We are all on the stage of life
written by Ron:
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“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts”
The Bard of Avon had it right – especially in this day and age.
Seems like everything is on the big stage today. Representative Anthony Weiner stupidly screws up by posting some dumb photos of himself on the internet. Perhaps Representative Weiner didn’t know how the internet works – that a few million nosy people could see his near-nude images on their computer screens. Now we have a giant television production called “The Stupid Anthony Weiner Show.” Anyone can see it on all the news and network channels. The audience can’t wait for the final episode which will probably show Weiner removing himself from his seat in Congress. Stay tuned for more Weiner news at six. And then Anthony Weiner will be gone and another miscreant will take center stage and millions will watch.
Paris Hilton, the Kardashians and some New Jersey blockheads have their own television shows. They’re famous because, er, um, uh, because they’re famous. That’s it. They don’t sing, dance or act, they just permit the television cameras to film them whining, bitching, griping, fighting and for that they get famous – and rich. There’s hope for you and me. Be somewhat inappropriate and you, too, can star on your own TV series.
The number of paparazzi grows each week as they float from place to place looking for tragedy, pain, pregnancy and drunken behavior. Lindsay Lohan has, so far, made a career of popping up around the globe drinking, smoking, not drinking, not smoking. Each decision worthy of prime time news.
The Casey Anthony trial produces high ratings as millions of Americans watch in paralyzing interest as the program’s namesake is tried for the murder of her two-year old daughter, Caylee. Every disgusting piece of evidence, anguish and heartbreak is as closely watched as a Super Bowl, World Series, great movie or war report.
We have become a nation of sensation-watchers. We want immediate sensory gratification when we watch and/or listen to a program. We also don’t want to invest too much thinking in the process.
Millions are watching television programs featuring the extremely obese, drug, sex, and hoarding addicts, drunks, disadvantaged and the unfitting.
Other than for a quick sensory jolt, why else would we spend an hour watching the travails of the Kardashian family or a report on Lindsay Lohan causing a ruckus at the Chateau Marmont.
The television networks have a responsibility that they have, to a large extent, abdicated. They have paid their stars, such as Charley Sheen, increasingly majestic salaries to star in their 30-minute shows and now they find they can’t sell enough advertising to pay their salaries so they turn to far less expensive “reality” shows to produce. And now the airwaves are filled with “reality” drivel.
There seems to be no end to the drool and prattle that fills our television screens. The more outlandish the more popular the show becomes.
We have become a nation of “Lady Gaga Watchers.” She of the dress constructed of just-butchered slabs of beef.
There was a time when talent for singing, dancing and acting could boost one into the pantheon of stardom. Today, with the emphasis on tasteless, affordable, exaggerated and shocking topics that talent can often go unnoticed, in fact, un-needed.
A show featuring obese men and women sweating and straining in a gym can become an overnight hit. A group of young women sitting around discussing their sex lives can hit the demographic mark. A handful of recently divorced women, kvetching and moaning about their lives can reach millions. A show filmed in a rehabilitation center for drugs and alcohol abuse showing the sufferings of the inmates can make Les Miserables look like Comedy Central.
Each month, each year it grows, this fascination with the hideous, the offensive, the low, the sordid and wretched.
It is bad enough that the world contains such hardship. It is sad that we must use these subjects for our entertainment.
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