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johnnyputrid
23 February 2004, 06:06 PM
I don't know about you, but I'm sick to death of 'Reality TV'. It has now become acceptable in our society to take a person, humiliate them in front of their friends and family, not to mention millions of viewers, and then pay them a bunch of money. Basically, we, the public, are saying its cool to completely lie to, degrade, and possibly ruin a person's life, and then pay them off and say everything's okay now.

Does anyone else think this is absolutely insane? Are we sinking so low that we now have to watch the daily problems of other people? And we call this entertainment? I remember when humiliating a person in public was grounds for a butt-whipping. I still feel that way. Am I alone in my views, or has society just gone plain stupid?

Had to get that off my chest, as most of my friends and co-workers constantly tune in to this crap, so my outspoken disgust at our modern media usually falls on deaf ears.

Nova Spice
23 February 2004, 08:06 PM
Welcome to the end of the age, johnny. :(

Unfortunately, society has decayed quite rapidly over the past decade or so. I completely concur with you and, like most of my friends, find this world we're living in, spiraling out of control.

As a Christian, I have my own beliefs as to why society is decaying, but I'll digress from that train of thought. Needless to say, I think it's important for America and society in general, to stand up and say "enough is enough."

It's frustrating when things that use to be black/white are beaten and battered into shades of gray. Just like paint, you have to mix the black and white in order to get your gray--in other words, people have chosen to take things that use to be reprehensible, and mix them in with ideas that are currently considered acceptable, in order to pass them off.

I'll leave it at that. We're heading down fast. God help us.

johnnyputrid
23 February 2004, 08:50 PM
Thanks for the vote of support, Nova. Its nice to know that I'm not alone in my views. While I'm not terribly religious by nature, and I don't want to turn this into a matter of beliefs and faith, perhaps God does need to help us. We don't seem to be doing a very good job of taking care of ourselves in these matters. Sometimes I think I was born into the wrong universe. It would explain a lot.

I wish I had more support from folks who share my views, however. Its kind of like being the only mime in a roomful of clowns. And I really hate clowns.

Jedi_Staailis
23 February 2004, 08:50 PM
I agree wholeheartedly when it comes to reality TV. I remember my mom's reaction after watching an episode of the original Survivor. "I think the show brings out the worst in people." And she was absolutely right. I don't think of reality shows as humiliating people, I see them more as big gossip-fests between the characters involved. They're encouraged to hold petty grudges, and then share them with the auidence. I find this rather unappealing, so I don't watch much reality TV.

However, I'm going to disagree with the "society today" comments. Yes, we have our problems today, but I think you'll have a hard time concluding that earlier society was any more moral. When do you plan to look? The drug ridden 70s and 80s? The 50s with the raging racism and sexism? The early days of the country, with slavery and a skewed concept of democracy?

There will always be problems with society, and in solving some problems we will create others. What's more, we forget the lessons of the past and fall back into the old problems. It's an awful cycle, one that individuals need to examine closely to find their personal morality, but it is a cycle, and I don't think today is any worse than any other point in history.

My two cents, anyway. :)

Darth Fierce
24 February 2004, 04:45 AM
Hmm...reality TV being the downfall of society? No...I don't think so. I mean, there are several reality TV shows I refuse to watch (especially anything that MTV has put out in the last several years), but to attribute the problems of society on the creation of reality TV shows is well...sort of shortsighted in my book.

Without spending too much time on my soapbox, I'd like to say that perhaps it would be more appropriate to attribute the problems of society on a lack of proper respect for one another. I mean, in the area I grew up in for most of my life, a group of paramedics and firefighters were fired upon by an unseen assailant yesterday as the emergency workers were responding to two house explosions. A paramedic was seriously injured in the process, though luckily she will survive.

If a lack of respect for the people who spend every day trying to save lives isn't sad, and a commentary on how bad things can be in society, then I don't know what is. But would I attribute this to the creation of reality TV? No, certainly not.

Just my two cents.

Darth Fierce :vader:

Krad-edis
24 February 2004, 05:00 AM
I don't know about you, but I'm sick to death of 'Reality TV'. It has now become acceptable in our society to take a person, humiliate them in front of their friends and family, not to mention millions of viewers, and then pay them a bunch of money. Basically, we, the public, are saying its cool to completely lie to, degrade, and possibly ruin a person's life, and then pay them off and say everything's okay now.

Yeah, well, I don't think they are complaining that much. They may have been mislead, but from looking at what that family had, and how they lived in Colorado, I don't think their collective family life was hardly ruined....especially after the pay off. Am I supporting the show?...no, but I think alot of people are taken in by shows like this and don't realize that there are probably more actors besides the obnoxious guy on that show. It is like Jerry Springer. Laugh at it or turn it off, I would choose the second.


Does anyone else think this is absolutely insane? Are we sinking so low that we now have to watch the daily problems of other people? And we call this entertainment? I remember when humiliating a person in public was grounds for a butt-whipping. I still feel that way. Am I alone in my views, or has society just gone plain stupid?

I personally find American Idol and American Pop Culture to be more offensive than most reality shows, but you have a point. A lot of what is being shown is just sh*t.


Had to get that off my chest, as most of my friends and co-workers constantly tune in to this crap, so my outspoken disgust at our modern media usually falls on deaf ears.

Just wait for the fad to die out. It will eventually. :)

Rogue Janson
24 February 2004, 05:48 AM
Humm... trying not to break this down too much...
I see two things happening, which need explanation from two points of view.

First, not all "reality TV" involves immorality, lying, humiliation, etc.. That's a separate phenomenon, though there is a lot of overlap. For example, running at the moment here is "The Salon", which is basically a load of hairdressers, beauty therapists, etc., stuck together in a salon wired up with cameras. Nothing really humiliating or degrading about it. Then you have, say, The Weakest Link, which is a quiz show with humiliated added - often in a rather strained fashion.

Why do these programs get made? Partly because of programme makers/commissioners and partly because people watch them. The former occurs because these people latch onto trends. "Reality TV" is pretty cheap (you don't need to hire actors or other professionals) and it's easy to make - you don't need a script or a decent concept, you just need a gimmick and some people.

