Wednesday, April 17, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 132


 
 









 
Reality shows spotlight stupidity

Mary B. Carradine

Like other college students with jobs, I don't usually have enough free time to watch television. My evenings are either spent in classes, studying or
seeing actual friends of mine, not watching some show. But two Mondays ago, I came home early from class to find my roommate glued to the
television. She yelled at me in disbelief to come see what she was watching.

There's a new reality television show that consists of 25 prostitutes vying to marry the same man.

So the women don't come right out and call themselves prostitutes, but perhaps you should decide. They all live in the same house and are taken out
on dates by this one conventionally attractive man. The man buys them gifts and pays for these evenings (with the help of the ABC network), and then
proceeds to engage in physical contact with almost all of them. At the end of each episode, he chooses a certain number of women to eliminate. Of
course, the winner is the last one not eliminated.

Most "winners" of shows like these receive cash rewards or vacations. But the winner of this certain show, The Bachelor, will marry the bachelor. That
is the prize marriage to a man the contestants hardly even know.

Apparently there used to be a show where women battled to marry a millionaire who actually had a history of domestically abusing the women he had
dated.

Ever since MTV started airing its "reality" television series The Real World, networks have been scratching and clawing to fall in line with thehype.
CBS's Survivor and Big Brother only fanned the flames, and now every network has its own reality show. But some networks have chosen to integrate
dating with reality television, which is outrageous and disgusting.

It's not that I'm some hardcore marriage-defending conservative. You can be as godless as possible and still believe in the sanctity of love and
self-respect. There will be people on NBC's Fear Factor later this week eating live cockroaches. What has our society come to?

As I sat there watching The Bachelor I couldn't help but to wonder where did these women come from? Who made them believe that they needed to
be in the feces-spotlight of prime-time television to be pawned off to a stranger like desperate, self-hating trollops?

I could ask the same question to the fools who participate in Fear Factor. They may receive money and seconds of fame for ingesting live animals, but
eventually the money will be depleted and the seconds of fame will be short-lived. Self-respect will last as long as you want.

The participants in these reality shows are pathetic, but there will always be participants as long as the ratings are high. It is arguably just as
disgusting to watch these shows and contribute to their success. It may be exciting and shocking to watch someone go on bad dates or wade in a pool

of live snakes, but our society needs to learn how to control itself and not applaud the preposterous acts of others.

Carradine, a senior computer engineering
technology major, can be reached at mbcarradine@hotmail.com.


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