Living in a world full of mayhem, and murder, you’d think that as a public we’d want our entertainment to take us away from all that. In a not-to-distant past, we did, and movies, and television were wonderful respites (except for the nightly news that managed to restore grim reality for just a moment in time every day).
What happened? Somehow, somewhere, some crazy fellow decided that what we really needed to come home every day, after slaving away at the office, or in the fields, or cooking and cleaning, and taxing the kids around, was to sit down and watch OTHER PEOPLE DOING THE SAME THING.
I don’t know about you folks out there, but danged if I want to watch how bad someone else’s life sucks. I want to laugh. Sure, at the foibles, and pitfalls of life, but in a fun, and detached, ‘not real’ sort of way. I want things to work out good in the end. I want to be entertained, not depressed.
What’s really all that much fun about the average reality show shouting match, or backstabbing? Is it because as a people, we feel vindicated that someone else does such things TOO? Or do we just like to see others in pain, real pain?
The publishing industry, and the music, and television, and movie industry all moan about the same thing… sales are down, they are in a slump, they are dying… well they brought the damned shovel. Perhaps the Internet played a part. Its free sharing, its instant gratification, etc… but if you ask me, reality shows bite! They are the real drain on the imagination. They are what is killing people’s desire to escape into fantasy, and fiction.
Before you get ready to lynch me for my hatred of reality shows. I’m not totally immune to their powers. I’m completely hooked on Rockstar Supernova this year. I don’t miss an episode if possible. It’s a competition, true, even in some ways painful… not much backstabbing going on that I’ve been able to tell, but who knows what really goes on in that house during the week between shows. The trouble is, Rockstar is but a small speck in the massive offerings of reality. From Cops to Big Brother, nearly every station is littered with these shows on a full-scale basis. We’ve gone from wanting to escape, to diving right into the fire every night after work.
Have we lost the desire to believe in a better place?
I want to thank EA Monroe for her comment on Bernita’s blog yesterday that went: Not only sex, but fear, especially considering the times in which we live these days. I get enough fearmongering on the nightly news (and politicians). I imagine there will be a whiplash/opposite effect soon, when people have had enough of fear governing their lives and crave something more imaginative and pleasant for entertainment--for inspiring this post today. I sure hope what she said comes to pass, and that we stop craving reality, and see the value in escaping the horrible realities of our existence for something more imaginative, and pleasant as entertainment.