Why people watch these programmes is perhaps more tricky. As you might guess, I'm not a fan, so perhaps I'm a bit biased, I suppose there is some interest in watching how "ordinary" people act in unusual situations, or just situations you (the viewer) don't normally experience. I suspect part of the reason for their popularity is that people are making up for a lack of human interaction in their lives. Also partly it goes back to the programmers - with this kind of light entertainment, people will watch what they're given. Yes, they're vacuous and dull, but so is most of the stuff on TV.

Shows based on humiliation and all that certainly aren't a good thing, they're basically cruel and (though I hesitate to use this word, with its connotations) immoral. Perhaps it's worth remembering though, that it's not unprecendented - much of comedy is based on embarassment, humiliation and people getting hurt, so it's not something new that's being tapped into. It's just that it's "real".

The very label "Reality" TV is worth focusing on - these shows don't really have much to do with reality, they create an alternate reality just as surely as a drama does. But by their claims to "reality" they try to collapse the distinction. Like anything else, they're ideological, they promote a particular reality - one where it is right to be greedy, to lie and cheat; or one where anyone can become a Star, a Pop Idol, from nothing; where they live stuck in a house, with no work and no books. These programmes aren't about revealing reality, they're about masking it, creating an alternate reality for us to live in where we don't face up to the actually existing reality.

Anyway. As for society degenerating, I agree very much with Jedi_Staailis, actually compare the present situation to the past and you'll see it might not be so bad. Making claims that things are getting steadily worse (or better) is generally not much use, society and culture are just too complex to view in such a simplistic manner - and it can lead to a simplistic (like looking to one cause/solution and/or fatalistic attitude. What we're better off doing is simply focusing on the problems we can identify, that are there and seeing what we can do about them.
*Looks innocent and pretends he didn't just slide off-topic*

BrianDavion
24 February 2004, 09:37 AM
society has a definate collapse of morals but I think that it's not reality TV thats causing it. I think it's a mix of other things. I mean look at pop culture we have people who are practicly6 role models for their kids getting drunk and getting a 24 hour marriage in vegas, ohh and then saying that whole marraige things is a joke. personally I think perhaps the greatest problem isn't the TV shows etc, it's the fact that those whom are essentially putting morals into society are all hipocrits of the worst kind. I won't go into it as I'd proably insult a lot of people, as I have low opinions of certin things.

Though I do belive that religon has utterly no place in forging values, certinly not any more.

Wesly Senesca
24 February 2004, 10:04 AM
Finally, someone else who thinks that "Reality TV" is a load of steaming crap! I can't stand it in any incarnation. From MTV's Real World to network television's American Idol, I think all this junk should be locked up in a vault and torched.

Society's downfall? Hey, life imitates art and art imitates life. Both of those worlds have to have some starting point, right? Who knows when things are going to change? Like my philosophy professor told me, "In life we as human beings have the past and the present in front of us. The future is behind, hiding from view."

Vreel Kudarin
24 February 2004, 10:21 AM
The idea that 'society' has suddenly entered some kind of freefall, that suddenly everything is getting worse, is misleading. For a start, it is impossible to make any ultimate judgement, as such evaluation will always be skewed by an individual's or a group's perspective on the world. Dramatic, world-changing events/trends seem to happen within an individual's life, giving the impression that things are occuring at an increased rate. However, in the future, such occurances will appear nothing more than slight jinks in a fairly straight line.

Some things never change. Many leaders - the rich, the powerful - exploit those beneath them, as they have always done, enriching themselves and their cronies. They lie, cheat, and kill for their aims. The majority, the 'weak', the poor, toil on with no-one to speak for them, or no-one listening, underepresented and undefended for the most part. The innocent are still caught up in the petty but bloody struggles for power, control, land, resources, and money (however camouflaged these are with noble causes, dressed up with righteous banners).

Some things 'improve', whilst in other areas, things 'get worse' during an era. Whilst traditional religion could be said to be dying out (for example Christianity), new forms of faith are arising. Faith in the stock market. Dedication to the consumer ideal, or the (US) 'American Dream'. Maybe in the future Humanity will have need to bring God back to the prominence she/he/it/they once held in the world. Some people may see positive points to this, others may perceive negative consequences. Hopefully some people can see both.

Some might say 'morals' are becoming degraded. For instance, they might cite the idea that homosexuals are springing up like some plague to destroy Humanity, and all 'decent' Humans. In ancient Greece, homosexuality was accepted. The spread of Christianity made it taboo for a time, but now such a lifestyle is becoming tolerated once more. Attempting to judge how 'society' is doing morally is difficult, as many moral ideals are specific to certain groups. Personally I would say greater acceptance and understanding of homosexuality is a sign of progress, wheras hardline religious individuals might say it is a sign that we're all going to burn in Hell. Where a compromise is for the best, unfortunately all too often, worldviews are mutually exclusive.

I would say at present there is the danger of the rise of radicalism, right-wing reactionary fundamentalism, born of a deep-rooted historical hated between the 'West' and the 'Mid-East' - both political and religious. It is consuming the world, fueled by leaders eager to spread the paranoia and clutch their claws ever tighter over their people, exerting more direct control in our daily lives. However, we have seen this before, with the Crusades of the European powers to plunder the lands of the Middle East. It defines our era, and will probably affect the lives of generations to come, but in the greater scheme of things, of Human 'progress', will it be anything more than a footnote in some distant-future history record?

During the last century, the gap between the rich and poor worldwide has increased. Conditions for those in the 'Western', developed countries have greatly improved in some ways, wheras those of the majority world have remained tenuous, even worsened in some cases. Where we don't die in droves from virulent diseases in the 'West', and we live with far more than we need to be comfortable, our lives could be seen to have been degraded in other ways - such as the decrease in Human interaction that Rogue Janson suggested, partly as a result of 'infotainment', TV, the internet, computer games, etc. However, even this is not all negative.

The internet can bring people or organisations with similar, constructive outlooks from across the world closer together, and can help make people aware of events worldwide. At the moment the internet is fairly unrestricted, which is good and bad. It makes free-speech easy. It allows accurate reporting through independent media, without corporate filters.

However, obviously the internet can be used for negative purposes as well, such as spreading hate propaganda, and paedophilia. As Janson has already said, 'society' is simply too complex to categorise, label, evaluate and shape to a single ideal. It is an ever-shifting mass of interconnected webs, with each strand impacting in some way on others. Differing views of what is 'good' and 'bad' clashing, often causing suffering. The best we can do is try to accept others' views, and attempt to avoid self-destructive conflict through comprimise and dialogue.

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot, stamping on a Human face. Forever." - George Orwell

dgswensen
24 February 2004, 11:57 AM
Reality TV is indeed garbage, but most TV was garbage before reality TV, and will continue to be garbage long after.

Like anything, it will get old and fade away. In a few years it will be about as hip as Pogs.

Nova Spice
24 February 2004, 02:48 PM
Many leaders - the rich, the powerful - exploit those beneath them, as they have always done, enriching themselves and their cronies. They lie, cheat, and kill for their aims. The majority, the 'weak', the poor, toil on with no-one to speak for them, or no-one listening, underepresented and undefended for the most part. The innocent are still caught up in the petty but bloody struggles for power, control, land, resources, and money (however camouflaged these are with noble causes, dressed up with righteous banners).

To a certain degree this is true, though it should be noted that the above scenario typically occurs in nations where there is no sense of justice or popular sovereignty. While some corporations have attempted to exploit those beneath them (the Enron execs come to mind), I wouldn't generalize all those with wealth as trying to deceive. Nevertheless, this statement is more or less a constant.


Whilst traditional religion could be said to be dying out (for example Christianity), new forms of faith are arising.

Not to be outright rude, Vreel, but this statement is hardly fact. By all accounts (in both the media and private sector reports), Christianity has been on the rise for quite some time. Two thousand years ago, there were but a handful of Christians--now there's literally hundreds of millions. And each year, millions more join the faith. But I digress.


Some might say 'morals' are becoming degraded. For instance, they might cite the idea that homosexuals are springing up like some plague to destroy Humanity, and all 'decent' Humans. In ancient Greece, homosexuality was accepted. The spread of Christianity made it taboo for a time, but now such a lifestyle is becoming tolerated once more

Folks should know by now that with people like me on the boards, comments such as the above will never be left unchallenged. :)

I indeed contend that society's morality has been declining rapidly. I do not believe that homosexuals are trying to "destroy humanity." However, there are some things you might ought to consider--Greece indeed accepted homosexuality. Christianity has indeed made it taboo--what it has also done, is brought forth responsibility for those that choose to live a homosexual lifestyle. Homosexuality, just like lying, stealing, murdering, or coveting, is a sin. It doesn't make you an evil person--but it is stated in the Bible as being "an abomination in the eyes of God."

And Greece was not the only nation to openly and publicly flaunt support for homosexuality. Sodom and Gamorrah, ancient Greece, and ancient Rome flaunted their tolerance for homosexuality. Astute readers might catch on to the common theme those societies currently hold. It could be just coincidence, so don't think I'm implying anything. Just pointing out an interesting fact.


Personally I would say greater acceptance and understanding of homosexuality is a sign of progress, wheras hardline religious individuals might say it is a sign that we're all going to burn in Hell. Where a compromise is for the best, unfortunately all too often, worldviews are mutually exclusive.

Well I certainly accept that homosexuals exist. And I certainly understand them--both gays and lesbians carry on relationships with the same sex. It's not too difficult an idea to grasp. That said, I do not accept homosexuality as a normal thing, either.


would say at present there is the danger of the rise of radicalism, right-wing reactionary fundamentalism, born of a deep-rooted historical hated between the 'West' and the 'Mid-East' - both political and religious. It is consuming the world, fueled by leaders eager to spread the paranoia and clutch their claws ever tighter over their people, exerting more direct control in our daily lives. However, we have seen this before, with the Crusades of the European powers to plunder the lands of the Middle East. It defines our era, and will probably affect the lives of generations to come, but in the greater scheme of things, of Human 'progress', will it be anything more than a footnote in some distant-future history record?

Ah, so now it's the Conservatives fault. Call me crazy, Vreel, but I bet that if we took a poll, most people would contend that the radicalism abundant in the world derives from militant Islam, not "right-wing reactionary fundamentalism." That's just a fancy phrase for: "people who want to win the war on terror."

I didn't see right-wingers driving planes into the Twin Towers, nor do I see right-wingers trying to blow up airplanes with shoes, strap homicide bomber kits to their waists, or drive car bombs into restaurants. What I do see is the "right-wing" actively engaging in a war for the very preservation of western civilization. The radicalism lies solely in the square of the terrorists.

Darth_Cassed
24 February 2004, 02:59 PM
I just see life as life and there's not much many people can do about it. I'm not for or against reality tv, I really don't care to argue either way that much.

The point is you're gonna have crap in your society and you're gonna have the good stuff. I'm not a religious man and don't really hold any hope or regard for mankind in my experiences or views. And I believe that being a minor ;)

I believe society is better without the racism, drugs, and slavery, but think of it this way. These shows hold people of different races, creeds and religions on television. If anything we're gaining diversity in all aspects of society.

In the end, there will always be a scale of good vs bad. Don't think just because the bad is more apparent that it is off balance.

BrianDavion
24 February 2004, 03:26 PM
.
Christianity has been on the rise for quite some time. Two thousand years ago, there were but a handful of Christians--now there's literally hundreds of millions

yeah but today it's declining from what it used to be a lot of people are LEAVING the faith. look at the power the pope had in say the middle ages, he was literally a king maker. now however well...


It doesn't make you an evil person--but it is stated in the Bible as being "an abomination in the eyes of God."

The Bible says an aweful lot. too bad people forget stuff like ohh.. "let he who is without sin throw the first stone".

the fact is that if we're going to go baseing our society on the bible we are no better then the Taliban.


most people would contend that the radicalism abundant in the world derives from militant Islam, not "right-wing reactionary fundamentalism."

actually most people would contend that Millitant Islam IS right-wing reactionary fundementalism.




I didn't see right-wingers driving planes into the Twin Towers, nor do I see right-wingers trying to blow up airplanes with shoes, strap homicide bomber kits to their waists, or drive car bombs into restaurants

sure you do. Islamic right wing fundementalists.
when someone says right wing it doesn't nesscarily mean "the United States Republican party"

Darth_Cassed
24 February 2004, 03:52 PM
This talk is, however, getting politically and religiously charged. If we stay on the original topic by johnnyputrid about Reality TV shows, we will be allowed to keep our thread. While there may be some that see this as a religious or political issue, we must confine our arguments to those that are on-topic as well as non-political, non-religious and civil.

