Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pet Peeve #4 The Economics of Reality

I was just talking to a friend the other day, (he in his plexiglass coffin, smothered in African cockroaches and I in my parachute rig and yellow clogs,) about the word reality and what it's come to mean in the new millennium. Well, we got to it eventually but I have to admit our conversation kept wandering toward discussing all the fun times we've had as real livers of real life.

We've had great vacations no doubt, like the time we paid to be dropped off on a lifeless atoll and lived for over a month with only a bagful of Ghiradelli chocolate and another of generic cheese doodles to our names. If it weren't for the guys we'd brought along that would make up stupid contests for us to play, like the one where we used self fashioned coconut treebark rope between our teeth to drag sleds made of palmfronds loaded with crushed papaya and assorted centipedes a hundred yards to see who would be chosen ooglac and be blessed to carry the beedebeede torch on his way to the "Glad bag in an ammunition can" outhouse. I know you're probably saying, "Why that's nothin'! You should hear about MY vacations!" but I can't sit here all day so I'll give you the best stories I got.

Then there was the time we arranged for 25 beautiful chicks to chase me on the ruse that I was the Prince of Nonsensia. Who knew beautiful chicks weren't just petty goldiggers but so blinded by their ignorant greed they'd think Nonsensia was a country and they'd do me sexual favors just to have an hour in its national vault. HAHA, how stupid can you get! (They tell me it's just a principality, thus my "prince" title; can you dig it?) I'll bet the vault only had costume jewelry in it, supermodels aren't the milkiest coconuts in the banana tree...or whatever that saying is.

(Yea sure, ok...you had thirty chicks for your contest thingy. Yea and Al Qaeda guys get 12 vestibule virgins when they blow themselves up, tell me another story.)


Reality has ceased to exist as a definable word which is housed in a reliable dictionary. Reality has been co-opted and trademarked by those who would like a dollar for every time a boss says "you're fired" (Note Trumpy doesn't want to tm the phrase "you're hired" as negative sells, positive is ghey...and while we're at it, the word gay has been co-opted for the second time is as many centuries and repl... nevermind, I'm off message)

Why is it that we all discuss "reality" shows, when in "reality", there's nothing of "reality" in their "reality". Hey, if you want to try and convince me you choke down a pound of horse colon for fifty thousand dollars on your days off, go right ahead; I'm not buying it.

If they're going to steal the word right out from under us the least they could do is use it as intended. How bout a reality show in which people are stripped of all their possessions and then given a cardboard refrigerator box and two dollars in spare change, dumped near an inner city railroad bridge and made to eat a last meal of maggoty White Castle hamburger meat on moldy Krispy Creme donuts of the day (from a few days before Christmas, 2003). We could see contests like determining the true alcohol content in various brands of mouthwash, or which team can stay awake the longest so as to not suffer an iron pipe beating from a guy looking to steal their shopping carts and dumpster pantry items.

How bout one where the first guy to go is the one that refuses to shoot a random human being as chosen by the tribe leader. Or the last one to participate in a gang rape or say the burning of a cross or maybe the least proficient in teaching a five year old the art of the needle and spoon.

I know, one where you choose which bus of five is not wired to explode, and then you and your team board that bus for a trip to gradeschool. Wrong bus, eliminated from the game, hardly arguable; I don't know too many armchair quarterbacks who would be demanding the wrong team member won the million dollars if the price of failure was death.

It's sad to me when really cool words like reality become meaningless marketing claptrap, maybe they could do a show on how much money is made versus how much expended in any given "reality" show, as compared to say, a show that might have some connection to life as we know it. And it saddens me too that the act of humiliation has become far more profitable than that of dramatic entertainment or God help us, education; making financial inroads into our lives well beyond it's normal habitat of bdsm clubs and clown heavy circuses.

Yea I know, some people don't watch tv. Well bully for them, most people do and many of those people now have had it affirmed that their notion of screw everyone-get stuff, is not only acceptable, but damned entertaining and a fine way to win friends and influence people.

I hear there's a new reality in production working titled "Wife Swap". I don't have any details but I imagine it will be switching out woman-things and waiting for their confusion to begin when they have 2 preschool lunches to make instead of 3 high schoolers, and new food allergies to pay attention to when making dinner for their new, giggling brood. Just think, there's laundry to do and floors to swab and sex to have...oh wait...they wouldn't do that would they? Well if they think people are gonna tune in to see women having fun cleaning toilets, the show will be as much a reality as peace in the Middle East.

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