The tv and film writer’s strike is now a reality. The word that scares me there is “reality”. Why? Because depending on how long the strike goes, we, TV viewers, could get hit with a load of new reality shows.
Regular readers of Busted Knuckles are very aware of the fact that I don’t like reality TV. To me it’s just another layer of the onion that never stops stinking. I tend to lump it in there with tabloid papers / magazines, entertainment shows like Entertainment Tonight, Showbiz Tonight / Today and the rest of stuff that fell out of the bottom of the Hefty bag when you took it to the curb.
Reality shows aren’t “scripted”, so they are exempt from the strike unlike scripted shows like LOST, 24 and HEROES. In reality (yeah, pun intentional) if you dig deep enough into the dumpster, you find that most reality shows are more scripted than a whole season of CSI. Editors of reality shows should be the highest paid folks on the payroll because they’re the ones that can create a drama out of going to the mailbox. Reality show editors should be working for Taliban with the truth changing skills they have.
Reality shows aren’t the core of what’s wrong with the world, but they’re a really strong symptom of a bigger sickness, the loss of dignity.
Dignity, manners and self-restrain are melting away faster than any glacier that Al Gore is trying to protect. Celebrity worship, lurid scandals and sports pages that read like police blotters. This is the stuff that makes the front page of newspapers today. Serious local and national news is quickly being shuttled off to the back pages in a major journalistic role reversal of priorities.
In the last ten years the internet has thrown a match on this pair of gasoline pants. People post really mean, slanderous things on message boards and forums that they would never write down on a letter sent via the mail. The shield of a screen name and the safety of their closed room gives them more false courage than a bottle of Jack Daniels. Emails and texting have also taken a large slice out of manners and civility, not to mention proper English. Everybody is in a hurry?to do what?post another message? Sometimes I wonder if anybody works. Then I’m reminded, they do this AT work.
So many people are willing to throw the last bit of their dignity out the window to be not only on TV, but to be on the web. THEY WILL DO ANYTHING. As a person that has made a living being creative for the last twenty years I know it’s good to think outside of the box. I also know that there needs to be a box. Without a box there is no structure. Without structure there’s chaos. In chaos it’s much too easy to blur the lines of right and wrong. With the loss of dignity, losing knowledge or caring about what’s right and wrong isn’t too far behind.
I’m a guy that’s been around the barn a few times. Nobody will ever say I wear a fresh coat of paint. It’s pretty bad when a guy like me flips through the TV channels, pages of a magazine or newspaper or even the internet and is semi-disgusted with what I see and hear.
Have we let ourselves become so addicted to instant gratification that we will do most anything to get it? Do we live in that much of a quick fix world. Strength used to be something we all admired and aspired to have. I don’t mean physical strength. I mean moral strength. There’s a difference between bitching about what’s right and acting on it.
Reality shows seem to be filled with people that are willing to humiliate themselves to no end just to be on TV for a few fleeting moments. Everybody’s fifteen minutes of fame have gone 24/7/365. I like cheeseburgers, but I don’t eat them everyday. It’s just not good for you. Possibly the worst reality shows are the ones where they pose as helping people. In my opinion they’re just preying on the weak and helpless looking to trade tears for ratings.
So I hope the Writer’s strike ends quickly and the writers get the percentage points they truly deserve. It’s a no-brainer. They should get a bigger piece of the DVD, internet and other sales from their creative work. Here’s to the strike ending soon and saving us all from more reality?TV.
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