Sunday, April 03, 2011

The end of the world as we know it

(...or at least, television...)

The great thing about the internet is you can hear about things on television and in the media without going through the agony of witnessing them first-hand.

For instance, I've never seen Two-And-A-Half Men, but I know I would have to be under court order to part with a penny of my money to listen to Charlie Sheen talk. So when the 5,100 attendees of Sheen's show in Detroit were outraged at the quality of entertainment they received, all I could think was, "You all deserved to lose your money."

Although this has answered a question that has been burning in my mind for awhile now: What kind of moronic, shallow pinheads keep moronic, shallow reality shows on the air and make inconsiderate, self-centered, self-important people of non-existent or waning talent into media darlings?

Now we know -- they were all gathered for a convention in a Detroit auditorium.

But they can't take the full brunt of the blame. Apparently the Rutgers University administration is peopled with the same moronic, shallow pinheads.

By way of disclaimer, I have seen approximately 10 minutes of Jersey Shore. Since it's filmed in my old stomping grounds of Seaside Heights, NJ, I thought I might catch a glimpse of some old memories. Instead, I saw a glorification of the same skeezes that caused me to press the suspicion button at my teller window whenever they walked into the Seaside branch of the bank I worked for back in the day.

So you all know the story by now: A Rutgers University student entertainment group, who receives funds garnered from a portion of tuition money, hired this Snooki person from Jersey Shore to appear at the school and paid her $32,000 -- $2,000 more than the University is paying Nobel-winning author Toni Morrison to speak at commencement.

If that doesn't cause every brain-functioning viewer to switch off their television, stop buying products advertised on these insipid shows and send little Finster anywhere but Rutgers, then you all deserve the society that is going to be choosing your nursing home.

University reps claim Snooki was chosen based on canvassing students for their preferences.


Yes, I know I go on and on about bad TV and I know there is a bit of the, "I think she doth protest too much" in what bothers me -- and I would agree. It bothers me that, in accepting such incredibly poor programming, our choices are narrowing along with our ability to handle any plot more complicated than the train-wreck lives served up by reality shows.

Obviously, the power-that-be behind television programming know that sensational and shocking plots will draw in more viewers. But, they also know that the more adrenaline-inducing scenarios they throw at the public, the more desensitized they become and the more adrenaline-inducing scenarios will be required to finally satisfy them (sorry- this is beginning to take on a definite sexual metephorical tone...). In other words, the more TV (and advertising) they can make you watch, the more TV (and advertising) they can make you watch.

Let's just say that on the mainstream level (and, truly, I know how pretentious the word "mainstream" is...), "subtlety" is dead; "nuance" is dead; artful allusion is dead.

The Kardashians, however, continue on.

Or, perhaps, because I have only seen approximately 10 minutes of any given reality show, something more goes on after I turn it off? Does a Jersey Shore Guido suddenly have a lucid moment at some point or does a Kardashian suddenly look up and ascertain where lies the true center of the universe?

I would say that's just about as likely as Charlie Sheen completing his 20-city tour.


Gwynne said...

Heh. You say it so well. And Rutgers, really?!?! Good God. The End is definitely near.

Sisiggy said...

Yeah, the four horses just went galloping by...