Let's please try to keep this polite and civil, we will all enjoy it more that way. If you share the view, explain why. If not, explain why not. Refuting someone's core beliefs really gets us nowhere, as that person will probably not change their core beliefs for one thread.

Dragon Fox IX
24 February 2004, 04:05 PM
However, I do have to say that not all reality tv is bad, look at Extreme Makeover and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, they do great things for people who othewise can't afford to do them. Both shows only except people who really, really need the work (or in the case of Home Edition people who do great things for others before themselves, true amaricans if you ask me). So what if its on tv? If its not one thing something else will be on and what would you rather have your kids watch? A show like NYPD Blue which shows nudity, foul language and cop drama or Extreme Makeover: Home Edition which shows a very deserving family that has helped everyone else first, get the home of their dreams? In the end, it will be your chose what you watch...but unless I miss my guess, Oscars is Real TV, all game shows are Real TV and look how long they been around. This is more then a trend, or a fad, its the way our country has lived since the age of radio. These things interest certain types of people, just like Star Wars interest us, and other Sci-Fi interests others. Now if ya don't mind, we got more problems in our country (and the world for that matter) then reality tv that we should be focusing on (go ahead and prove me wrong).

Ravager_of_worlds
24 February 2004, 04:29 PM
On an aside- hear hear Darth Cassed, I heartily agree. Let's keep our political ideologies to ourselves while we debate and rant about the mind numbing crap that pours out through our cable lines. One thougt though: we are lucky as Americans- 80 year life spans, the best medical care in the world, 30 years of work before retirement? heck, this is paradise people, compared to Rome's lead water pipes, Solomon's mines and the Black Death? I'll take today over any other time in human history. Plus, we got cars- no more horse manure in our streets!


Back to the topic at hand-
Why did TV become so horrible? Greed. Simply put, with corporations running the show (ba-dum) everything is based on profit margins; combining a few tried and true methods such as shock value (jerry springer), public humiliation (candid camera) and the new genre of unreality TV- you got something that corporate execs can't resist. No more costly sitcoms that everyone is sick of anyway and a show that makes real all the sexually repressed fantasies in the executives heads? of course they're going to do it... and with media monopolies such as Fox and CBS, they can do it on a grand scale, a world scale.

hopefully, something will happen to stop the mindless crap- i think it will be a combination of people using the net and people finally, turning the TV off. the only thing mine is used for anymore is watching movies- but i'll save my rant for product placements at a later date. :)

Nova Spice
24 February 2004, 04:39 PM
yeah but today it's declining from what it used to be a lot of people are LEAVING the faith. look at the power the pope had in say the middle ages, he was literally a king maker. now however well...

Many people are leaving the Catholic denomination. Not Christianity. There's a huge difference. Many folks are leaving the Catholic denomination due to the priest sex scandals and are instead moving over to more protestant-oriented denominations.


The Bible says an aweful lot. too bad people forget stuff like ohh.. "let he who is without sin throw the first stone".

I didn't forget this at all. By quoting the Bible and saying that homosexuality is an "abomination in the eyes of God" is not raising myself on a pedestal--it is merely stating a fact.


the fact is that if we're going to go baseing our society on the bible we are no better then the Taliban.

Not true. The Taliban was an extremist government based off extremist elements of the Muslim faith. And the fact remains that our society is based off Judeo-Christian values. And we're certainly better than the Taliban--in every way, shape, and form.


actually most people would contend that Millitant Islam IS right-wing reactionary fundementalism.

Vreel was referring to right-wing leaders in the West as well--read his post. Which is why I had to set the record straight. Right wingers, such as myself, are not trying to restart a "Crusades." We're trying to preserve western civilization from terrorist wackos. I find lumping "right-wingers from the West" in with "terrorists" to not only be absurd, but flat-out crazy.


when someone says right wing it doesn't nesscarily mean "the United States Republican party"

Granted. But, as I stated, Vreel mentioned the West as well. He went so far as to insinuate that the War on Terror is another "Crusades." I'd like to point out that we're not trying to force our religion on the Middle East like the Crusades did--we're trying to kill the bad guys. It's naive ideologies like the above that put everyone at risk in the first place. ;)

EDIT: Ravager posted at the same time I did. I heartily concur that political ideologies should be left aside. But when someone jumps in and begins spouting their own political rhetoric, it's almost a guarantee that the opposing viewpoint will put in his two cents worth as well. I'm all for friendly banter--I'll happily bow out of any further political diatribe so as to prevent this thread from being shut down. ;)

Back to the topic at hand, people! Reality TV and Society's Downfall! :D

Krad-edis
24 February 2004, 04:47 PM
There have been several calls to put the discussion on religion and politics to the side and stay on the topic of how Reality TV is crappy. I have a feeling this discussion is being watched and going to be shut down if the discussion strays too far again...like all the rest of the political threads in the past. I would just like to see how many people are tired of Reality TV.

Nova Spice
24 February 2004, 05:03 PM
Well, IMO, the whole concept of "reality" television is a paradox in and of itself. Reality is reality, and television is certainly not reality (that sounds confusing!).

I find that when people have to watch people placed in humiliating and unnatural positions in order to be entertained, society as a whole, has decayed. That's the premise for my stance on Reality TV.

Grimace
24 February 2004, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by Krad-edis
I have a feeling this discussion is being watched and going to be shut down if the discussion strays too far again...like all the rest of the political threads in the past.

You are correct.

Keep things civil, people, and ON TOPIC.

