The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

(Un) Reality TV

I accidentally flipped my TV channel to a reality show the other night wherein these women were all competing to be the "girlfriend" of this former rock star. And you know, it was kind of like watching a train wreck: it's awful, and you really don't want to see it...but you can't take your eyes away. So I ended up watching a bit of it and now I really wish there was a way to bleach my brain.

I can only say this (scrambles up onto soapbox...feel free to go about your business and return when I've returned to reason): What has to go wrong in your life--horribly, spectacularly wrong--for it to seem like a really good idea to appear on national television dressed like a 1980's prostitute and trying to convince a balding, middle-aged, has-been rock star that you're worthy of his affections? C'mon, now. You'd lose less dignity wearing plaid capris and a boob tube to a $12,000 a plate fundraising dinner.

For that matter, you'd probably lose less dignity riding a unicycle down main street wearing a thong and a feather least until the boa caught in the spokes and you tipped over. And maybe even then you'd still have just a tad more pride than these women.

There's something inherently weird about reality TV, in my mind. See, I love my job and my life and I love working with people and so on. BUT, I think anyone who works with the public in any capacity will agree with me that you don't need to pay for cable TV or even tune in a network to see nasty, unreasonable, manipulative, and downright stupid behavior. Which begs the question...why watch it on TV? I can see people be unpleasant any old time--all I have to do is tell them that the doctor can't see them now that they're 25 minutes late for a 15 minute appointment and I'll be wishing it was TV so the expletives could be bleeped out.

Here's another question: is there a line anywhere that the TV execs will draw? That is, will the day ever come when they'll toss around an idea for a reality show and say "Nah....let's not do that."? No...I'm pretty sure that if it can be thought of, you can watch people do it and be mean about it. Watch your TV guide listings for such scintillating offerings as "Redheads Eating Soup and Calling Each Other Names", "Depressed Clowns Hitting Each Other With Pie and Calling Each Other Names", "Elephant Trainers Cleaning Dung Our of their Sneaker Treads and Calling Each Other Names" , "People Who Like Fluffernutter Sandwiches and People Who Don't Sharing a House and Calling Each Other Names", "27-Year-Old Virgins Who Collect Bottle Caps and Live With Their Moms Calling Each Other Names" and "Snake Wranglers in Love With Ladder Manufacturers and the Women Who Hate Them--All Calling Each Other Names."

My co-worker says that the thing about reality TV is that it isn't--people don't behave like that unless they're motivated by a lust for money and limelight. But I can't think of enough zeros behind the one on a check to make me style my hair in the latest in hooker chic, pour myelf into a skin-tight dress, and sleep with a man I barely know who is also sleeping with at least one other woman and then describe that other women in words that would make a sailor blush--all on national TV. Could I just put on a leopard print bikini, paint myself with mint chocolate chip ice cream, and walk down my block with a flashing light on my head and a sign saying "I'm a little minty pixie"? And maybe singing limericks? It would be way less embarrassing.

All that said, I think the reality--the REAL reality--is more like this:

That's part of blankie number two, about halfway finished.

These two squares--the purple one and the orange/turquoise stripey one--were both made by Lily in California and you'll notice that one is already finding a home in blankie #2. Sorry about that Lily--I mean to get a picture before I put it in there, but it just wanted to be in that row of that blankie and who was I to argue ("Blanket Squares and Blanket Makers, Calling Each Other Names")?

The box that came yesterday had the white block with Massachusetts on it from Cheryl, the autmny looking sqaure and the absolutely drool-worthy handdyed yarn from Debbie (it's called "LadyBug" and I'm already jealous of whomever wins it!), and another square that didn't photograph nearly as pretty as it is and which had no identifying label. If you had a beautiful square in that box that was black flecked with all different colors and soft as a kitten, let me know so I can thank you personally. And a huge thank you to all of you I DO know about. Man, you guys just keep rocking my world.

I guess TV execs don't think anyone would watch something about people like us, reaching out to give love and hope to other people. Boy, are they missing the boat. I'll leave you with some of my favorite song lyrics. I'm not sure who wrote it originally, but it's on at least three different albums that I own and listen to incessantly, and I love it each time (this is just the last verse):

"I feel a touch, now will I hold on?

Reach out with love, to those with no one?

With a kindness such, it lives though I'm gone.

I feel a touch, now will I hold on?"

Sure seems like you guys have that part down pat.


  • At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Mary said…

    The pretty and soft black square is fom Kat, who is blog-free. We just wanted to help out.

  • At 8:09 PM, Blogger mamarara said…

    Hi I am really glad that you liked the squares.

  • At 8:56 PM, Blogger ~Tonia~ said…

    I have seen previews for that show and I thought there is no way I am watching that. Glad I never gave in. I agree that it is a train wreck. It is just so wrong and disgusting.

    The new squares are very lovely.

  • At 8:15 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    We don't have cable anymore so the only non-video TV we watch is an occasional fuzzy college football game. However, while watching I have discovered that this fall will feature a new sitcom that is a spin-off from a GEICO commercial. Seriously, how desperate can a TV exec be???

  • At 9:57 AM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    I am 100% sure British T.V can beat yours for stupid reality shows. Is it any wonder our T.V is not much more than something we watch films on . It's amazing what complete prats people are happy to make of themselves ...I don't need to try too hard.


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