The Lurid Circus

I’ve been worried about the world ever since I happened upon the little-known film Idiocracy one night at 3 am.

The flick details the journey of an accidental time traveler who ends up in a future version of the United States where Gatorade has overtaken water because ‘it’s got electrolytes’ and people watch shows like “Ow, My Balls.” Our country, in vivid serio-comedic detail, is depicted as a dystopian place where sexual acts are given out at Starbucks. The movie is not great, but it’s quite frightening. And now, accurate.

We’re one step closer to “Ow, My Balls” with TLC’s new show, Here Comes Honey BooBoo

“If you thought she (Honey Boo Boo) was crazy, wait until you meet the rest of her family.”

Don’t get me started on the class-action lawsuit I have against her for stealing my nickname.* This show has me convinced that we’ve finally ceased treading water and are now sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Doesn’t this network have the word “learning” in it?

Say what you will about entertainment and its effect on culture, I’m looking at this purely from as a point of validation. Do we want to validate this type of thing? Why do we stare at car crashes? Why do we consume celebrity gossip? Why does it smell like bleu cheese in here? Okay, scratch that last one. I figured it out.

It's not like I have any vices or anything... NINJA VANISH!

And I could care less about all the adult characters: kept housewives, storage warriors, husbands-to-be kissing 45 women on TV and then marrying one. The list goes on, but why are we throwing money and time into a sideshow spectacle that legitimizes the act of spotlighting children in this way? It makes my heart hurt.

These are the inscrutable questions, I suppose. I’m troubled by the whole phenomenon of shows that focus on minors with foibles most likely brought about by parents desirous of notoriety.

I’ll also be the first to admit that I didn’t care about this kind of thing as much as I do now. Blame that on having a son or growing up, but I feel so saturated with the ridiculous. I have put up with buffoonish reality shows for too long.

But advertisers think we want to watch. Shows like these are funded on the premise that advertising and audience numbers from similar shows or personalities mean they work. Am I the only one who doesn’t want to laugh AT these people anymore? Who doesn’t want to alternately shame and praise human train wrecks?

…Or maybe I’m just mad because they’ve made me feel like old person because I remember when the channel had educational programming.

 

~Charlie

 

*Just kidding, my nickname has always been Skiddypants.

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