The Empires grip on reality TV…..

Yesterday on m facebook page I wrote: “After watching 15 minutes of “Jersey Shore”, I’m pretty sure that if everyone at the NJ coast is like those people, I’d have to vote yes on a preemptive tactical nuclear strike on Seaside Heights. YEESH!! worst show ever!!” I was trying to be funny, and if I hurt any of my friends feelings (Barb)I am deeply sorry for that, but the comment has gotten me to thinking about the mania behind reality TV, and what it exactly does.

If you have never seen an episode of “Jersey Shore”, it essentially follows the exploits of 8 Italian-Americans as they spend the summer as roommates in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. This, in and of itself would not be so bad, but these 8 kids, they reek of “Guido”. What do I mean? the only stereotype missing from this show is Joe Pesci in one of those pointy collared shirts shooting someone in the back of the head. It is absolutely offensive and racist, and to be honest, if the producers had tried the same thing with a house full of African Americans, Hispanics or Jews, the show and everyone involved with it would have been burned in effigy on the streets of New York, and all of them would have gotten the ax from MTV.This show is crass, offensive, and lacking in any redeeming qualities whatsoever. I truly believe that TV producers would actually try and make a buck off of cancer ridden children and the homeless if they thought they could get away with it.

But this begs the question;  Why do we  as a society love these shows so much? What do we see in them? Is there a redeeming quality that comes from them? Aside from making us feel better about ourselves? because that comes at the expense of others, and I’m pretty sure that’s not a good thing! To be more precise, 11 reality TV stars have committed suicide in the wake of being on reality shows. Granted, a few of them had issues to begin with, but it does not change the fact that the vast majority of them did so after being unable to deal with what they did. In one case, a woman who was let go from “Extreme makeover” for medical reasons, returned home in the same state she was in beforehand. The producers had goaded her sister into making extremely critical remarks about her siblings appearance beforehand, and was so horrified by what she had said, she saw no other way out of the situation than to kill herself. yet the series continued to run.  The article in it’s entirety can be found here.

My question is why? Why do we as a society feel the need to make fun of others to compensate for our own shortcomings? Isn’t it enough to be blessed with a happy family? A decent job? A clean bill of health from the doctor?  Why cant we find reasons to be thankful without it being at expense of others?

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~ by keystone28 on 12/28/2009.

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