How We Got Here

Oh, it started before the election; after all, my big question was “how did we get to having these as our choices?” (because honestly, I’m sure no fan of Clinton, either).

Well, a lot of folks blame social media.  No denying that’s one piece of the puzzle.  We’ve dehumanized each other, distanced ourselves.  We no longer have real emotions; we just have emojis.

But hand in hand with that…life imitates art.  I’ve said it before: this administration has turned into reality TV gone oh so wrong.  For the most part, I don’t watch reality stuff except for cooking and a couple paranormal investigation shows, but there’s enough similarities across the boards…we see it on TV, therefore, it must be ok to do in real life?

Kids, don’t try this at home?

Screaming at each other.  Once upon a time, I liked Gordon Ramsay.  Now I find his “method” annoying.  Maybe people on his shows signed off to be abused, but I still find it vaguely offensive.  Particularly on things like MasterChef, where these people aren’t training to be chefs or run kitchens.  They’re everyday folks.  And they make mistakes.  And apparently, that trophy and that cash prize make it ok to be abused on national television.  Oh, Ramsay isn’t the only one.  That guy from Bar Rescue…Tapper?  The guy from whatever talent show…Simon?  He may not yell, but he’s nasty.

The clincher for me was Ramsay, tho.  His 24 Hours to Hell and Back show made my blood run cold when they showed this woman being fired.  She was a bad manager, yes, but when these things were pointed out to her, she tried, and she showed a helluva lot of remorse.  Ok, the job wasn’t for her.  And I don’t care, I feel like whatever waivers she may have signed didn’t prepare her for the truth of being fired in front of millions of viewers.  Hell, put yourself in her shoes for a minute.  Being fired is horrible.  It’s humiliating, you feel like scum, whether it’s all your fault or not at all.  There’s anger, but there’s shame.  My heart bled for her, and she was callously dismissed.  What a turnoff.  That didn’t make me enamored of the show.  It disgusted me to see a person used for ratings that way.

Trash talking.  I got nothing against a competitive edge but some of it’s ridiculous.  It escalates from trash talking to back stabbing…and people love it.  I don’t.  In fact, you know what shows I prefer?  MasterChef Junior and Chopped Junior.  Kids, who you would expect to taunt and talk shit, treat each other wonderfully.  They become friends.  They’re genuinely crushed when a colleague is chopped/eliminated.  They help each other.

Likewise, the overseas versions of these shows are much more toned down.  How sad is it that they had to add “drama” and conflict and…say it…hate, to make them palatable for America?

Even the paranormal shows (and most of them are just too outlandish, I can’t bear them with Ghost Hunters gone)…Zak, who for whatever reason reminds me of a puffed up bantam rooster with his sticky-uppy hair and “ready to fight” posture, runs around trash talking…spirits.  Yes, and demons.  “You want to bully someone?  COME GET ME!  YEAH!  I’M RIGHT HERE!”

I mean, really?  Deep, deep issues, man.  And if a real demon made a run at you…not going there, Linda Blair.

And violence.  Just enough to entice.  I never watched Survivor or the more physical reality shows, but I’m sure they had some share of it.  And Gordon smashing plates and hurling sea bass, or Hell’s Kitchen participants physically getting in each other’s faces with threats…

I don’t like conflict.  I used to think most people don’t.  I mean, isn’t that primarily why people lie?  To not hurt feelings, to avoid conflict?  Yet clearly, millions of people like watching it.

And now they crave it.  “Reality” TV is what has taught us that it’s acceptable to say whatever dumbass thing pops to mind, with no regard for consequences.  We can be sexist, racist, perverse, inhuman assholes to each other because they do it on TV, right?  And it’s a free country?  You’re a Christian but does the Bible tell you to emulate that spoiled shit on TV?  Don’t think so.  Freedom of speech?  Sure, but not without resultant consequences.

And the golden rule….does anyone remember that anymore?  Get away from the reality shows, folks, unless you’re watching the Canadian MasterChef to actually learn some cooking, and watch something a little kinder, like Agents of SHIELD or Supernatural.  Those characters are more real than any of the clowns you’ll see on reality TV.

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