuristic human endeavors in the media today. As a fellow human, I feel that our rights should be preserved, and as a humanist (I believe that I am anyway) I try to avoid all contact from anything I feel is demeaning to us, as humans. This is why I don’t watch Reality Television for more then half a minute, I’m may be aware of each new reality show, but I just don’t watch them.
Not only has the format become so trite and hackneyed now that each show is only trying to top the last sickening one, but the worst part about them are their sinking human standards that drops with each new show. Shall we overview some of the new reality show’s Hollywood pumps out? Here is a sample of new reality television programming:
The Simple Life – Rich tycoon heiresses go one a farm to try to live on it, it’s the American way.
The Surreal Life – Stick a bunch of washed up B-level celebrities in a house together and watch them interact……… great huh?
Todd TV – remember that movie ED TV? No? Me either, this is that brilliant idea put to test. It’s great because not only do you get to watch a man live his sorry life, but you get to choose his sorry decisions.
Fear Factor – Yes, people love to watch other people eat pig testicles. It’s a big hit.
Are you Hot? – I had to throw this atrocity in; people judge you on how you look, can there be anything more conceited and/or superficial?

Do we see a common trend in programming here? Because I do; 1) Reality TV is a fad, and fads always suck just before they die off; especially at the tail end of it when people star realizing how dumb they’ve been 2) Reality TV producers realize that since our standards our lowered, they can lower theirs; I feel like they sit in a board room and say, “who cares what the plot is, all we gotta do is film people doing something normally people wouldn’t do”. Every new reality show is just another trite idea in riding the wave of the corporate money maker, makes me sick. 3) Not only is each show getting duller, but they are more degrading and less inventive. By giving us crap like the simple life and fear factor I can only ask myself, what are we as humans? Are we all just a bunch of mammals stimulated by watching each other degrade and selling ourselves out? The shows producers churn out pre-planned and pseudo-realistic situations, something I’ve hated from the very first reality show on primetime. I don’t know if it should really be called “Reality TV” anymore, because there is nothing real about it. If I wanted to watch fake drama I watch a sitcom, because at least they are explicit about what they’re doing and there is actually some creativity in the writing process. 4) We are allowing our voyeuristic pleasures to be exploited. Ok humans are curious, “human nature”, Pandora’s Box, I know, but still I feel there should be a limit to our own sick pleasures, and if those pleasures are sick, then please, keep them to yourselves. The fact that we find it ok to watch celebrities churn butter, and encourage people to eat bugs for money, can only be a testament to why other countries can’t stand American culture.

Why do we as Americans feel the need to numb ourselves with such contrived trite? Why instead can’t we focus on real issues, there is a voyeurism we can all tune into and it’s called the news. Why can’t we just keep our focus on real life events? Instead of watching people do pointless shit, why can’t we focus on news around the world? News like people in other countries dying in mass numbers, the hundreds of rebellions that are sparked everyday, persecutions, executions, suicides and genocides? Or maybe within this question lies the answer; that at the heart of American culture, we just want to be ignorant. We are the leading country in the world so we choose to ignore everything in it because of our greatness. Is that the general conscientious? Because it’s not mine. I believe we must free ourselves from this mind numbing propaganda machine that keeps churning out corporate cash crops. These shows are just another device for greed, which is the greatest evil of them all.

Just to cap off this little expenditure, I like to talk about something our fantastic President Bush did today. Bush’s reign is almost over (I hope), but now that the fact that we invaded Iraq for no reason is coming out, Bush is trying as hard as he can to get his hardcore American audience back on his side. That’s right folks good ol George W. went to the Daytona 500 to go see cars race around a track. First off what the fuck, why is NASCAR one of the biggest up and coming sport events, what the fuck people? Never the less, these audiences who watch have been dubbed “Nascar dads” AKA blue collar, working class, American Joe republicans. Has this become the zenith of our great civilization? NASCAR, Reality Television? Have we become a nation that sits in front of the TV to watch cars go around a track in circles like buzzing flies, and watch people judge other people by seeing if their hot or not? I feel this is the same ID-filled logic that supports this terrible Iraq war. I know I can’t personally speak for all the brave Americans who risk their ass to fight our government’s dirty work (no way was I gonna say their fighting to preserve our freedom), but it is so out of hand, all I want is for our troops to return home.

Bush may just be the greatest Reality Television star of them all, because he pulls off the whole “pseudo-realism” better than any of those shows do. Ronald Reagan might of had a whole lifetime of acting experience, but Bush certainly has a whole nation falsely convinced that he is doing the right things for the right reasons. Every time I hear him speak it’s reminds me of a tape machine playing “I’m not here right now, but please leave a message”. I wonder if Bush really even gives a shit about NASCAR, when was the last time he made public his support for it? While at the NASCAR track he brought up the point that he served in the National Guard for awhile (another issue being debated) trying to appeal to the blue-collar base I suppose, because it’s not like he’s a rich ex -president’s son or anything. If in 20-30 years from now this man isn’t looked upon as our worst president who ushered in the biggest unjustifiable war and was the greatest deceiver, then I think I might move to Canada, although I don’t think I’ll be able to avoid the Reality TV there.