"On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points." --Virginia Woolf
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
When people stop being polite
"...and start getting real." I believe that was the original catch phrase of the '90s era episodes of the MTV reality show "The Real World."
Well the puppet masters of reality television are beyond impoliteness at this point: they're downright sadistic. It seems Rupert Murdoch's television wasteland, Fox, has decided to begin airing a reality show about people getting laid off. Fox's "Someone's Gotta Go" will feature a real-life company of around 20 employees competing for...well...so it's kinda like "The Apprentice." Only there are no winners. Just the unemployed.
Employees will be given an opportunity to view eachother's salaries and decide who gets "voted off the island" as it were...or who's "the weakest link" et al etc etc. Instead of employers doing the firing, however, employees will freely judge eachother's worth and value before a national television audience and demean one another until one of them is no longer on television.
According to the Huffington Post, Mike Darnell, programming officer, said that the show was about "employee empowerment."
Yeah, and "Rock of Love" is about Bret Michaels finding a soulmate.
"Somebody's Gotta Go" will be brought to you by producers over at Endemol USA. No, it's not a pesticide or a nasal spray or Viagara substitute; Endemol USA is comprised of subsidiaries and joint venture companies spanning 23 countries, which have brought such culturally enlightening programs as "Big Brother," "Fear Factor," and "Deal or No Deal." Just last year, Endemol bought up the company that was responsible for the reality/celebrity shows over at VH1--51 minds.
I mean, if it takes 51 minds to think up that Flava Flav show or "Tool Academy," you've got to question the quality of those minds. I do believe they are overpaid and at least 50 of them should decide on which one should be fired.
A few years ago, just after the company decided to go public, 75% of Endemol was bought by the company Mediaset, which, in case you're not familiar with your megaconglomerates, is owned by the Burlusconi Family.
I've got a great tag line for those Italian bastards I do. How about, "Mediaset: Doing for quality television what Silvio Burlusconi has done for his withering nation."
I'm just hoping that the American public will reach its low culture threshold and somehow create a backlash against this show and the impending culture surrounding it. It seems as though the process of judging eachother and creating entertainment out of it live on television is corrosive, vile and destructive. As constant voyeurs into the nightmare "reality" world of rejection and judgement, we are engaging in a destructive societal mentality. I can't help but believe that this mentality will somehow, perhaps subconsciously, seep into the day-to-day.
I know that, personally, whenever I face rejection in the workplace or elsewhere, all I hear are those damn catch phrases, "the weakest link " or "you've been voted off the island."
That being said, I do love Bret Michaels and his fine taste in classy ladies; you can never hear the words, "will you continue to rock my world" too many times from D-listed rocker in a doo-rag.
I am uncommonly mobile; I have circumnavigated the globe eight times, walking amazing distances. Through the South Island of New Zealand to the Southern Alps. From Chile to the Andes in Argentina. Across the Serengeti in Africa. I made 300 ascents of mountains 10,000 ft. tall or more, including the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, and Kilimanjaro. I traveled alone, aided only by my porters, sketching volcanos and collecting wildflowers along the way.