Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I Hate Reality TV

For the most part, reality TV is crap. It is, face it. Sure, I believe you have an example of a time when reality TV was really, really good. Honestly, I believe you. Stop waving that TV guide at me. But the vast majority of it is crap. Pure shit. And if I handed you a bucket filled with shit with a Lindoor chocolate truffle in it, would you eat the shit to get at the tasty candy?

I hope not.

So ... why do people keep shoveling up the shit? Well, most reality shows celebrate certain aspects of humanity: greed, treachery, intolerance, bigotry ... you know, fun stuff like that. I'm not going to list examples, and if you doubt me, just watch a few programs. So why do we like to watch that junk? Well, most people do it because they report that "Watching those freaks makes me feel better about myself because my problems aren't as big as theirs".

Folks, it doesn't take a Psychiatrist to tell you that you should feel good about yourself for your own individual accomplishments. If you need to watch others suffer to feel good about yourself, its rather unhealthy. The Germans even have a word for it: Schadenfreude. Taking malicious satisfaction in another person's troubles. Damaging joy. Its unhealthy folks, plain and simple.

Why does a show like American Idol parade an endless collection of pathetic dolts who can't sing? Because millions of people at home gloat and giggle at how bad they are, and delight thinking "I may not be able to sing, but at least I'm not as bad as that guy".

So lets disect. Person A has small feelings of inferiority because he can't sing. The healthy response: take singing lessons, go to karaoke, learn to sing, improv with practice. Results: inferiorty complex gone.

The unhealthy response: Watch American Idol and make fun of that Huong guy. Or even worse, go to karaoke and mock the people who have the guts to get up and sing. Getting up and singing takes balls foks (unless you're drunk). Sitting back and heckling is a cowardly and - yes, I'm going to say it - freaking pathetic thing to do.

Competition shows such as Big Brother and Survivor consistently reward the players who are nasty, sneaky, backstabbing bastards. Remember folks, our media affects our thought patterns - television, advertising, etc. is the food we feed our brains. It has an effect on us, our children, and our society. If we consistently show that the people who win, the people who get ahead, are sneaky and malicious, we encourage that behaviour in others.

No comments: