Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Misery Loves Company

Misery truly does love company. Our society thrives on other peoples misery. Have you had a chance to watch day time television lately? It’s distended with other peoples miseries. Starting with the daytime soaps whose only basis for existing is to portray human tragedy and misery, “he slept with her, she cheated on him,” “she is having who’s baby?!” So on and so forth. Then you have the so-called courtroom shows. Shows such as; “The People’s Court,” “Divorce Court,” “Texas Justice,” “Judge Judy,” “Judge Joe Brown,” “Judge Alex,” "Judge Mills Lane," and “Judge Hatchet.” Here we have supposedly true tales of “this one did that one wrong” and all the emotion and heartache which goes along with it. We get to see our peers and neighbors air their dirty laundry and show their stupidity and ignorance thereby making us feel better about ourselves and our pitiful lives. Finally we get to the daytime talkshow. Here we find shows like “Montel Williams,” “Dr. Phil,” “Maury Povich,” “Oprah,” “Donahue,” and the king of daytime drama “Jerry Springer.“ With these shows we get to hear people talk about their past heartaches and drama, usually involving their significant others and their infidelities. We, as a society, can not get enough of these shows. We love seeing other peoples pain, we love watching it unfold before us. Primetime TV doesn’t do much better with dramas such as The OC, Laguna Beach, 90210, Malibu, Law & Order, NYPD Blue, and so forth. Further we have the hugely popular “reality” shows; Cops, The Real World, The Apprentice, American Idol, and so on. With these shows we get to see the drama and situations develop in front of us from week to week. We just can’t get enough of this human drama. Take racing as another example, do you think Nascar became the largest motor sport in the world because people like watching cars drive in circles? Absolutely not! It all comes down to the fact that we want to see wrecks. Physical wrecks or emotional wrecks, we just want to watch people crash and burn. Severe and scorching. Like it or not it’s who we are and it’s so pervasive in our culture it’s not likely to change anytime soon.

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