2004.7.14 – the bane of one’s existence

So, I’m back yet again and this time I’m on the Bravo television bandwagon. Yes, I have been thoroughly sucked in. Why, oh why, must Bravo have such fantabulous reality tv shows? I generally hate reality tv, but for some reason I cannot turn the channel when “Showbiz Mom’s and Dad’s”, “BlowOut” or “The Restaurant” are airing. Even if I have seen the episode 7 or 8 times, I still cannot bring myself to switch off the television.

I have been brainwashed. I admit it.

This evening I watched the finale of “The Restaurant” (which I must say was horrible, yet I still didn’t click to another channel) and found it massively difficult to tear myself away afterward. I mean, c’mon, the finale of “BlowOut” was airing directly afterward. I did see the “BlowOut” finale twice last night which is the only reason I was truly able to hit off on the remote and come here to write this snappy little rant.

Why are these shows so damn addicting? Does it have anything to do with the fact that watching people on television ruin their lives/careers/family relationships/etc. is seductively fun? Is my life so bad that I must watch others folly to make myself feel better about my daily existence? Are we all so wrapped up in the media that we are physically unable to live without some sort of background television noise to calm the questioning in our heads? Or is it all just another addiction that is impossible to give up?

I don’t really think it has to do with my own life and I’m banking on the fact that I’m NOT brainwashed, but who the hell knows anymore. The one thing I do know is that the moment I walk into my home after work the second thing I do after locking myself in is turn on the television set (or boob tube, if you prefer). This is a product of my upbringing. I didn’t watch a massive amount of television growing up, but there was always some form of media blasting into my home. A television or radio was on pretty much 24 hours a day and all though I didn’t always pay attention, I was still aware of it. This could also be why I can be three rooms away from the living room and still sense that a television is on, even when it is muted. There is a high-pitched buzzing, that even animals are unaware of, that humans are in tune with.

This makes you think, doesn’t it? Makes you wonder if the fact that we are inundated on a daily basis with millions of media images, whether we pay attention or not, is the reason why we continue to watch and listen. It is a subtle way to keep us buying products that we don’t necessarily need. Life is one big commercial and we are all the consumers, willing or not.

I don’t think that Bravo is that harmful. But, then again, who knows. Maybe they are sending out signals beneath the surface of “Showbiz Mom’s and Dad’s” that makes us want to buy more cheesy pop music. Perhaps “The Restaurant” is just a way to cover up the sublimal messages that make us want to intake as many calories as possible in a 60 minute span of time. Maybe I am just paranoid. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been accused of that, I assure you. Whatever the messages are, I’m listening and you are coming in loud and clear!


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