Wednesday June 19, 2013

You only need to turn on the TV to see that the world is slowly eating itself. The culture that is watching other lives implode in a semi-scripted overly staged manner hidden behind the cloak of the label "Reality TV" is seriously dumbing down the culture. This is the very same culture that can’t afford to take any steps backwards, the culture that time and time again votes against its own best interests. Yet network and cable television keeps feeding us this garbage. I guess we can choose not to watch, but guess what? We’re watching!

The craze called "famous for being famous" has taken on a whole new meaning. As far as I can deduce, famous for being famous is the same as getting sick and not knowing why -- you know you’re sick but you’re not sure how it happened. You thought you were taking care of yourself yet some rhinovirus entered through a tear duct and now you expel half your body weight in flem and mucus a day. Sound harsh? It should, because that’s what famous for being famous is.

We’re drawn to these pack of trumped-up primates like they’ve contributed something to society. Case in point: Robert Di Nero. Here’s a guy who’s famous because he worked to be that way -- acting lessons, awards, philanthropy -- Robert Di Nero is a true American icon who’s made actual contributions to the planet.


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Anything named Kardashian, however, has not. Anybody that has moved into the wilderness and attempted to be the last one standing may win some prize money, but really shouldn’t be weighing in on international politics.

In a culture where kids think that Martin Luther King Jr. has his day because he got shot doesn’t need to be fed drivel from the flickering flat screen in the corner of the room in high definition. The standards are getting lowered, the funds are getting slashed, we’re becoming weaker around manners, complacent with elections, and we tolerate a Congress in which 94 percent of us think a Kardashian could do a better job. But screw up our order at McDonalds and it’s time for gun play or, the very least, an epic fit that’s suitable for at least a half a million YouTube hits.

Is reality TV to blame? Probably not, but it’s not helping advance the agenda or sharpen the pencil that is the moral fiber that used to hold this country together. Honestly I can’t turn on the TV anymore without a Housewife, Kardashian, or some formerly famous person who’s drying out in some halfway house with other formerly nearly famous people. I understand the power of checking out after a long day and, let’s face it, nothing is more entertaining than a train wreck. And if you can just flip on your television and pick the train wreck you want to watch, well then, that’s on demand mind-numbing and sometimes that’s a good thing. But when my news feed or web searches are pounded with images of reality TV stars and their latest photo getting out of a limo sans underwear, I have to believe we’re so tied to this culture that we can’t get out of our own way! Life is tragic but it gets worse when it leaves the limo without pantie lines.

If it were actual reality TV, like the dancing or singing shows (which, for the record, I can view as actual entertainment that can inspire something), I could understand, but it’s not. Like I said earlier, it’s semi-scripted and staged. It has to be semi-scripted because often the brain matter of those starring in such programs are completely incapable of storing information beyond the 10 minute time span in which it takes to roll tape! When we sit down to watch this type of programming over and over again, all the while getting wrapped up in it, little pieces of our soul die and you can’t put a Band Aid on that and get it back. If you can watch this stuff and check out then come back to reality, then no harm no foul. But if you can’t let me offer you up the biggest -- What the hell is up with that!

Fish is the morning talent on Classic Hits 92.7 FM. He also offers up his opinion on-line at www.whatda hell.net. E-mail him at fish@wk vt.com.