Television nowadays has become one of the banes of my life. I think it’s become the bane of everybody’s life, but people just don’t realise.
And why would they?
Decidedly few people are going to notice the negative effect it has when they’re so massively entertained by it. How can something so good be bad?
The sad fact is that most all we deem as being good today in society isn’t too great at all. I could go into great detail about many things that are destroying mankind with kindness, but I think television is somewhere near the top.
I’m not saying I don’t like TV. I like a lot of it. Not as much as I have in previous times in my life, but still a decent amount. I can’t wait for the new series of Red Dwarf; likewise the next season of The Walking Dead. I can relax and watch shows like Impractical Jokers, Man Vs Food and Friends and be pleasantly entertained. I also love a good documentary, especially if it’s astronomy or history themed.
But these few good offerings barely make up for the absolute nonsense I have to endure. The soaps for example; all of them are awful in their own unique way and how they’re so popular boggles the mind. I love it when somebody who doesn’t miss an episode of Coronation Street judges me because I enjoy watching wrestling. Irony!
Soaps are bad, but they aren’t the worst thing. The news is awful. I hate the way it’s presented and I hate the drivel it stuffs down our throats. We all must believe what’s being said because there’s footage of it happening and somebody in a suit is telling us. People in suits don’t lie…
The news is worse than soaps, but still not the worst thing on TV. That award goes to reality TV shows. My level of contempt towards this awful subgenre is practically immeasurable.
X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here, Strictly Come Dancing and the tonnes of others I can’t care to remember are the televisual equivalent of hell in my eyes. The worst of them all is Big Brother; whether the celebrity one or the one for ‘normal’ people.
Big Brother is generally the worst because it was the show that got the ball rolling as far as voting to save or eject people on the show. How noble! Let’s get the public actively involved by giving them a cause to be judgemental and decide who stays or goes…for a small fee of course.
And you all lapped it up didn’t you? Oh yes; in your millions you tuned in every night to see what shenanigans were taking place. Screw going out into the world to live a life of your own when you could (to quote the great Billy Connolly) sit in a house watching people sitting in a house. It was disheartening to see its rise to popularity because I knew it was only going to get worse.
I was right. Pop Idol, the predecessor to X Factor, was the next off the voting reality TV production belt and this was technically worse because it was all themed around one of the things I simply cannot abide; pop music (as the title might well suggest).
Oh me, oh my! I cannot describe my loathing for these singing talent shows. Every year it’s the same old tired routine. The same pillocks with the ‘touching’ backstory, those who look like nothing but then sing a really obvious song in a ‘breathtaking’ manner and those who sing really badly and are apoplectic that Mr Smug W**ker said no to them. There’s nothing fresh about it; the same thing on repeat year upon interminable year, but the sheeple continually lap it up.
Okay; if that’s what you like then who am I to judge? If you’re a fan of such trite nonsense then you’re likely reading this and thinking I’m an utter git! That’s your prerogative just as it’s mine to think the same of you for being suckered in.
These shows teach us nothing. Their educational merit is zero. Alright; the shows I mentioned earlier don’t exactly educate me either (apart from the documentaries), but then I’m not going out of my way to watch them. It’s a case of if I feel like it I’ll watch them and it could be as little as a couple of times a month and no more than once a week.
My concern surrounding reality TV is that I’ve seen a lot of things change in society over the last fifteen-twenty years or so. People are dressing in weird ways, layering themselves with makeup, wearing daft hairdos and facial hair and suddenly obsess over their physical appearance more than ever. That’s not the worst of it though. People can’t bloody spell! Grown adults can’t spell! They can’t piece together a proper sentence. You see it on social media all the time.
The intelligence level of the masses is on a major decline. Perhaps it’s wrong to blame this on reality TV. There was never really a platform for people to publicly display their inability to spell or throw a grammatically sound sentence together before Big Brother came along. I will definitely say with conviction that these shows haven’t helped though. Shows like The Only Way Is Essex and Geordie Shore have a lot to answer for in this regard too, especially in terms of physical image.
There seems little want for people to educate themselves. That, to me, is so odd. I love learning. I’m always reading and researching because I want to know what’s going on out there. I want to know where certain things came from and what makes them work. I’m not the kind of man who just accepts things for what they are without knowing where they came from and why.
People need to use the internet for more than just talking on Facebook about that person who sang a song by Adele really well. Everything you could possibly want to know about the world is on the internet. Abuse it. If not that then pick up a book. Go out and explore. Whatever! Boycott these stupid reality TV shows and have a little respect for yourself and your own intelligence. Stop lining Simon Cowell’s pockets. Line your own mind with knowledge. Stop dressing like those prats from Made In Chelsea. It isn’t a good look; trust me!
Don’t these people see that shows like I’m A Celebrity are there to prevent you from becoming intelligent? The creators don’t want you to be intelligent because if you are then you’re not as easy to manipulate. You won’t feed the cash cow by picking up your phone and voting. They want their faithful viewers to be idiots because idiots do as they’re told.
Reality TV is helping turn us into a nation, a world even, of dullards. Help stem the flow by being that sheep who stops following its shepherd, ignores the tales about the nasty wolves and discovers themselves on their journey. Maybe you’ll inspire people to break away from the flock too. Don’t let TV and pop culture define who you are. You’re better than that!
Are you a fan of reality TV and want to punch me in the face having read this? Am I misguided in my views? Do you agree that too many people are addling their brains through obediently watching these shows? Your comments are, as ever, appreciated, welcomed and urged. I shall ensure to respond to all of you who do comment.
Image 2 from Pinterest
Image 3 from Journalism & Media Newsroom
Image 4 from Mirror article ‘DJ Neil Fox charged with nine sex offences against six women and three underage girls’ by Sam Webb
Image 6 from The MOFET Institute