♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Reality TV – Love it or hate it and why?
A few things tend to send my opiniometer over the edge. This topic is one of them, because I care about the future and I see a nightmare ahead…
The thing about Reality TV is that it isn’t real, and far too many real people buy into it and for all the wrong reasons. Reality TV is just as scripted and planned as all other television, but the focus is on the worst that humanity can put forward. It’s true! The main thing it does is reflect the worst of humanity back out to the rest of humanity. If it’s not doing that, it’s attempting to make the mundane spectacular. There are so many who take delight in watching drama unfold as people gather to embarrass themselves for all time in exchange for notoriety and a bit of cheddar. There is no honor in Reality TV and probably even less in watching it. And no, I don’t agree that for some Reality TV is switching off to have a little fun, it’s emotionally vampiric and does nothing to relax. The purpose is to watch a life implode. That’s what winds me up: how awful (vindictive) humanity has become, or has remained since forever. I also have a Basic Bitch gauge, and automatically reject anything common valued by the plastic set. Am I a hipster rejecting things that are too mainstream? No. Where this comes from is far more than a need to be superior or cool (isn’t Hipster shit really just Basic Bitch shit anyway–with a beard and glasses?)…
I have a problem with how others feed from suffering, whether scripted or not. It’s a sickness. They used to call it voyeurism and it was looked down upon not all that long ago. Remember the James Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window (1954)? It talked about the psychological sickness of a man who couldn’t help himself but spy on others, and the sort of karma he incurs.
Today, they put shameless idiocy and immorality (not just sex) on television. All those films about a dystopian future, a hundred years from whenever, are now coming true. Have you seen Idiocracy (2006)? That’s pretty much where the culture of reality television has already brought humanity. I mean, we face electing one of the stars of reality television to the highest office in the United States. Boy are we in trouble!
The draw, as I see it: Reality TV allows others to feel better about themselves, or justify their awful behavior through the validation of it being aired on television weekly by low grade actors. Ignorance and crassness has become heralded as the new class and intelligence. The intellectuals of the past used to bemoan this penchant for the macabre idiotic play by the masses, but I don’t think they ever had it this severe. I could be wrong, but we are in a time where I am constantly told by others: my opinion should be respected, or, my opinion counts and you can’t dismiss me—this in the face of facts that deny their beliefs. Neither real reality or reams of evidence can sway them. (I’ll point back to the fact the Donald Trump is still a serious contender for President.)
In studying film, I ran into the topic of how television and movies serve as school room for a good majority of the population. It was in the context of taking extra care with the history one presents in their historical fictions. John Ford’s entire canon is responsible for the majority of what American’s believe to be their own history, and sadly they defend it with guns and threats, all the while bemoaning the lies of college classrooms. If you don’t believe me, take a walk around and ask people about historical things and see the answers they give, if they can give any (Jimmy Kimmel loves to do this and it should make you sick and want to cry, not laugh).
In a way, Reality TV makes me think of the blood thirsty hunger with which the masses of Ancient Rome used to watch events in the Colosseum. Today, we think such acts barbaric, but we don’t bat an eye lash at the emotional abuse of others via television for cash and fun.
Sure, I know a lot of people who call Reality TV their guilty pleasure, whether it is Housewives (insert city here) or some other train wreck. They laugh at themselves admitting it’s a horrible habit. The television industry is more than willing to feed that habit like a dealer on the corner with their shills. It’s legal crack. Giggle away at your addiction, seriously just as dangerous as you waste one brain cell at a time for every minute watched (possibly more).
As for Me, I cancelled my cable a couple years ago, because the stations were just putting out gads of crap. Before then, I mostly watched the news, documentary and other highbrow fare. I respect my mind and the usefulness of it. Integrity of my work and even self depend upon me taking a higher road. Of course, I have always been more about filling my mind with useful information, growing my education and expanding myself—instead of bottom feeding. I really do feel that way about it. It’s so very opportunistic and crass to enjoy these programs and allow oneself to be sucked into their slimy streets. Quite frankly, I think it is done to feed an ego’s need to elevate oneself above others–something I have never found necessary in such a vindictive fashion. My pursuits are for the betterment of self and through that the rest of humanity. I unwind in much more interesting ways—and no, I never feel the need to just turn off by way of spectacle.
Let’s see what some of the other authors had to say about Reality TV after my scathing 2 cents! Before you go, check out Stevie Turner, a great author from the UK.
Stevie Turner hails from East Anglia, UK, and attributes the countryside of her home with giving her the inspiration to write. She has found her unique voice writing the kind of novels women like to read. To date she has self-published seven books, mainly dealing with the darker side of relationships and always a bit of humor. You can find details of her books on the website:
Stevie is married, with two sons and three grandchildren. If she isn’t writing or working, then you’ll find her walking around her pretty country village.