Dragon Fox IX
24 February 2004, 06:01 PM
And I'll tell ya why. Game Shows....They are reality tv and have been around since the days of the Radio! Then they moved to TV and we could acutally see the people that played them, are you telling me that the Price is Right or the Family Fued is bad? I'll tell you, I watched the very first season of Survivor, and I would have done the same things they would have to won that money, lets face it, people are down right rude when money is on the table. Tell me you wouldn't try every trick in the book to win 1 million dallors? Who Wants to be a Millionair (and now Super Millionair) are reality tv showing how much people can remember, and its only cast in negitive light if you look at it in negitive light. Anyway, thats my point of view. And really, what is realty tv showing us? How people react in one kind of situation. And besides, TV's have lots of channels, lots of buttons and if your not a Fan of Realtiy TV....then click the up or down button on your controller, or put in a DvD/VHS or turn off the tv pick up a good book (preferable a star wars novel oh wait, thats me), and spend some time working the gray matter in the skull. B) And I say that to everyone that says "Reality TV is our downfall" And I say with kindness, respect and knowing that I've changed no minds and could care less. :D

Nova Spice
24 February 2004, 06:38 PM
And I'll tell ya why. Game Shows....They are reality tv and have been around since the days of the Radio!

Game shows are in an entirely different arena compared to "reality television." Game shows involve people competing for prizes through a medium--a game. Reality television shows involve people being humiliated and embarrassed to entertain the viewer.

There's a huge difference between "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Bachelor." Wheel of Fortune involves people competing for cash by solving puzzles. The Bachelor involves twenty women behaving like harlots in order to appease one man and become his "bride." Not to mention the cash that goes along with it. This show simultaneously entertains its audience with outlandish antics that are devoid of rational and natural behavior, while also mocking the dating process and the sanctity of marriage--not to mention the reputations of the girls that appear on the show.

There's just no comparison to good ole Wheel or Jeopardy. Reality television is an entirely different animal altogether.

Dragon Fox IX
24 February 2004, 07:32 PM
The Bachler is not about the women, its about a guy, a single guy, looking to find love...of course all the men that appeared on that show seemed to have failed and if you look really, really close, those women didn't get one bit of bad rep, in fact TWO of them turned around and did the same show only had 25 men!!!! Now are you going to tell me that gave men a bad rep? Or will one of those men turn around and do the very same thing?

Survivor, Big Brother, and most all of the other shows like them were all played for a grandprize, money. All they are, are gameshows on steroids. They hold contests to determine how far people are willing to go to get the money, and if people are humiliated, its because they acted like the jerk, fool or idiot while on the show. I say "If people like it, they will watch it, if not, they will flip the channel, put in a DvD/VHS, or read a book."

Then again, most of your talk shows are Reality TV. And no Nova, there is no line drawn between Wheel, Jepordy or any other quiz show and other shows. Why is it not fair to say that Jepordy makes some people feel stupid when there are TEENS on it getting most answers that half of adults can't even answer right? Why is it fair to say that Millinair or Super Millinair doesn't make some (and I mean a minority not a majorty) of people feel dumb or stupid when they can't answer questions that should be commen knowledge. Honestly, people take things too far sometimes, and the person who started this thread really took Reality TV too far when he said "Society's Downfall" as it will take a whole lot more then that to bring down this society.

And like I said before, these are my views, my opinions, "I'm not asking you to subsitute them for you own" (as Dr. Phil says), but do try to remember that no matter what you call them, reality tv has been around a lot longer then some of us have been alive.

dgswensen
24 February 2004, 10:45 PM
This show simultaneously entertains its audience with outlandish antics that are devoid of rational and natural behavior, while also mocking the dating process and the sanctity of marriage--not to mention the reputations of the girls that appear on the show.

Sounds like most sitcoms made since 1979 or so.

And as far as mocking traditional values on television goes, if you want to look at it that way, game shows just cater to a different deadly sin, that of greed. No whammies at the temple of Mammon.

Rogue Janson
25 February 2004, 06:51 AM
Dragon Fox, I don't think your idea of reality TV is quite the same as most other people's (ok, that's another way of saying I think your definition's wrong). A gameshow or a talk show has some similarities with "reality TV" in that they both take members of the public and televise them, in a partly spontaneous situation. But the structure and focus is very different.

A gameshow is structured around the drama of whether a contestant will get the right answer (or succeed in their challenge) and also the viewer's attempts to answer questions correctly. A talkshow investigates particular issues, presents a series of questions or a discussion.

If I can try and define the genre, a "reality TV" show takes "ordinary" members of the public (that is non-celebrities) and puts them in an unusual situation. However unlike a gameshow, the situation isn't structured, it's much more freeform (of course, as a programme become more structured it becomes more like a gameshow). The focus of the programme is how they react to this. The irony being that (in the pure form at least) the idea is to observe people's natural reactions in an unnatural situation.
There is an element of competition and money, as with pretty much anything nowadays, but at the least this is deferred - there isn't the immediacy of right/wrong questions; viewers are drawn into the competition by their identification with participant and it can be a slow process to develop.

well that's how I'd define some of their characteristics. It's not like I actually watch reality TV though...

johnnyputrid
25 February 2004, 11:06 AM
I think some of you may have misinterpreted my "rant". I didn't mean to imply that Reality TV is the cause of society's problems, just that it is a symptom. Yes, I do believe our society is slowly spiraling downward. Morals, ethics, and values seem to have gone the way of the dodo lately, but I do believe that we can rise above once again. I was raised a certain, to believe in such outdated principles as honor, loyalty, chivalry, and to value these things in myself and others. Some people call it old-fashioned, but that's fine with me.

If you take a good hard look at things, and take the time to scrape off the filters we generally apply to the world around us, you will see that it is a dangerous, dirty, and extremely violent place. The world has always been so, but in our day and age, we have achieved a level of technological superiority that allows us to do things to our fellow human beings that simply should not be done, and could never be imaginged by any generation before us. I don't want to raise children in a world where the values I try to instill in them are overruled by the values that the media has set up for them. When it becomes socially acceptable to encourage these types of programs and market them as viable entertainment, then yes, I believe we have a problem.

Hopefully I've made my "rant" a bit clearer, and I'll get off my soapbox now and let you all ponder my latest post. As always, the views of johnny are not necessarily the views of the HoloNet.

Dragon Fox IX
25 February 2004, 11:54 AM
I couldn't disagree with you more Jonny, looks like you missed that one 20/20 special where John Stossel (forgive me if misspelled his last name), dispelled Myths, Misconception and downright lies. Our planet is getting cleaner, crime believe it or not is at all time lows (with ::gasp:: even New York City being safe to walk around!). The only problems in the world now-a-days are the fact that American companies are getting extremely greedy and going over seas taking jobs away from Americans, we got regilous extremists wanting to take out our major buildings and government, (edited by moderator) (I'm a democrate and not a big fan of Bush). But in all, our country (which is what we should focus on), is getting much better in areas that it was worse at years ago.

