Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sad Reality

When reality television began to take hold, I told my students, "Civilization has been excellent. It is a shame to see it end."

Reality television's continual digging for the lowest common denominator is wholly depressing. But up to now, I have not been depressed because I ignore RTV, except for a few minutes here or there. I did write a story that shredded a RTV show.

Today I had a terribly sad thought. I was clicking around the dial and saw a clip of a guy at a gas station that caught his vehicle and himself on fire. He ran a few steps, then stopped, dropped, and rolled, which helped a little. Two other guys helped extinguish his flaming legs. He sustained minor injuries.

RTV displays extremes of human behavior. Video cameras are everywhere, planted for security reasons, planted to make RTV shows, and everyone seems to have a camera on their phone. Writers have the opportunity to see humanity's extremes in ways that were unthinkable fifty years ago. RTV is a gold mine for writers.

I feel like crawling in a hole and crying.

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