By Bernie Bates

As the world turns, the days of our lives tick away in front of the boob-tube. Reality TV is all the rage; from bug eating contests to chubby celebrities jiggling their rich, fat asses across our television screens and according to the Nielsen Ratings, we’re gobbling it up. Well, I for one have had my fill.

“Turn on and tune out,” was a hip phrase for a generation of stoners, but it now applies to the current TV generation. A large percentage of this generation was raised by DVD, MTV, and HD. The cycle of endless channels, fast food, and slothfulness has created a new species of TV that I call the “Zombie Box.” They can be recognized by the blank stares on their face whenever asked a simple question, such as: “What two countries share the longest undefended border in the World?” The porch light is on, but nobody is home.

I don’t mean to lay all the blame on television, in fact, the tube has some wonderful, entertaining, and informative programs to offer. I blame the “dumb thumbed,” who click the remote to shows like The Biggest Loser, America’s Got Talent, and The Bachelor. These same people should call upstairs to their parents and ask, “Why am I such a lonesome, talentless loser?” After all, isn’t it true, you get back, what you put in, right?

If a person wants to waste their time with television programs that have the same effect as sugar has on teeth, I say go for it. The world needs people like them. Someone has to put their nose to the grindstone, their shoulder to the wheel, and grease their elbows. Not everybody can be movers and shakers. Why tune into the Knowledge Network if you don’t desire knowledge, have no aspirations, and no motivation to improve yourself? I suppose I can understand why there are those who’d rather just point at the television and laugh “Look, he fall down, ha, ha!” It’s just so much easier.

If the Discovery channel is a 10 then TV wrestling has to be a zero — much like the IQ’s of their viewing audience. TV wrestling is nothing more than a scripted soap opera for people with low self-esteem issues and violent tendencies. What’s it going to take for parents to turn off this mindless violence masquerading as harmless entertainment? Does a ten year old boy have to kill his baby sister by whacking her over the head with a chair to turn on the parental care button?

Entertainment is a business like any other business and no one ever went broke by giving the public what they want. Granted, people want different things. Some might have a ball watching sports; others get all hot and juicy over the cooking channel. It’s all just a matter of taste — unfortunately, the only place some people have taste is in their mouths.

As usual, the new and improved fall TV line-up is just around the corner. Prime time is back with all new all time lows from TV land. I know reality bites, but reality TV really bites. You can now watch “Parking Wars” and another mind numbing listing that deals with the day to day operations of automobile towing. Just when I thought the TV limbo bar couldn’t go any lower . . . surprise!

I think advertisers and cable companies could make a killing if they offered two new programming packages. One package could be touted as the Real Reality, and the other, Zombie Box. Real Reality channels could advertise things like Mercedes Benz and on the Zombie Box channels could pitch “Easy credit, no credit, no problem car loans. Even if you’re watching this channel from the basement of your parents house.”


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