Sunday, February 19, 2006

Welcome to my reality!

Living in a small town, I've come to appreciate stillness and silence. I seldom receive phone calls or visitors, and I prefer my life that way. I spend hours every day, both at the college and the bookstore (when I work there!), dealing with people, with issues, with whatever; when I get home, I want a cocoon of quiet around me. I don't want to talk, except to my cats.

This is perhaps why I can't tolerate "reality" shows. Nothing on these shows is "real." It's all manufactured--how many of us are stranded on an island full of headhunters, having to scrounge for our daily bread and fight the other "strandees" for "immunity"? What's real about that? As for "The Great Race," for many of us, the "race" begins the moment the alarm clock scares us out of bed in the morning. We race to work, to lunch, to the drycleaners, the grocery, then race to get home to watch a "reality" show. Hey--I have enough trouble dealing with MY reality; I don't have time for someone else's.

I've thought about having someone follow me around with a video camera to capture the nuances and vagaries of my own day. How truly boring would that be? "And here's Ms. Smith chastising a student for not turning in an assignment." Or, "Here's Kathleen trying to decide which brand of toilet paper she should buy." Who wants to see that?

Well, that's how I feel about any of those shows on television that brand themselves as "reality." Hey, come live in my world for a while--worry about paying the bills and high gas prices and weather reports. Worry about free-ranging dogs chasing down your cats and mauling them. Worry about your parents' health and what's going to happen the day YOU fall down and break your leg when no one is around to help you.

Reality, I suppose is what you make it while you're just living your life; or, maybe, for many people, reality is what happens when you're watching "reality" on television. However it comes about, I'd still rather have my life than the million dollars I'd get for eating shark guts and taking out the competition by whatever dirty means necessary.

So, welcome to my world. It's boring, but it's at least "real"!


Aaron's Brain said...
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Aaron's Brain said...

Yes, I think this genre of television should be caled "Surreality TV." The discovery channel (mostly) and the history channel- that's reality television. This is industry prostitution. I like a couple of shows though, and I don't really have a good defense except to say that, my god, I feel like i live such a normal life after watching.