Monday, October 12, 2009

How Much More Reality Can We Stand?

Not too long ago while channel surfing, I came across something more frightening than my Aunt Darla that shaves off her eyebrows and then draws them back on every morning at 8 am with a palsy shake and a martini. More shocking than anything Paris Hilton will do over the next few years, I think. What could be worse you ask? How about this: a 15 year-old girl screaming at her cowering parents about her $250-thousand sweet 16 party where 50 cent will sing and she'll get 2 cars she can't even drive yet?

The mother was busy buying her a dress more expensive than a year's worth of mortgages and in return this grateful young girl was screaming at her mother that if everything isn't perfect for this party she will hate her for life. Yup, that's entertainment folks.

Pity the man that marries this screwed up chick in a couple years. Now the first thing we normally do is blame the parents. Screwed up parents equal screwed up kids, right? I usually don't buy into that theory. But in this case, someone should take those two new cars and run them both over. In a world filled with more reality than any of us ever knew existed, how much reality is too much?Is it any wonder why 3/4 of the world's peolpe hate us for our over indulgent, natural resource sucking, global warming causing, spoiled lame asses?

When I watch shows like this, I hate us. Who decided this should ever be broadcast on television? Well in retaliation, I've come up with a few new reality shows I'd like to see. I'm not sure how they'll do in the ratings, but I'm definitely sure they'll make me feel better. First, how about "Beating Celebrities with Sticks?" I mean who doesn't want to take a swing at Paris Hilton? Tom Cruise? Lindsay Lohan? What could feel better than wailing a branch at some spoiled, whiny, over paid, talentless know-it-all celebrity?

Or what about "I'm Anorexic and I'm Proud?" This is a great show for people starving for attention. You know all those people that feel skinny is their greatest accomplishment in life? If this is true, I have a whole country of accomplished Ethiopians we can feature. Look at me, I'm a size 2! Well look at me, I'm a size 22 and pass the donuts.

How about "Catch Me if You Can?" In this show, we get to strip away all the legal crap and let the people vote for who's guilty and who isn't. We can start with O.J. Simpson. In this show, circumstantial evidence counts, like we have a bloody glove, a footprint, dead bodies, a motive and he's running. Guilty? You betcha. Or when a grown man admits "I sleep with young boys" and a jury says well, that's okay we're quite sure it's purely platonic. In my show, there's a bonus round where we get to hunt down, sequester (tie-up) and beat jury members that let the guilty run free. I'm selling this one to FOX.

Another show for Fox, "Who Wants To Marry A Crack Whore?" To hell with millionaires, they're just too complicated. Marry a crack whore and you'll always know where you stand. Just imagine the fun we could have with the elimination rounds.

Finally, my own personal favorite, "Shock a Network Executive." In this show, we get to blast network executives with varying volts of electricity for bringing the most begnin, banal, garbage to the airwaves. Let's start with "The Simple Life", for simple-tons, "Celebrity Fit Club", otherwise known as let's take a gaggle of fat washed-up celebrities and try to kill them by making them run up mountains, and "America's Next Top Model," where none of the winners actually become top models and we get to watch tall beautiful women that have the world by the balls complain about the bump on their nose.

So in a world where the only true reality is the one we make for ourselves, just how much reality is too much?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

John and Kate Plus Who Gives a Crap?

My grandparents were immigrants from Russia. My grandmother on my mothers side had 12 children that included 2 sets of twins. My father's mother had 11 of her own. I'm surprised any uterus could withstand such abuse without dragging behind you like a dead cat hanging on a leash. But they did. And how?

Because these people were tough as nails. They were from the Old Country. Grandchildren of immigrants know all about the Old Country. And they didn't get their own TV show for having a bunch of kids. Maybe because TV wasn't invented yet. Or maybe because if they did, it would go something like this:

Kid 1: I don't like deer meat.

Grandma: Your father killed it, chopped its head off and dragged it 5 miles through the snowy woods and back here so you would have something to eat. He spent 6 hours gutting it and ripping the meat from the bone. Eat it or eat nothing.

Kid 1: But I don't...

Grandma: What you don't-- is have appreciation. Go to your room without any supper. Anyone else?

Kid 2 through 11: No ma'am. Bambie's delicious. We love it. Thank you Ma.

Grandma: I didn't think so.

