Reality Burn

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Do you really want to know when America took a wrong turn?   Clearly…. somewhere along the line … we have taken a wrong turn.  Would not you agree?

The world is laughing at us right now.  They cannot believe the absurdity of our entire presidential election process this time around.  That’s the cherry on top.

In years past, many foreign countries used to think we were a bunch of stupid Americans, stomping around in white gym shoes, and Mickey Mouse ears…. with a penchant for hot dogs, and Old Milwaukee beer. Unfortunately…. as a whole…  we have gone downhill from there.

The wrong turn?

Reality TV.

I’m not kidding you.  Our demise happened when Reality TV took over.  The psychology behind this is most likely astounding.  I mean, I could write a whole  book on this. Seriously.. probably a whole 8-page-book…..  and I have no formal training.  Call me Little Freud.

Here’s the skinny.

Back in the day, we had the likes of Leave It To Beaver;  The Lucy Show;  The Waltons;  Little House on the Prairie; The Andy Griffith Show… for crying out loud.

We used to look to the light.  There was always a moral to the story.  A wrong to be righted.  A message of truth.  The power of good.  Love conquers all.
Each, and every dag-nabbin-week.

But then the hype took over.  The need for speed.  It was no longer about how good you could be.  It turned around.  The focus turned 180 degrees.  Now the question is…. How bad can you be?

The whole basis of the reality television is driven by ego.  The victor.  The last man standing.  The Biggest, Nastiest Ego, takes it all.

It was no longer Mr. Nice Guy…. like little Opie.  Oh, Nopey-Dopey.  It all transformed into who holds the sharpest razor in the game of cut-throat.
Survivors undermining other survivors.  Trash talk.  Lies. Cheats.  Shortcuts. Big Brothers kicking all the other brothers.  When they were down and out.

Julie Chen will send you packing.  And the  Housewives of Atlanta will put a high-heel right in your high horse.

But don’t blame the TV Industry.  We bought it.  We ate it up.  We couldn’t get enough of it.

The rest of those old shows were lame.  Sappy.  Trite.  I mean… Holy Heck.  What a bunch of losers… to have moral values… and to actually stand up for what was right.

Somehow… the attitudes shifted from “What can I give to the world?”… TO….
“What can the rest of the world give to me?”  Yes.  Entitlement became the cloak.

We used to take photos of the places we would go… and the people we loved.  Now, the selfie-stick is a mere extension of the arm.  The camera has turned to capture the face of the most important person in the Universe.  The face in the Selfie.

But.   And there always is one.  But.  Not everyone took the wrong turn.  Not everyone swallowed the bait.

There are a whole bunch of people who are keeping the bus out of the ditch…. even if it means getting behind the thing… and pushing.   Or pulling.  Or maybe they just ride along quietly and mind their manners while they travel on that bus.  No matter.  They are still there.  They still Love Lucy, and they still say Good-Night Jim-Bob.  Good-Night John-Boy.

They still like to sit outside and look at the deep black sky… filled with a million stars…from galaxies a million miles away.  And they see the twinkle of light… and they still know…. …. that we are all in this together… under the same starry night.   Looking toward the light.

“Oh, my, get out of the way, please! It’s burning and bursting into flames, and the—and it’s falling on the mooring-mast and all the folks agree that this is terrible, this is one of the worst catastrophes in the world.  It’s–it’s–it’s the flames, oh,  four- or five-hundred feet into the sky and it … it’s a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen. It’s smoke, and it’s flames now … and the frame is crashing to the ground, not quite to the mooring-mast. Oh, the humanity ……. … and all the passengers screaming around here. I told you….  ” — Herbert Morrison, Report, The Hindenburg Disaster