The alarming new reality of “reality” TV

Reality+TV+is+unfortunately+the+type+of+television+that+a+lot+of+Americans+watch+today%2C+and+it+doesn%27t+teach+people+anything.+Credit%3A+Michael+Morales%2FThe+Foothill+Dragon+Press

Reality TV is unfortunately the type of television that a lot of Americans watch today, and it doesn't teach people anything. Credit: Michael Morales/The Foothill Dragon Press

Sean Anthony

Reality TV is unfortunately the type of television that a lot of Americans watch today, and it doesn't teach people anything. Credit: Michael Morales/The Foothill Dragon Press
Reality TV is unfortunately the type of television that a lot of Americans watch today, and it doesn’t teach people anything. Credit: Michael Morales/The Foothill Dragon Press

Winding into the holiday season, we come upon a time of family, friends, gifts, thanks, hope, food, love…and of course, television.

 Instead of spending time conversing and sharing with family and friends, we hunker down with our relatives like mindless automatons and stare blankly into a brilliantly empty screen; a screen which transmogrifies into many forms and hues yet serves only to slowly but surely sap your brain and leave it grey and lifeless.

 Cynical?  Perhaps. But before you click away and plop yourself on a couch in your TV room, I must clarify.  I do not aim to scrawl out a self-righteous rant about why television is bad, and how it makes you stupid, and all that obnoxious jazz.  I can’t myself say that I don’t partake in the occasional checking out to unredeemable entertainment.  However, I can say that that I try to refrain at least from degenerative eye garbage.

 Watching meaningless television has become not only a ubiquitous activity, but a way of life, the worst of which is of course reality television.

 Reality TV is a pandemic which scourges all that is marginally intelligent and deforms it into quarreling fools, shallow cosmetic Frankensteins, and manufactured drama.  Today around 57 percent of all television programs are reality shows.

 Scrolling through the channels, it’s hard to believe that the thousands of reality shows stay afloat, but much to my disgust, they thrive.  Entire networks often fall victims to the crippling plague of reality television, and by victims I mean they capitalize on profits built on the foundation of America’s destruction.

 Instead of providing informational and intriguing shows about wildlife, Animal Planet broadcasts programs which have less to do with animals and more to do with cute puppies and human drama.  A series called “Tanked” is an entire show dedicated to the construction of fish tanks.  How trapped are we in television’s grasp if we are willing to watch shows about people constructing fish tanks instead of doing something, anything productive at all.

 And the list goes on.

 MTV (archaically known as Music Television) has degenerated into nothing more than pregnant, hapless 16-year-olds and on the other side of the spectrum, spoiled, bratty after-products of inherited wealth planning out their perfectly selfish Sweet 16.  Do I even need to mention the orange-sprayed fiasco that was “Jersey Shore?”

 The only thing one can discover on the Discovery or “History” channels are rednecks.  Rednecks in swamps.  Rednecks in garages.  Rednecks in Alaska.  Rednecks buying things.  The sudden obsession with rednecks is an enigma.  Perhaps because people are easily entertained by watching ignorance in the form of men, or because they like to watch macho men instilled with the essence of “true” America, or because it makes viewers feel better about themselves.  Regardless of the reason, with no disrespect to current or aspiring rednecks, watching fools makes the viewers no less of a fool themselves.

So many wars take place on television that a foreign viewer would think we were warmongers (and they may be right), but rather these are Cupcake Wars, Shipping Wars, Parking Wars, Storage Wars, etc.  Yes, these are all real shows, watched by real people (how human they actually are, none can be sure).

 Combative shows like these reveal not only the filth people are willing to watch but also how competitive our society has become.

 Some may argue that this competition is just for fun and has no real impact on its viewers, but this is untrue.  So much in our society is about being the best.  Having the most money, being the sexiest man or woman alive, being an athletic superstar, being successful.  Our political system has a gaping fissure running through it which divides our two dichotomous parties, a truth clearly seen in the childish actions of our disappointing Congressmen.

 As should be clearly obvious from the pure idiocy of most reality TV shows, reality television is not only unproductive to watch, but destructive.

 It wastes time and narrows minds.  It places fools on pedestals and destroys all signs of intelligent life.  It causes viewers to strive not for greatness but for animalistic behavior.  It promotes ruthless competition with peers over cooperation.  It serves only to construct an army of babbling, tattooed, hulkish, Botox-injected, face-lifted, silicon-stuffed, narrow-minded buffoons.         

 We should rather set our sights on recuperating the new generation, not the de-generation.

 So before you grab a tub of ice cream and tune into the latest show on rednecks, just ask yourself, “Is this what I want to become?”

 Because I assure you, soon enough, you will.

What do you think?