Monday, September 08, 2003

Reality TV

Last weekend, I was struck down with a particularly nasty little microbe that left me spending the entire Labor Day holiday alternating between my bed and the toilet. Although I did not write a single word all week, I did manage to catch up on my television viewing. And it was not pretty.

One of the problems of not being a regular viewer and refusing to have cable is how shockingly bad things seem to get between illnesses. The entire "reality" program concept is entirely beyond my ken. Of course, I have done stupid, cruel and humiliating things in my life, but I've had the good fortune to keep most of them in the private realm. The idea of people actually competing for whatever "celebrity" status they might attain does not bode well for the future of the republic.

In fairness to the news media, they did do an outstanding job of covering (or uncovering?) Cameron Diaz's broken nose. It's not that I mind seeing Ms. Diaz, but isn't there something a bit more substantive for our newshounds to cover. After all, a broken nose is hardly difficult to come by, why, I've had two – one from misjudging a high pop fly in Little League and the second from misjudging the level of appreciation from a surly drunk of my witty repartee.

After the horror of 9/11 there were those who promised us that America wouldn't, couldn't possibly return to the obsessive siren call of banal celebrity watching. If only they could have kept that promise.


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