The Farce of War & Reality TV

    I’d like to address a couple of points that I believe have been overlooked or ignored in our headlong rush to material wealth and moral bankruptcy.

    First, wars are not honorable nor are they usually necessary. It is nearly always the case that wars are caused by one of three reasons; the stupidity of a nation’s leaders (Vietnam and Iraq); by the greed of corporate interests (selling scrap metal to Japan that was soon dropped on Pearl Harbor or the murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in order to keep the oil industry appeased); or by religious fanatics desperate to please their usually sick version of an invisible and all powerful deity.

    Even the war with Germany could have been averted had American corporate interests not continued to abet the slaughter of the population in nation after nation and the horrendous carnage in the concentration camps.  Just through the defense of Austria and Poland by the free nations of the world would have stopped Hitler in his tracks.  Instead, Corporate America continued to do business with the Nazis even as we passively watched millions of human beings die.  The one time in the Twentieth Century that a small war needed to be waged for the good of mankind was delayed until only a war of massive intensity would stop the conquest of the population of the entire planet.

    What amazes me even more, though, is the blind acceptance of the idea that burning some colored cloth is, somehow, a sin that must be legislated against through amending our Constitution.  Burning the flag or spitting on it or whatever only exposes the dearth of intelligent motivations of the offender and harms the nation, as a whole, in no manner whatsoever.  To even consider killing of dying to protect that cloth is among man's most idiotic adventures.

    There is nothing about the symbols or flags or songs or whatever patriotic icons of a nation that is worth dying for. Only the truest meaning of the concept of “freedom” for all of mankind is worthy of one’s life.  To defend the basic human rights of people of this planet against the obliteration by the forces of evil and the greedy and power hungry is to offer up your life for the preeminent cause in human existence.  To lose even one life in defense of the greedy or the powerful is a waste with no equal in our history.

    Finally, exactly what part of “stranding” some folks on a “desert island” along with thirty or forty cameramen and directors and lighting guys and helicopters, etc. have to do with the term “reality TV”? What is the “reality” in putting a bunch of the “beautiful” people on a boat and filming everything that they do, all of which will be obviously geared directly for the camera and the rating points (and an obvious hope that some talent scout will notice them)? How is playing a televised game of “Clue” in some small town, surrounded by cameras and all of the other technicians, related to the reality that you and I face every day of our lives?

    If these silly, insignificant little television people really wanted to produce a show centered within reality, here are a couple of suggestions.

    Why not put ten of the “beautiful” people on the streets of Los Angeles without a penny to their names. Make the rules stipulate that they cannot ask friends for help nor can they employ credit cards or checkbooks or any other normal form of financial powers.  They must be attired in clothing that they either pick out from trashcans or are given out by the few remaining charities. Add a couple of innocent children (and maybe some mental illness or diseases or alcoholism) just to make it more real and then leave them in the middle of a downtown alley. Then, to keep it “real”, only film them from hidden locations so that their fellow cardboard box dwellers aren’t aware of the cameras and you might actually see some “reality”. The audience might find themselves being entertained by the robbery or assault of the participants or maybe, for a real shot at ratings Nirvana, perhaps a gang rape or two.

    Another suggestion would be to place these "beautiful people" as employees of one of Nike's many sweatshops in Asia.  They could work in the brutal heat for $1.60 a day for twelve hours or more and could be introduced to the beatings that nearly always accompany and stated desire for improvements.  They could be filmed eating the five or six ounces of rice that is the daily fare of the teenager girls they will be working alongside of.  They can even enjoy the opportunity to employ their one or two bathroom breaks that these children are blessed with during their twelve hours in Hell every day.

    How about letting them all live in a cramped, one bedroom apartment in the slums.  They would immediately have a constant food supply if their tastes still run to rats and mice.  They could enjoy the many opportunities to find themselves out of running water for drinking or washing or even just flushing the toilet.

    Folks, the opportunities for factual "reality TV' are just endless.  But, wait, you may be saying to yourself.  I wouldn't watch anything like that!  That would be too "real" and it would make me uncomfortable.  Be that as it may, these stupid and vacuous shows that are aired amount to nothing more than soap operas in which the actors are even less skilled and intelligent than their daytime counterparts.  We can't have anything realistic interrupting our voyeuristic little parades, now can we?  Why would we ever consider seeing the bleak reality beyond our locked doors and closed drapes?

    Because that, folks, would be “reality” TV.


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Copyright 7/15/01