Freakshow, baby

23 Dec

While I’m ranting about stuff, let’s talk about some TV channels. A&E, TLC, Bravo, Animal Planet, and so on. Those sort of channels.

They drive me nuts. They are entirely filled with programming which can, essentially, be translated into “omigawwwwd  lookit these FREAKS can you believe this??”

Short people! People with too many kids! People with too much body weight, too much stuff in their house, too many drugs in their system, too many animals. Pick something, and there’s a show about it.

And my problem isn’t actually with these people. These people have issues and they need to be adressed…it’s with the networks. It’s creepy and trashy and insulting, the freakshow attitude — straight out of an old carnival, complete with the moaning, thrashing geek in the cage — rather than, say, examining and considering these people. It’s pure ego and freakshow, and it pisses me off.

It’s tabloid garbage, it’s Jerry Springer material. It’s mean-spirited and disgusting and it drives me up the fuckin’ wall. If it has to be on TV, it would be done as a thoughtful examination of the causation and solution to these problems. And not just “dis fat man?? he got lots of dogs!! omigawwwd! dis girl had a baby when she was way young dat hella tuff yo!”

It’s insulting, to the people who have these myriad problems in real life, to the people who try to help them, and to the viewers sitting at home. They should be watching better. I don’t see that as elitist even remotely. It’s like someone saying “you shouldn’t have to eat that. You should be able to eat THIS, this amazing dish. You’d love it and it would be better for you. I’d love for you to be eating this.”

Instead, the channels shovel creepy shit.

And you can learn all about my views on this and more matters on my new show on TLC when I plan to travel the country on a unicycle, shooting heroin into my eyeballs and dealing with my lingering issues with pogonophobia while smacking people who had made these TV shows with a baseball bat.

Or, possibly, I’ll drink some tea, bitch on an internet blog, and then get on with my day. I might do that instead.

It’s not chickening out. I mean, this is a really good pot of mango black tea. I’m just saying.

[one wee edit done, to fix a sentence toward the end for clarity. high ho.]


Posted by on December 23, 2010 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “Freakshow, baby

  1. James A. Ritchie

    December 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Maybe the problem is that YOU consider them freaks, rather than just people like all otehr people, but with more problems than most of us.

    And darned few of them are forced to share.

    I suppose I understand hoarders and drug addiction, though I think both give writers insight, but, really, short people, and people with too many kids? If you consider that freakish, then you do have a problem.

  2. Peter Damien

    December 23, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Er. I didn’t say that at all. I don’t consider any single one of them freaks, not hoarders or drug addicts. I wrote a sympathetic, good (I thought) story about a hoarder just recently. I don’t much think anyone is a freak, just people.

    I think the SHOWS hold them up as freaks. The shows have a gleeful feeling of “look! look he hoards!!! look how messy it is omigod look he HOARDS!” to them. Rarely with an attempt to examine the problem, the difficulties, and the overcoming of the problems. When these things come up, they’re secondary to the sense of “omigawwwd it’s ‘orrible.”

    And that’s my problem.

    As for not having to participate, of course they don’t. I didn’t say they did. It’s pretty immaterial to my point.

    I would like to watch shows on all these same topics, but with some respect and actual intelligent examination. They’re all fascinating topics.

    And that is what I said.

  3. Shadow Ferret

    December 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Exploitive is what those shows are.

    I understood what you meant,Pete.


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