Things we could do without - Reality TV

 
Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else
— George Orwell

It’s been a while between posts and I blame money, or in this case the lack of it. This image sums up what I think it is like in our world. If you stop running, the money stops and bad things start to happen . . . Better keep running.

While I haven’t been posting I have certainly been thinking. Thinking about parenting and, as my teenage children will soon be off and gone, society in general. I have been building a list of things that I think we could do without as well as a list of things we need of and that’s going to be my focus in-between sprinting, breathless around and around and around . . .

First on the list – Reality TV.

I can hear many of you now saying you don’t have to watch it. That’s true at an individual level, but at a societal level we are watching it and in vast qualities. Our children are watching these shows and must be thinking that this is “reality”. Horseshit . . .

It isn’t reality. Nothing like it. We know from the observer effect that the mere observation of a phenomenon inevitably changes that phenomenon. Everybody “acts” when they have a camera pointed at them. There is the classic story of a conflict between two African territories being fought in jeans and t-shirts. CNN arrived and suddenly everyone was in tribal regalia…

Reality TV is perversely obscuring reality. While we are watching The Block, MAFS or The Biggest Loser we (New Zealand) has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

The main reason it pervades the airwaves is purely down to economics. Reality TV is cheaper to make than shows that require writers, actors, directors etc etc. A reality show just needs a few cameras, a recognisable face and enough people willing to sacrifice part of their lives and dignity for Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame.

If you ask me, Reality TV should be renamed amateur TV. It would then slide into obscurity . . .


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