This column is not start of some fascist movement, nor am
I a “pinko” or a communist on any level.
Let’s get that out of the way so that the lynch mobs don’t
have any time to form.
Before you ask for my head, I beseech ye to read on.
Though the title of this column could have your practicing your best expression
of outrage in the mirror like you did when you heard that Miss America had been
spending many of her nights on top a New York City bar or in one of its
bathroom stalls, I think you’ll realize that it isn’t in any way involved with
politics (at least not how you think it does) or our democratic rights (at
least not the ones in the Constitution).
People say outlandish things and use their unpopularity to
their advantage all the time. Look at Ann Coulter and the opinion that gives
opinions a bad name, Rosie O’Donnell. Controversy sells just as much as sex
does. Make it a sexy controversy, and you’ve got a bona fide hit on your hands.
If we weren’t a bit creepy, creepy things wouldn’t thrive.
However, if you want to get yourself ostracized quicker
than an unmarried pregnant girl in church, say something about the troops or
the freedoms that they are fighting for. If this were the subject of this
column, or my intent for its content, then I would not flee from my fate at the
hands of ye, the angry mob.
In knowing all that, ye angry mob, I must declare that I
don’t want America to stop voting on this day, April the 6th in the
year of our Lord 2007.
Rather, I want America to stop voting for things they
watch on television.
Seriously, if I hear the phrase “America Voted” from
another TV host that lacks both talent and personality, I may actually be able
to stop this reality television addiction cold turkey like I did with watching
MTV a few years back. Reality television is like my old obsession with watching
MTV: it absolutely is repugnant to me in every way, yet I’m uncontrollably
drawn to it.
You realize that you are getting older when a few things
happen in your life. Things like having life insurance, a few kids and a
mortgage is one thing, but the realization that responsibility is your new
recklessness usually hits most young adults in a dimly lit office building in a
nameless suburb far from any real city. The realization that can make a boy
succumb to the idea of wearing pleated pants and planning for the future is
when they find out they are too old to apply for MTV’s “The Real World.”
This show is the first of these reality shows that have
become the bane of my existence. It is the head of the monster that now has
sprouted arms that make us have to see if the gold digger that just took 56
million from the cheeky Beatle will be able to keep her fake leg from flying
into the front row while she does the Tango.
Singing shows, dancing shows, model shows, design shows,
ice-skating shows, shows where we re-enact “Lord of the Flies” for primetime
ratings (Survivor), and shows that even strangers make people come together in
the cheesiest of storybook fairytales to potentially make a “connection” and
marry a complete stranger.
Tens of millions of people call on their phone each week
to vote for Sanjaya or any washed up celebrity who wants a few more seconds in
the spotlight, even if they have to do the Cha-Cha-Cha in order to get it. Yet,
people forget that the “Real World” started all this madness. It’s not my fault
that I can’t change the channel, it’s MTV’s fault.
It amazes me when I read statistics saying that more
people apply to get on the “Real World” than apply to get into Ivy League
schools, and that more people voted for the last American Idol than the last
So, perhaps the next “Rock the Vote” campaign that MTV has
will be to take current events, and this country’s obsession with mindless
voyeurism and put it to good use.
Hence, the reason why someone should put all the people
that are running for President into a house, tape it 24 hours a day, and put
that out on Prime Time on the sweeps weeks right before the November elections
and watch how many people turn up to “Rock the Vote.”
Call it the “Real World: Pennsylvania Ave.”
You’d have all your favorite Real World stereotypes: the
All-American frat-boy type that has it all figured out and lets his loud mouth
and lower moral standards get him into trouble (Rudy Guiliani and Joe Biden fit
The token person of a different religion or sexual
orientation that is on the show to learn something new about their lives and
more than likely, open their extremely closed mind. (This person always cries.)
In this case, I think that the uber-conservative senator from Kansas Sam
Brownback, and Mormon candidate Mitt Romney.
Misunderstood African-American: Sen. Barack Obama
Driven female whose drive and determination is often taken
as bitchiness or in this case, being a robot: Sen. Hillary Rodham-Clinton
Been-there-done-that-know-it-all who pisses off the
roommates with their comments: Senator John McCain, Senator Chris Dodd, Dennis
Kucinich, and Newt Gingrich all apply here.
I think you get the picture. The voyeurs of America will
watch weekly as their planned policies that they would be implementing for four
years if they earn “America’s vote” will be seen while they shoot pool or play
flip-cup rather than stand on a podium and read a speech that someone else
wrote for them.
You’ll get to know how John Edwards is feeling about his
wife’s health when he breaks down one night in the confession room, and you
won’t want to miss the episode when Romney and Brownback come to blows with a
terrible combination of jagermeister and religious debate.
Hey, I know this is a ridiculous analogy, but so is the
current system where the representative for each political party is based on
who raises the most money.
If our choices for President are based on who begs the
best, and who makes us feel safe as the figurehead of our country, why not see
what our figurehead does when put in a house with 17 strangers, and forced to
I know the ratings would be through the roof, as would the
voting in the next election.
Think about that America, the next time your dancing or
singing show goes to commercial break.
me at firstname.lastname@example.org.