Sunday, August 13, 2006

Reality BYTES

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.


Bernita said...

Don't care for reality shows either.
Wonder if it's partly due to a case of society hum-drums, a kind of safe complacency, and we want to see lives with drama/disaster - or as a kind of scapegoat?
Like tossing a few stones at someone in the stocks?

MissWrite said...

Yeah, I think you really hit on it, Bernita. But danged if I don't long for the 'good-ole-days'. LOL

EA Monroe said...

Hi Tami, and Thanks! That's probably why TVLand and the classic movie channels are popular! Last week at work, I felt like I was living in an episode of Big Brother and I called Lucas on Rockstar Supernova The Skunk, Pepi Le Pew. Sorry, Lucas.

Reality TV may be around as long as corporations continue to make their $$$, after all we live in a society of "consumers" and "fundamentalists." After a while it becomes boring.

I loved watching Battlestar Galactica, until the episode about the "rigging" of the presidential elections -- too close to reality for me. Writers have an endless palatte of imagination from which to work! Please, don't choose cheap, easy, and the path of least resistance. Give us brain food; not eye candy!

Okay, how about a twisted spin on Reality? Would that be disgust?

Thanks again, Tami!

Bernita said...

AND, in my typical tangential way, you've given me an idea for a post too, Tami.
The virus spreads....

EA Monroe said...

Oops! I like eye candy, too! (brain food along with eye candy!)

Devon Ellington said...

I loathe reality shows. I can't stand celebrating the worst in people -- we should be encouraging the best in them.

I don't watch much television at all any more.

My first priority is shows I've worked on; then comes the shows friends are on; then anything else -- but I'm usually reading, writing, or working a show, so I don't watch much.

MissWrite said...

OMG EA-the skunk comment... Lucas makes me laugh in his punked out glory. I like Delana (however she spells that.) Actually I think a twisted spin on 'reality' in a novel would be really cool. I've thought about it too, but never quite came up with a full plot for it.

Any time, Bernita... I think it's fun feeding off of each other's ideas as prompts.

Welcome, Devon. I don't get much time for TV anymore either, but some things I make time for... *licking chops*--Tommy Lee... yummy. :)

S. W. Vaughn said...

Can I get a HELL, YEAH?!

I despise reality television. Reality is what is happening outside the little box. What is inside is fantasy, period.

Yes, those are real people doing real things. Actors are real people too. At least movies try to entertain and make no pretenses to be "real" -- escapism is great, but escaping to someone else's reality is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

(Cup again)

Maybe it's my friendship circle, but I'm hearing more and more people being drawn to vampire or fantasy stories. I wonder if this is the beginning of change or if this just reflects what people like in written word?