The only problems in the world are the ones people make for themselves. Take me for example, I have a lot of problems that I could simply solve if I'd get off my sorry butt and didn't respond to posts such as this. Now have I? No, cause I'm an American who like the rest of our great country, has taken everything for granted and not appricated (or truly appricated) all the freedoms we truly have. Now do I think all American's have those freedoms? No, but I'm not going there, as that would spark a debate that would close this thread.

Anyway, thats my two credits, don't spend them all in one place :D (that was a joke by the way)

Dr_Worm
25 February 2004, 12:18 PM
- Stossel's (sp) book on the same subject of myths is quite good. I do not always agree, but it is good reading.

I think the core is what you define as reality TV. I, personally, am addicted to shows like Trading Spaces and While You Were Out. However I feel that the situations that they are in are so contrived as to no make them anything liek reality. Even QueerEye, though I am not a fan of fashion shows, is not really much like reality as the makeover guru's are very much playing a role. I have never watched a whole episode of Survivor though I tend to catch the last 15min before CSI, and I can say that shows like this are terrible cuel. However you cannot deny that they exist for one simple reason- people watch them. In a commercial economy the only reason a show appears on commercial TV is that the advertisers know that Joe Public is watching.

johnnyputrid
25 February 2004, 12:20 PM
Keeping in mind that this is, and should remain, a friendly discussion, you basically just agreed with me in a sense, Dragon Fox. Yes, I am a proud American, but my heritage is global, and any problems experienced by the whole of the world, affect me. While I am concerned with the state of the U.S., I am even more concerned with the global trends being set forth.

Being in the military, a certain amount of the freedoms a regular citizen would enjoy, are not available to me. Freedom of the press, freedom of speech, the right to assemble, I don't really have those things, so taking them for granted is not even an issue with me. But I accept this for the role that I play for my country. What I meant to emphasize was what lies under the surface layer that most of us percieve. When you mention 20/20, or any other news program, you speak of the media, which is without a doubt an extremely potent social tool. The media doesn't always tell you the dirty truth. They have a habit of coating everything with a layer of gloss that shines bright enough to make you feel all safe and secure at night. But I've seen some of the worst of what humanity can offer, and I'm a bit apprehensive of our ability to just simply take care of each other. I'm not trying to say I'm paranoid or anything, or one of those anti-governement types. Far from it. But I just don't buy everything the media spews at us. Reality TV is one of those cultural trends that has a major impact on the generation of the day, just as the Peace movement in the 60s did. In my humble opinion, that trend is quite a negative one. When our children pay more attention to the values and advice set forth by the media than to that of thier own families, something's wrong.

To end this on a brighter note, there is hope, but the negative momentum our society has built up will require a great deal of force to guide. It may not be in future, but my children may one day be able to say that they are proud citizens of the Earth, as well as proud citizens of their ouwn nations.

By the way, I envy you. I'm stuck in miserable South Carolina, while you're out there basking in the warm sun of my home state, FLA. Catch a few rays for me if you could.

Nova Spice
25 February 2004, 12:35 PM
(edited by moderator) (I'm a democrate and not a big fan of Bush).

I guess you missed the whole post by Grimace where political ideologies should cease, eh?

This is the reason why threads like this eventually close.

Our current president is doing his best to bring down the terrorists. If you'd like a debate on this, feel free to send me a PM. Otherwise, we need to drop any and all political debate in this thread.

It was making such a remarkable come back!

EDIT: I just noticed that Grimace edited your post, Dragon. In which case, I will also edit my own. However, if you still wish to debate about our current president, feel free to send me a PM. ;)

Talon Razor 'GM'
25 February 2004, 12:44 PM
Woah, this thread jumped off topic. I won't go into anything but Nova is:

A. Right by 120%
B. Do a great job from witholding from correcting the misinformed.

So kudos to Nova.

I don't like TV at all. That is one reason why I don't have it in my home, solves a lot of problems. I'm a huge fan of TV DVD series, because the shows I really, really like I can own on DVD. That is the best way to get the little good TV offers without everything else.

So, get this thread back on topic. My good buddy Grimace will be doing a smackdown in mere moments.

Rogue Janson
25 February 2004, 02:05 PM
originally posted by johnnyputrid
Reality TV is one of those cultural trends that has a major impact on the generation of the day, just as the Peace movement in the 60s did. In my humble opinion, that trend is quite a negative one. When our children pay more attention to the values and advice set forth by the media than to that of thier own families, something's wrong.

To end this on a brighter note, there is hope, but the negative momentum our society has built up will require a great deal of force to guide. It may not be in future, but my children may one day be able to say that they are proud citizens of the Earth, as well as proud citizens of their ouwn nations.
I don't mean to pick up on this too much, I'm sure you don't mean things as strongly as I'm assuming for this post, but I think you're placing too much emphasis on Reality TV. Reality TV is just one facet of a general trend (whatever you think that may be). Thanks to the way the media works, it does tend to bias towards certain attitudes, but at the same time it does also represent what people want to a degree. Analysing the media and discovering what attitudes it might promote or suppress, why this is and what we can do about it is certainly a worthwhile thing to do.

But at the same time, as has been said repeatedly, with commercial television, programmes get made because people will watch them. Society is a very very complex thing, everything has multiple causes. If we really want to understand what's going on - as far as that's possible - we need to look at a broader picture. Why do children pay more attention to the media than their families? Is this really true in the first place?

Anyway, for the future... Going back to the start of the discussion, Jedi_Staailis mentioned the 50s - an era (in the US, at least) with all-pervasive discrimination based on sex and race, with McCarthyite witch hunts, with the USSR and US locked in the first phase of the Cold War. There was no catastrophic societal crash then. All of those things have improved. Certainly some things have got worse, but others have got better. There is no "golden age" to return to. As I said before, broad claims that society (whatever this is taken to mean) is heading to a collapse of some kind are just millenarial nonsense. We can change things for the better, through careful thought and action.