And just like that, dinner conversation was over. Later, Grandma would cut her own hair with a paring knife and vacuum cleaner. And somehow, it still looked better than Kate's over-bleached, uber-chic "what the hell happened to the back of your head" $200 salon cut.

The next day you would find grandma in the garden, 7 months pregnant, growing an entire produce section worth of fresh vegetables. She would dig, fertilize and pull weeds all the while banging the heads of garter snakes that got in her way against the nearest rock. One time she even beaned a rattler with a shovel, kicked the fanged-head in one direction and swung the body onto the compost heap. Let's see you do that Kate...or John for that matter.

Now, kids 1 -11 had their own list of do's and don'ts. The eldest took care of the babies while both parents worked from sun up to sun down. That left kid 2 through 7, 8 or 9 depending on what year it was to do things like keep the house, keep the yard, and generally keep out of the way. When Aunt Patty acted up (she would be diagnosed as ADD today and put on Ritalin), Grandma's solution was simple; run around the house. So Aunt Pat would frequently run around the house like the village simpleton until she fell over from exhaustion in the flower bed. Complex psychiatric situation solved and without meds.

Now I wonder if all this crazy would make a good TV show? I'm thinking I would find it infinitely more entertaining than most reality TV. I know the neighbors did. But they had the good sense to come by with a tuna casserole and share their own versions of crazy with my grandparents behind closed doors. I'm sure Grandma and Grandpa would have the good sense not to put this menagerie in the public eye. After all, while certain celebrities like Julia Roberts fight tooth and nail to keep their children out of the limelight, just what kind of parent's shove their kids right out in it?

The problem is, kids grow up. I can't imagine being in the lion's den called junior high with teenage hormones raging all around me and having to try and find my way in the world when all of the family dirty laundry for years was some 10 million peoples entertainment.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

You're Only Renting

Have you ever heard someone say, "It's my body, I'll do what I want with it?" I remember saying that to my Mom and Dad when I thought about all the options I had to color, cut, stick, poke and just go ahead and generally maim myself. I actually believed this was my body...that I owned it. Years later I would look in the mirror and think,"Who the hell is that?" After living life a bit, you one day come to realize it's really not your body at all. You don't own it. You're simply renting. You can't change any of it, so it's obviously not yours. I didn't choose this particular nose. And I want to be taller. And what's with this hair? A cowlick for God's sake? Who chooses that? If this were actually MY body, I want in no particular order:

- To be 6' 3"
- The waist of a 13 year-old girl
- 18" Biceps
- Brad Pitt's Chest
- His Wife's Lips
- Hugh Jackman's anything

So, if this isn't really my body at all...then who's is it? Scientists say we descended from apes. And apes are in the monkey family. And if that's true, why didn't we keep the tail? Can you imagine the fun we could have with that? Theologians suggest we are created in God's image. I wonder if God has a pot belly or scoliosis? I know my parents had something to do with it. But how much really? My dad was a steelworker and my mom was a waitress. I can't weld and I can't balance a tray to save my life. I look a bit like both, but mostly nothing like either. I can't imagine anyone could have ever conceived the miracles that happen within our bodies every second of every day. That had to come some from somewhere else.

So, if this is all true...who the heck is our earthly landlord? And would he really be happy with me mangling his creation? Or sticking pins in it? Or posting it on the Internet with Kim Kardashian? Or just plain embarrassing the rest of the human race from which we are all connected? I know if I was a landlord and my tenants painted my house the wrong colors, hammered holes in it all over the place or used it as an opium den (my fathers favorite term, God rest his soul) I'd be pretty P.O'd. I mean doesn't this simply devalue our earthly rental property?

So the next time you think that this body is really yours, think again. Think about how little control you really have over it. Think about how you can't keep your boobs from sagging or your prostate from enlarging. Or that Thanksgiving neck. Or hair that won't grow on your head but happily sprouts out your ears. But most importantly, think about the miracle that allows you to breathe, think, speak, move and feel. Think about how the miracle of modern science only knows about a thousandth of one percent about how any of it really works at all.

Then, think about how really perfect you are...right the way you are. And when you come to realize just how true that is, how all of this really has nothing to do with you at all....then take one big breath and exhale. You're doing just fine. Then stop thinking about all of this before you get a headache.