…Need a life of their own…
So it came to my attention that ABC is starting a new show. Before I tell you what it’s about, let me say how abhorrent I felt the concept of Big Brother, or even Survivor was: these staged “reality shows” depicted people in manufactured situations and try to film the so-called action. I like to think of myself as an independent thinker, so naturally, all of these I found repugnant. I thought the reality show craze itself was a superficial solution to the writer’s guild strike of 2003-ish. That somehow, we would get one or two seasons of these bullshit shows, and eventually, get back to actual television – that is where the line between reality and fiction is clearly visible: news or sitcoms, documentaries or dramas, etc.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Now we have tons of shows on the idiot box following people around as they live their lives, and even some that show people doing their jobs – wow imagine that, watching people work. In theory, it sounds about as exciting as a root canal. But sadly, the masses buy into this drivel. No article can change society, or at least not one posted on the internet, but I’d like to illustrate this vicariously-living cancer we, as a culture, gobble up hook, line and sinker.
Here is the breakdown of a new show coming to ABC:
“The Glass House,” the exciting and interactive real life and real-time reality competition where viewers are in charge of the game, premieres MONDAY, JUNE 18 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on The ABC Television Network. In “The Glass House,” 14 contestants will live and compete for a quarter million dollars in a totally wired, state-of-the-art house, playing not just against each other, but also playing to win over the viewing audience each week. Both online and through their social networks, viewers will be encouraged to support and follow the contestants they like, their votes helping to determine which contestants are sent home and also which eliminated players will earn the chance to return to “The Glass House” to compete each week. But viewer feedback doesn’t end there! Several times a week, viewers can watch a live online feed of the players and vote to decide everything from what players wear and eat to the games they play, even where they sleep. Viewers will also have the chance to give their favorite contestants feedback on their game from outside the house. How the contestants use that information is up to them, because in the end it’s about who plays the best social game. The most important alliance players can have is with their fans!”
Now that you know as much as I do about this new television abhorrence – allow me to dissect it.
We are turning into a voyeuristic society – so much so that instead of going out fishing we watch Deadliest Catch. Instead of harboring our own primal instincts for self-preservation, we watch Survivor. We, as a society, are becoming more and more distant from ourselves, and more infatuated with the others. If it’s on the ol’ picture box, we eat it up, no matter how inane. Now we have social media working in concert with television to create a grand distraction of epic proportions. This reminds me of the Gerard Butler movie “Gamer”: where people control other people’s actions, simply because they can.
Now let me assert this: would you rather control someone else’s life, telling them to play monopoly and wear Capri pants and eat disco fries, or would you rather live your own goddamn life? Hopefully, you chose the latter, but apparently network television (and the research of the population they did – and trust me, they don’t do anything without dumping tons of money into researching it first) believes it’s the former.
Another question: where, how and when did we become so terribly, terribly voyeuristic? This is the equivalent of opting to watch porn over going out and getting some ass…doesn’t make sense when you look at it like that, does it?
I’m not saying I have a solution to this problem, as this is just a rant pointing out the “idiocracy” under which we all toil. Then again I do have a solution – stop watching TV and make your own life. Stop worrying about which dude the Kardashians are banging this week and concentrate on your own job, your own finances, your own relationships, and your own well-being. (After all, the economy is in the shitter, a staggering percentage of people are morbidly obese, and families are at times composed of complete strangers to one another) We are so obsessed nowadays with people who are special for being famous, and no longer infatuated with people who are famous because they are special. Fifty years ago, guys like Sammy Davis Jr. wowed us with their multi-faceted entertainment ability, and people tuned in to watch American Bandstand and other similar programs. Now people flock to the television to see which pageant mother is giving her daughter lifelong issues one inappropriate costume after the other. People are DVR’ing shows about Tori Spelling being with child, an actress who is neither talented nor relevant. Jersey Shore has tons of teens, tweens and even twenty-something’s obsessed with their douchebaggery, waiting to see how much more unattractive Snooki can get, both physically and as a humanoid.
My point is just this – the only reason this drivel is on TV or in the media is because you people keep buying into it. How about we have a renaissance of reason and enlightenment of the masses, and realize that these people are buffoons, and however “entertaining” they might be, they make exponentially more money than the population who slaves 40+ hours a week, and unwinds by watching this manufactured mirror of “life” unfold from the comfort of their modular Ikea furniture.
Shut off the TV, open your mind and get with a new program. This message is brought to you by Alexander ‘Stigz’ Castiglione.