Tuesday, August 16, 2011

When Reality Gets a Little Too Real

At what point will it occur to someone that if you have a shitty private life, going on a public television show is not a good idea?

In light of today’s awful announcement, I think all reality tv people should take a good, hard look at their lives. Do you want all the nitty gritty details to become public? Have you checked your financial statements? Is your job secure? Any kids with mental/physical/emotional issues? How is the family doing? Are you close with all your brothers and sisters? How is your marriage? Obviously no one has a crystal ball and can predict how your future will turn out, but if you know that your whites are a bit dingy, then don’t air your laundry in public!

We’ve seen this time and time again. Jon and Kate started out all right, I might even say cautiously happy. Now, not only are they divorced, but it was an angry, bitter, public divorce that dragged their precious kids down with it. How many Housewives have lost their husbands or their homes? Half? How many of their kids needed counseling, not cameras? All? I don’t yell at my kids as much in fall and spring because my windows are open. I couldn’t imagine having all of my windows open, all year long, with millions of people peeping in at all hours of the day and night. That, right there, is my version of hell on earth.

So why do these people choose to be on television? Fame? Money? Love? I bet all three. Prostitution is the oldest profession because it requires the least skill. The only think you need to make money is a pulse. There is nothing to learn from any of the shows on Bravo, or MTV, or Discovery, or TLC other than people are crazy, people are stupid, and when you put people in stressful situations, they will react accordingly. None of this is exactly rocket science. Teenagers get drunk, mothers relive childhood through their children, money can’t buy you class, or taste, or true friends, and simply saying that you are a singer/author/designer doesn’t mean you actually are. All of these are known facts. I don’t need to watch TV to learn them.

However, train wreck television has become appointment viewing. I DVR most of the RH series, plus a host of other reality shows and I am both embarrassed by them and addicted to them. Why? Simple – they make me feel better about myself as a wife, mother, friend, and person. I don’t put my kids through pageants, begging the audience to believe that the child is the one who loves it while said child screams and cries her way through the day. I don’t pretend I am rich. I don’t pretend that all of my acquaintances are my true friends and that every minor slight is a duel to the death offense. I am not really a dramatic person. I try to tell a good story. I try to make people laugh. I gossip. But do I stir shit intentionally in order to cause others pain and suffering? No. I most emphatically do not. I’m just me. Pantless. Often braless. Usually tasteless. I may live quite a bit of my life publicly on FB and on my blog, but I choose what gets published. I choose what I say and how I say it. I can’t blame editing. I can’t blame Andy Cohen or Jon Gosselin or any of the behind the scenes production crew because there isn’t anyone else. Anything I say or do is my fault, good or bad.

So goodbye Russell Armstrong. I hope you get in the afterlife what you denied yourself in this one – peace and quiet.

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