Brittany and I have more in common than I could have ever hoped for in a future wife, but there's this one giant, ugly disagreement we have on an almost weekly basis.
(Ok, before you fear for our marriage, understand I'm exaggerating. )
That disagreement is that she loves trashy tv and I absolutely hate it.
The other day I sat down next to her as she was watching some visual trash by the name of The Bachelorette. If I remember correctly, the bachelorette had just started crying because she was having such a hard time choosing between the men she 'loved' while we watched cut scenes of her making out with each other contestant in turn.
I had to leave the room.
Don't get me wrong, Britt understands how stupid/fake the show is. She finds the occasional trashy tv show oddly therapeutic. But to me, it upsets me at a very primal level. It took a while before I could articulate just why I hate trashy tv so much and--believe it or not-- it has everything to do with the field in which I work. I think I hate The Bachelorette because of marketing.
The problem with The Bachelorette, for me, is twofold.
- I just don't find it interesting--at all. Self absorbed drama kings and queens acting like their love interests carry national weight makes me want to move to Canada. I'm literally more interested in watching grass grow.
- (This is the big one) I refuse to enable their act. Back to the marketing thing, I view watching tv as something I do for enjoyment--but also as a purchase. My attention means ratings which means notoriety and therefore wealth/fame for those involved with the show. I frequently hear people talk about how stupid these shows are, but as long as we keep watching, they continue to exist.
Consumers enable producers, not the other way around.
Wanna know the best way to get rid of bad tv? Stop watching it.
Take the Kardashians for instance. Britt just told me that Kim and Kanye just bought a few $100,00 beds. She was shocked, I'm not. Is it because they need a bed that expensive? Well of course not. But they do need to stay in the headlines to stay relevant in order to keep building a media empire based purely on being bimbos.
I use the term 'bimbos' loosely here. I don't believe the Kardashians are stupid at all--they're just playing a part to make money and we are all paying them.
I guess it comes down to the fact that I don't value mindless entertainment. I'm not claiming to be some elitist literature buff who spends all day in the study pouring over Faulkner, I mean I watch ESPN and Friends consistently.
It's like a culture wheel--we watch mindless tv because it's entertaining and we read about $100,000 beds for the same reason. So we pay people to be ridiculous and entertain us--sounds safe.
But then, somewhere along the line, we lose our ability to recognize the jesters
All of a sudden people we know (like our kids) start to dress like Kim and Kanye and we're mad because they don't know that's fake, but is it fake anymore?