Quick (re: unedited) Thoughts Before Work

We don’t know the public people in our lives.  We watch them on play sports, act on television, or read their newspaper/internet columns, but we don’t know them.  We see the part that they play when they are being interviewed on a talk show or some silly red carpet event and we decide, “Hey, that guy seems cool.”

We have no idea what angels or demons lie their heart.  The hard truth is we don’t care.  We just want to be entertained.  We don’t want to think about our complicity in the train wrecks we see on television.  We don’t want to think about how our voyeuristic need to revel in the pain of others helps give rise to the spectacle of Lindsay Lohan.

We try to dwell on the fact that we treat each sad self-destructive step someone famous takes by the ratings points or page views it gets on TruTV or TMZ.

I don’t understand the idea of wanting to be famous for no discernible reason.  This country (and world for that matter) has created an industry where people become famous, not for having any real marketable and valuable talent, but because of their willingness to humiliate themselves for others pleasure.

This fame industry has blinded most of the public of the difference between people who are famous because they have worked and hustled the use of their talents for something greater than simple self-promotion and the fame whores who to stay in the news would strip naked, light themselves, on fire, and run down the red carpet at Cannes.  As long as the news mentions their name they don’t care that they have 2nd degree burns on 60 percent of their body.

I must admit right now, I don’t really like reality shows.  Some of the shows with real people working real jobs (not buying storage containers) are interesting, but not in an appointment viewing kind of way.  I really don’t get watching over privileged fame seekers screwing each other over at all interesting.  I like reality TV when it is you know based in reality.

No, I am not one of those people who say, “I don’t watch television only PBS,” as I haughtily sniff the air.  I watch a lot of television and a lot of it is crap.  I watch most of the USA shows and there is a reason the Soap Network is in my favorites list on DIRECTV.  I don’t want all television to be some serious almost literary affair.  Sometimes I just want to zone out for 30 minutes or an hour to pure entertainment and reality TV is not that to me.

Entertainment is a lot like sports.  Neither are a perfect reflection of society, but they are more like funhouse mirrors that distort the reflection, yet at the same time manages to highlight certain aspects of society that we may not like to think about too much. The need to laugh at others ignorance, pain, and misfortune to make ourselves feel better is the aspect of us reality TV highlights and revels in.  I just like myself too much to do that.


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