Vreel Kudarin
26 February 2004, 04:32 AM
Ah, so now it's the Conservatives fault. Call me crazy, Vreel, but I bet that if we took a poll, most people would contend that the radicalism abundant in the world derives from militant Islam, not "right-wing reactionary fundamentalism."

Nova Spice, I was refering to both militant Islam, and militant Western ideology - not merely Western reactionary conservatism. Miltant Islam is just as right-wing, intractable, and dangerous as Bush's vision for the world. Together they are a recipe for disaster, IMO.

Thank you for illustrating and demonstrating the points of my earlier post with great finesse, Nova Spice.

Don't worry, I won't be posting in this thread again, as I don't want to draw the thread away from the original post.

hisham
26 February 2004, 05:17 AM
Okay! Before Grimace smacketh down, I just have one thing to add...

Joe Millionaire is on TV like RIGHT NOW... and noe I kant spall propreley, anb I donno whyy... Holp!!!

johnnyputrid
26 February 2004, 05:42 AM
Please folks, can we stay away from reglion and politics? These topics tend to create hostility and send tempers flaring. Our political and reglious agendas are best discussed privately, i.e PMs and e-mails. I'd be more than happy to share my views on these subjects with anybody, but this is not the place.

The original topic at hand was Reality TV, and Society's Downfall. Perhaps my own disillusionment with the realities of the role that modern media plays in our society has had a hand in my emphasis on Reality TV as a symptom of our cultural difficulties. I don't rest the blame squarely on television's shoulders, nor do I entirely blame the media. However, media plays a significant role in how we obtain information about our world around us. Media has brought peoples of the world much closer, and at the same time, more distant than ever. People jack in to the internet and remain there, only rarely peering out to see the light of day. Television shows become more important than hanging out with friends. Going to see a live band play somewhere is becoming less and less common, since you can just download a live show and watch it home. It is these trends, which downplay interpersonal relationships that bothers me the most.

Sure, I spend some of my time on the net, chatting with you all. Nothing wrong there. But I do step out and hang with friends (or fiends, in my case), try to hook up with various females (not always successfully), and spend time talking to others face to face. I don't own a cell phone and hopefully will never need to. I rarely use phones, I don't shop online (unless there is no other way to get what I'm looking for), and I don't try to pick up chicks online. Maybe I'm behind the times, but I just value actual human contact. I was raised that way, and I suppose I'm slow to change. All I ask is that you take a good, hard look at the world around you, and try to see beneath the sugar-coated surface that is most often presented to us, and realize that we have more a few things to work out before we can move on as a global society.

Oh, and just to show that there are absolutely no hard feelings, I extend an open invitation to take any of you grenade fishing with me. There's nothing like a sunny day, a clear blue lake, a few cases of frosty beer, and a couple of concussion grenades to make a fishing trip enjoyable for all.;)

Tav Kord
26 February 2004, 06:38 AM
I tend to look at Reality TV (and, indeed, TV in general) as just a barometer of sorts. What is there is a reflection of societal values- and sadly, for some of the younger generation, this is their main source of social training. So, like many have said, TV isn't really the *direct* cause of society's ills... but it makes one helluva good vantage point to watch from. And, these greedy corporations responsible for the shows... are collections of people. People like you, and me (And that guy over there eating popcorn and muttering something about cameras in the power outlets. *points to a mirror, failing to realize it for what it is* hehe)

Incidentally, that which will eventually cause the devastation of us as a species (which is looking to be less and less of a loss as the days go on...) has been graciously evidenced in this very thread. In no way do I intend to place blame- far from it. Opinions and systems of belief are too much a part of human nature to blame someone for them. No, there isn't any blame here- just an observation.

People can't get along. Given a little time, any two people can find a difference between them that they feel is worthy heated and vitriolic debate. Sorta works like the whole "least common denominator" thing... so long as they have a beef with some outside agency or situation, they're fine... but as you strip away the things they find offensive in others, they'll find something smaller (but no less significant to them) to focus on, until even a difference in something so trivial as musical preference will be enough to spark a shouting match.

TV isn't killing our society... we've been taking good care of that on our own slowly but steadily :)


*Edit: Forgot to reply to this! Heh.


Oh, and just to show that there are absolutely no hard feelings, I extend an open invitation to take any of you grenade fishing with me. There's nothing like a sunny day, a clear blue lake, a few cases of frosty beer, and a couple of concussion grenades to make a fishing trip enjoyable for all.

When and where, man? I'm in.

wolverine
26 February 2004, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by johnnyputrid


The original topic at hand was Reality TV, and Society's Downfall. Perhaps my own disillusionment with the realities of the role that modern media plays in our society has had a hand in my emphasis on Reality TV as a symptom of our cultural difficulties. I don't rest the blame squarely on television's shoulders, nor do I entirely blame the media. However, media plays a significant role in how we obtain information about our world around us. Media has brought peoples of the world much closer, and at the same time, more distant than ever. People jack in to the internet and remain there, only rarely peering out to see the light of day. Television shows become more important than hanging out with friends. Going to see a live band play somewhere is becoming less and less common, since you can just download a live show and watch it home. It is these trends, which downplay interpersonal relationships that bothers me the most.

Sure, I spend some of my time on the net, chatting with you all. Nothing wrong there. But I do step out and hang with friends (or fiends, in my case), try to hook up with various females (not always successfully), and spend time talking to others face to face. I don't own a cell phone and hopefully will never need to. I rarely use phones, I don't shop online (unless there is no other way to get what I'm looking for), and I don't try to pick up chicks online. Maybe I'm behind the times, but I just value actual human contact. I was raised that way, and I suppose I'm slow to change. All I ask is that you take a good, hard look at the world around you, and try to see beneath the sugar-coated surface that is most often presented to us, and realize that we have more a few things to work out before we can move on as a global society.

I feel like this too. Heck, i went to a school the other day, with one of the workers from my office, as he volunteers there for the Basketball team. WE got to speaking with a teacher, and over the ways was a kid, telling other kids to email her or call her on her cell phone, if they wished to talk to her.. WTF!

Wesly Senesca
26 February 2004, 11:11 AM
I don't own a cell phone and hopefully will never need to. I rarely use phones, I don't shop online (unless there is no other way to get what I'm looking for), and I don't try to pick up chicks online. Maybe I'm behind the times, but I just value actual human contact. I was raised that way, and I suppose I'm slow to change.

