If you are a fan of the popular MTV reality show “Buckwild” this column is going to be disturbing. I warn you in advance that strong, graphic language will be used: Reader discretion is advised.
Reality TV has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment for the unwashed masses. From the early days of shows like “Real World” and “Road Rules” to current hits like “Buckwild” and “16 and Pregnant,” viewers have gravitated towards shows that depict “real life” situations and unscripted shows. Has the entire industry been dumbed down? Shows like “Survivor” have been replaced with ratings juggernauts like “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” and “Jersey Shore.” Networks are in the business of making money, and would not air these shows if people weren’t watching them. Why is “trainwreck television” so popular? Is the question that we SHOULD be asking, “Are we getting dumber as a nation?”
Are we enabling these “stars” to make even more reckless decisions? Why do people think it is an “unexpected tragedy” when people like MTV “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn die in car wrecks while driving drunk? Shain’s “Buckwild” castmate Salwa Amin is currently in jail without bond facing charges that include possession of heroin. Another “Buckwild” castmember known as “Bluefoot” was arrested for aggravated driving under the influence last month. The cast of “Jersey Shore” racked up a slew of public intoxication, drunk and disorderly, public urination, assault and battery, and other charges while filming their show. We could go on and on, obviously.
We put these 20-somethings on television and tell them they are stars. We condone their reckless behavior because it is entertaining to watch. They feed into it because they are 20-somethings who are told they are invincible. Can any of you reading this recall the name of the American soldier who was killed when an Afghan teen stabbed him in the neck last week? (Sgt. Michael Cable, for those who still have their priorities a bit more in line.) I know that the war that we are fighting isn’t nearly the ratings-grabber as 19-year old rednecks getting drunk and going “mudding” is, but a little perspective helps in times like these. The United States ranks 17th overall in the world in quality of education, and much lower in subjects like math and science. Do you think kids in South Korea, Finland, or Japan are blowing off their homework so they can catch the latest episode of “Duck Dynasty?” Do you think they give a shit about Kim Kardashian?
You killed Shain Gandee. YOU are responsible.
You like watching people who are fucking idiots.
Shain Gandee was a fucking idiot.
MTV knew you’d like to watch a bunch of hillbillies act like fucking idiots, so MTV paid Shain and his friends some money so they could film them acting like… fucking idiots.
Shain died doing exactly what everybody knew he was doing: He was being a fucking idiot.
If there is any tragedy in his death, it is that NONE of his family, friends, or loved ones were able to sit this young man down and say, “Hey Shain: Stop acting like a fucking idiot before you get yourself killed.”
Autopsy reports are probably going to say that Shain died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Upon closer examination, it’s painfully clear that Shain was killed by Social Darwinism.
Stop reinforcing stupidity, America. We are better than that. We used to celebrate brilliance and seek wisdom. Then again, we used to be #1 in education so maybe the times have changed. I’d write more, but “Bar Rescue” is coming on, and I never miss an episode.
–Sean Kemmerer is a freelance writer, administrator of Politics Without The Crazy Pills , and looks forward to butthurt fans flaming the comments section. I’ll be happy to correct your 3rd grade-level grammar and spelling.
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