Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pop Culture RANT

I know I'm constantly speaking of accepting people for who they are and saying "everything is ok" the way it is...

...and that's still the Truth...

...but I just feel like ranting a bit. So bear with me, huh?

My wife sometimes watches the show "What NOT to Wear" on TLC and if you haven't seen it, the premise is that a group of people nominate one of their friends for the show that they think makes poor fashion decisions. Then, the two hosts of the show completely surprise this "fashion disaster" out-of-the-blue and tell them that all of his/her friends think they need a new wardrobe.

You should seriously see the pain and betrayal in most of these people's faces. Now, granted, at the end of the show they're usually very happy with their new $5,000 wardrobe... but in the meantime, the 2 hosts go through each of that person's outfits one by one and makes fun of them, all the while belittling the person. On yesterdays show the girl was told repeatedly (to her face) that her clothing choices made her look like a dumb bimbo and "trashy."

I guess what gets me is the arrogance of the hosts - who think they know what looks good and will humiliate anyone that isn't up to their code of dress (they remind me of those kids in high school whose only way to fit in is to get in one of those "lets make fun of everyone else" cliques). I usually spend the entire episode shouting cusswords at the "pompous a$ *#$@s" who think they're better than everyone else.

I'm sure the hosts and the show creators have good intentions, but their methods are really an injustice and about the most cruel thing I've seen on TV.

So... maybe it should be renamed "What NOT to Watch?" ;)

(whew, I feel better now)


Jon said...

I think the whole thing behind the appeal of "reality TV" is that sense of egoic superiority fed by denigration of others:

"Look, I'm a cabbie and MY clothes are better than that guy's!" Or, "if I were stranded on a desert island, I would've had everyone building a shelter in the first hour!" Or, "Hey buddy, be glad those COPS read you your Miranda rights--if it were me, you'd've taken one between eyes, f##ker."

Without an other, there's no self. Without an other's inferiority, there's no self-superiority. I wonder what's the link between 16 years of watching COPS and our actions in Iraq?

isaiah said...

Yeah- shows like this are hard to figure.

"I usually spend the entire episode shouting cusswords at the "pompous a$ *#$@s" who think they're better than everyone else."

Cathy and I do this to each other's TV viewing habits. Her, to my PBS political/social and spiritual shows and me to her "shit TV" reality shows as I call it.

In the end, we ought to just grab the boy and bring him in to watch "SpongeBob Squarepants" together.... it would be much healthier, I believe.

jaxun said...

I have dubbed the phenomenon represented by this and many other shows the "Springer (as in Jerry) Effect". Shows like this draw people in because when they watch, they can't help but feel better about their own miserable lives.

Between the "Springer Effect", the news, and commercials, I have completely lost interest in watching TV at all.

Except for Spongebob, Airbender: The Last Avatar, and a Daily Show now and then. And various backseasons of stuff from Adult Swim.

But that's IT!!!