Dude, you're not alone. There are some people out there (myself included) who find solace in some of the practices of old -> human contact. Personally though, I find that I avoid human contact these days because the majority of people who surround me have nothing better to do or talk about. All they do is get drunk and/or high and BS about the crappiness that is Pop Culture.

To everyone: if life stinks so much, create your own little sacntuary--a fortress of solitude of sorts. Quit complaining about it and do something, be it progressive or regressive. The world is what you make of it, not what it makes of you.

Nova Spice
26 February 2004, 02:04 PM
Thank you for illustrating and demonstrating the points of my earlier post with great finesse, Nova Spice.

You're welcome. And no I'm not referring to this comment. You're welcome that we're making the effort to preserve western civilization; I shudder to think what this world would be like without the great strides we've made over the past two years.


Miltant Islam is just as right-wing, intractable, and dangerous as Bush's vision for the world. Together they are a recipe for disaster, IMO.

Well you're certainly entitled to your opinion. Though I'd love to see you try and defend this statement with something resembling facts. :D

If you wish to carry on any further debate, Vreel, feel free to send me a PM. I'd love to illustrate many more points with such great finesse-if you're inclined to hear them, that is. ;)


I tend to look at Reality TV (and, indeed, TV in general) as just a barometer of sorts. What is there is a reflection of societal values- and sadly, for some of the younger generation, this is their main source of social training.

Well said, Tav. This is a key subject that needs to be discussed. Television has always been an indicator of what is popular and what issues society currently finds entertaining. That is why so much of television truly bothers me. Most of it (besides The Weather Channel and the news networks) is just flat out garbage. Even ESPN has become enamored with "flavor of the month" type entertainment that more often than not, shows how desperate television is to find new ways of entertaining its viewers.

johnnyputrid
26 February 2004, 03:29 PM
Straying briefly off topic, I'll be getting out of the Army in late October, so my grenade fishing schedule will be wide open. Just a reminder that this is a highly illegal endeavor, the hardest part of which is actually obtaining the proper fishing weaponry, since grenades aren't easy to come by, and constitute another illegal act just by possessing them. But all that aside, if anyone's still willing, we'll figure the details out later.

Back on topic, Tav said what I've been trying to get across the whole time. Our media has a seemingly greater impact on the up and coming generation than our families, indeed a training ground of sorts. The time is gonna come for a great change in the near future, and I just hope that we are up to the challenge.

Kyle Pantrakahs
26 February 2004, 04:24 PM
I wanna come 'nade fishing too! :D

johnnyputrid
26 February 2004, 06:00 PM
Don't worry, Kyle, you can come play too. But you gotta bring your own beer.;)

Krad-edis
27 February 2004, 07:15 AM
Originally posted by johnnyputrid
Back on topic, Tav said what I've been trying to get across the whole time. Our media has a seemingly greater impact on the up and coming generation than our families, indeed a training ground of sorts. The time is gonna come for a great change in the near future, and I just hope that we are up to the challenge.

I think you and I are on the same track, but the question as to why these Reality TV shows have an impact is still up in the air. I have my own opinions on that:

I see Reality TV shows having an affect as a bi-product of the underlying problem. So many people whine about how the schools are supposed to discipline, and how everything on TV should be of value and teach, and how everything around their children is a bad influence.

Well, that is just the way that it is. It has been like that as far as recorded history has been telling its tales. Even if you get rid of all the sh*t on TV, you are still going to have crap all around which will "train" the younger who have not had strong moral values instilled on them by their parents or guardians. The fact is that schools cannot do everything regarding student behavior and values and get in trouble when they instill discipline by crybaby parents who never raise their voices at home (both my parents are prior teachers, and this happened). TV which is always educational and always teaches is often found by children to be boring (How many children under 12 do you know who are willing to watch McNeil/Lehrer or like shows so they can be informed)? There will always be bad stuff (media, shows, people). The Romans complained about the state of their youth. It is timeless. The only thing one can do is instill values in their children that what they are seeing is crap in some cases and good in others. So, the next time you see some kid imititate some lude thing he saw on TV, or examples of social decorum declining amongst the young, know that there are kids who have little or no guidance. There is no one to tell them that certain things on Reality TV are unacceptable. I know plenty of teenagers who are unaffected by the crap on TV. Their parents let them watch it, but it has been discussed up front that what they are going to see is nothing to excel towards, mostly fake and not reality, and mostly crap. Certain aspects of some of the shows have some interesting happening, while some of it is garbage. Kids learn how to sift through all of the mess with the guidance of their parents. Often the parents will express to the children why something is lude, lacking moral value or is just poorly done. When kids don't have that, they have no way to see how an idiot and professional differ if the background lights are impressive and the background music is "cool".

So, as I see it, the problem lies with the lack of parent participation and kids raising themselves on shows where morals have been tossed out the window from the start. If the children are instilled, and have some good moral convictions, then they will either shake their heads in disgust and turn the crap off, or sit back and realize that what they are seeing is mostly acting and humiliation of people that perhaps diserve it. In either case, they don't take it very seriously and will most certainly not copy the behavior.

Rogue Janson
27 February 2004, 08:42 AM
Personally I think Grenade Fishing is strongly related to the downfall of society. Think about it - the need for immediate gratification and pyrotechnics replacing the patience and zen-like calm of hook & line fishing, the craft and skill replaced by crudity, the eternal struggle of Man and Fish, steel-eyed hunter and wily hunted turned into a base technological contest....

Krad-edis
27 February 2004, 10:01 AM
Didn't Saddam go grenade fishing?

Nova Spice
27 February 2004, 10:57 AM
Personally I think Grenade Fishing is strongly related to the downfall of society. Think about it - the need for immediate gratification and pyrotechnics replacing the patience and zen-like calm of hook & line fishing, the craft and skill replaced by crudity, the eternal struggle of Man and Fish, steel-eyed hunter and wily hunted turned into a base technological contest....

This may be the funniest thing I've seen all day. :D

Queue corny sound bite. "Nice shot, Janson!" :P

Grimace
27 February 2004, 03:22 PM
As humorous as this whole side trip is, it's also off topic.

If none of you have anything further to comment on the topic, I will be closing the thread.

Anyone?