Monday, September 14, 2009

Who is the tool?

My (relatively) new domestic arrangement has exposed me to habits and patterns that sometimes confound me. For instance, my roommates have the capacity to be entertained by television shows that I’ve never considered viable sources of amusement. I’ve seen things that have shocked me with the most banal and ridiculous examples of human behavior. I had no idea that both cable and network programming had reached its current depths. Neither would I have expected intelligent viewers to settle for the poor quality product put in front of them.

Still, I’ve been told repeatedly throughout my life that folks value escapism, and apparently the more mind-numbing it is, the better it satisfies the singular need of the audience. Certainly the choices made in my household illustrate that point. The MTV music awards prove to be a meaningless and contrived spectacle, meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Reality shows offer insipid dialog, loathsome personalities, and situations that would strain credibility if penned by a scriptwriter for (even) the dullest of dramas. And consumers are meant to laugh at the most cliché jokes of today’s so-called sitcoms.

If I’m in the room when the idiot box is on, it’s sometimes impossible to ignore. As a result, I’ve learned that L.A. is still filled with self-absorbed, sub-human, empty shells that cynical producers put forth as fascinating subjects of study. I find it all insulting to the social condition. But obviously there are plenty that disagree. So I make my best attempt to find something redeeming about whatever’s on. Otherwise my hatred for my fellow man will know no bounds. Most of the time I’m thwarted in my efforts.

Yesterday I discovered “Tool Academy”. The set-up for this show is a supposed nationwide search for the ultimate “bad boy’. Unsuspecting dolts audition for a competition that will identify the “Alpha Males” of America. But within the first (or so) episode they realize that a trick has been played on them. Their girlfriends have submitted them for consideration as the worst mates in the nation. And all the video footage that they willingly had shot of themselves mouthing off and bragging becomes evidentiary material. They get to sit beside their disconsolate honeys as the very worst parts of their personas are displayed for a live crowd and America at large.

To add insult to injury, the creators of “Tool Academy” have enlisted the aid of an imperious relationship counselor with a distinguished British accent apparently meant to mask the vast level of stupidity the proceedings represent. And so it goes- a parade of self-delusion, an awesome lack of common sense, and a cavalcade of absolute nonsense. Is it representative of the quality of intimate pairings of the populace? If it is, then evolution has truly reversed itself, and our species must soon inevitably cede to another classification of animal. Our citizens are literally retarded, emotionally and otherwise.

Could it be that this show actually serves some sort of useful purpose other than the empty calories derived from the titillation of digesting extreme obnoxiousness? Is it a useful guide in what to avoid in dealing with your significant other? Perhaps some unfortunate viewers will see reflections of their own lives in the hapless guys and gals onscreen. I suppose if even a single woman decides to dump her misbehaving man after noting his resemblance to one of these buffoon contestants, then some redemption for its existence might be proven. Yet it’s easy to counter that anyone who has chosen to invite the presence of such a creature into her life deserves the burden of its continued presence.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

kill your television!

1:48 PM  

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