Guest post by Alison Dormaar, Pegasus resident and author
Hmmm, reality TV. Survivor, Wife Swap, Top Model, the Next Pop Idol, not to mention the next Master Chef. And then of course you have all the shows lambasting obese people, insecure people, disadvantaged people, people being stupid and clumsy, people behaving badly on camera.
Notice a trend anyone? I know I certainly have. Instead of seeking a happier escape into the realm of make believe, it would seem that the powers that be have decided that we can forget our own woes by finding fault with everyone else around us. Oh yes, what a smug lot we are sitting back in our armchairs, taking a perverted pleasure from ogling the misfortunes of others while basking in a measure of self congratulation that for the main part it does not apply to YOU. If you are a TV producer, I suppose it is much cheaper to stick a live camera into some poor sod’s living room to broadcast their frailties around the globe to a slavering audience of millions than, Heaven forbid, pay some decent scriptwriters to come up with quality entertainment that does not come at the spiteful expense of someone else. The media needs the Extreme Makeover, not our houses.
I have often wanted to ask these dupes on reality TV where their pride has gone. I daresay most of them will have been offered money for their very public crucifixion, but at what personal cost? I want to know how they can face their friends and neighbours each time they poke their nose around the door at the local shopping mall without being aware of the silent finger pointing and sniggering. It goes to show what some people will do for those thirty pieces of media silver.
Apart from the deplorable standards that now rules our screens, I have often wondered about the many great unemployed writers and TV directors roaming aimlessly about without a studio to call home. Then of course you have all the wardrobe staff, the dressers, makeup artists, set builders, technicians etc etc. Gods, what a waste of creative talent in a time of global recession.
It all comes down to money of course. After all, why pay decent people to produce decent shows when you can get ratings and advertising dollars at a much cheaper expense? But what they cannot or will not realize is that the cost to society is huge.
I am sick of children aping hideously drawn, freakish creations from cheap and nasty Asian-made cartoons (whatever happened to Disney, Hanna Barbara, Warner Bros?) who all seem to have big mouths and bigger attitudes. Is it any wonder so many of our kids now have behaviour and depression problems that will persist well into adulthood? Don’t we all have enough to worry about these days without being forcibly educated, informed and lectured all day and every day? A massive blow has been dealt to the sheer healing power of imagination.
Imagination is what has made humanity stand out from every other creature on the planet. The power of creative, positive thought has driven our greatest scientists, artists and leaders, and it is that great force that is now under attack. Especially in light of recent times, people need to have light relief and fun, and lots of it. Okay, maybe I’m old fashioned, but whatever happened to those laugh out loud English comedies that used to grace our screens? Whatever happened to the mini series, the fabulous period dramas, the family variety shows like the Generation Game whose sole purpose was to give everyone a good time? Whatever happened to such wonderful children’s shows like the Muppets and the Smurfs? Where has the laughter gone?
It is no small coincidence that mankind’s myths and legends endure long after their buildings and monuments fall. It goes to show that what we wish to remember is what truly endures, not what is foisted upon us by the politically correct dogma of the day.
I am a writer. I create, and I like to think I create to a good purpose. The powers that be ignore such recent phenomena as Harry Potter and the Lord Of The Rings at their peril. These are indicators that there is a real desperate social hunger out there that is not being filled. In my own small way, I am hoping to help fill that void.