View Points by Dr. T
This is NOT Reality-TV…It’s Reality
To call what passes for “reality” on TV even close to actual reality is an absolute farce. One might even say it’s patently absurd. But many people follow these reality-TV sagas with the fervor of a religious pilgrimage as if they were in pursuit of the Holy Grail. They engage in fervent critical discourse around the various perspectives, life-like dramas and dilemmas involved with the utmost belief that the so-called real-life or LIVE results actually matter. (Spoiler Alert) Not only do they not matter, they are not REALITY!
Political discourse is being played out in the new era of Twitter bytes as a major media information source, as if serious political and social concerns can actually be discussed with any depth or purpose on that particular platform. Instead, it serves as a stage for the typical random “putdowns” and “callouts” of political leaders, parties and agendas. These reductionist discursive debates oft come across like the “mean girls” in middle schools all over the country, or the bullies and bystanders many diversity and cultural sensitivity trainers discuss when speaking to 8th grade classes nationwide. The depth of the discussion and the interrogation of the issues involved fall woefully short of having any real meaning or substantive useful information. Therefore, there is little hope that they can induce any real change or impactful action. It’s all just noise! People on the various sides either don’t engage at all, or the discourse is so shallow it takes on the characteristic nature of those reality-TV shows that inundate cable television stations in communities all over the country.
Given the serious nature of this country’s social, political, global and economic concerns, the level of dis-engagement amongst the voting populous are not only depressing, but also disturbing. The amount of four-letter words spewing forth and vapid media memes breaking over Twitter speak to an incredible amount of misinformation and ignorance, as well as some type of mystifying blanket of apathy that has overtaken us. We, as a nation, have finally succumbed to a type of mindless disconnection and denial, and are willing to give up and give in to a Reality-TV mentality. Will we allow our collective future to fall into the hands of individuals who obviously lack the qualifications, temperament, knowledge and fundamental understanding of global affairs to be our Commander-in-Chief and the “Leader of the Free World?” Are we really going to allow that to happen? With the increasing levels of racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia and Islamophobia being elevated to the political arena by our so-called leaders and their surrogates, will we ultimately challenge ourselves to be true to what we say we believe? Are the foundational principles of the United States of America, its Constitution and its call for “Freedom, Liberty and Justice for All” the ground on which we stand or NOT?
This is not a game show, people. We are not on Reality-TV, no matter how much it may sometimes feel that we are. Our integrity is being challenged and the whole world is watching. What do we truly believe, and are we willing to STAND UP for those beliefs? Or, are we just going to change the channel and hope for a different outcome next week? You cannot call out someone for making racist statements and then, in the same breath, say but I continue to support them without consequence. That’s the kind of choice they make on the TV shows we call Reality-TV…. not the choices we make when actual people’s REAL LIVES are at stake.
Up Next Week: Gay Pride is dangerous