Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reality, You Fail Me

Thank goodness for books.

Yesterday a debate of sorts broke out on Facebook. Was it a political debate, you might ask? Something to do with world hunger? World peace? Universal health care? How about education?
If you guessed any of those (or the next million important current issues on your own personal list), you'd be sadly mistaken. Yesterday's fight was about Jon and Kate.

Here's how it started. Brother #2 wrote a status update about an episode he'd just watched. It was a controversial comment (assuming you care about these sorts of things) taking sides with one of these two idiots, and blasting the other. But the response it sparked kind of made me flinch. People either agreed or didn't, and then things seemed to get a little heated, and finally I even jumped in to play devil's advocate, which I shouldn't have. I can only just barely stand to watch the highlights of that show on youtube, though it does save me from having to sit through a full hour of a really annoying show about really annoying people, while still helping me remain current on the crucial reality-TV issues that apparently affect us all.

So, judging from the response, it would seem that a lot of people feel strongly about these twits. Some think she's a miserable cow and some think he's a terrible husband. Here's my opinion: they both suck.

She may be a harpie, and he may or may not be completely and utterly useless. But the reason they are both unworthy of calling themselves human is that they sold out their children to be on TV! Come on! How can anyone think this is okay?!

Fine. They have eight kids. It's all very interesting. But my parents had seven and I'm not crying to a therapist about my televised potty training 30 years later. I doubt these kids will be able to say the same. I know I'm being a little hypocritical here, considering I do occasionally blog about my own children, though at least I keep it semi-anonymous, and within the context of what an average parent might be experiencing at any given moment. I don't use my kids to make money like they're some sort of circus sideshow. Plus, until recently, I wasn't actually aware I had any readers, and 99% of the time this blog is all about me, me, me, anyway. But I digress. Despite my own failings as a parent, I still feel compelled to wonder what kind of mom exploits her kids this insanely, and what kind of dad lets it happen? Or vice versa, depending on who you think is the most evil.

However, my issue is not specifically with these horrible, horrible people. It's with what has happened to TV in general. This "reality" garbage has taken over just about every facet of television and turned us all into creepy voyeurs. To be a celebrity now doesn't require even the tiniest modicum of talent. Just be willing to use and abuse your ovaries, or your family, or your "teammates" in the most outrageous way you can think of, and fame and fortune is yours! Gross!

Can we please return to a time when great television was all about a talking cartoon dog, his hippie owner and a gang of groovy teenagers solving low-level mysteries at the haunted amusement park? Setting people up in unbelievable circumstances and then staging every situation to result in scandal and melodrama really should not be passed off as "reality". Can't someone sue the TV studios for fraud over this? Come on, this is NORTH AMERICA, people! Frivolous litigation is what we do!

Okay, I guess this rant needs to end before I start suggesting solutions that involve sawed-off shotguns.

Besides, it's time to take Rosemary's Baby out to play, and I haven't even written our script yet.

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