Anyways, I'm going in.
I started reading The Picture of Dorian Gray which I've tried to start numerous times before, always to failed interest. I was having a chat with a collaborator about art criticism, and started my blahkrnsejillion attempt at the book soon after. Not with intention, as it was the only thing I had in my purse. The reasoning behind that was that I'd force myself to read it on the subway since I don't carry an iPod and will read whatever is handy. My state of mind was aligned with the text, and I soon found myself hooked after getting past Oscar Wilde's preface in which he lists his thoughts on art and the role of the critic. I read on, already engaged, and was soon hooked.
Speaking of hooked, I had a taste of reality television addiction after watching a few minutes of "Shahs of Sunset". My company, Lemmy, said, "I feel like somebody just poured sunblock down my throat," to which I agreed, and further sympathized with her when she noted that it makes her physically nauseous when women have way too much lipstick on. The only character I liked was the Persian mother who shout-asked her daughter "Why are you crying?" in Farsi, followed by "All you do is cry and drink wine." I don't know much about this show or these people, but I like how this lady thinks. Persian culture is so beautiful, but here it is reduced to gaudy design and plastic surgery. The show is executive produced by Ryan Seacrest, which prompted me to seriously wonder why the hell anybody that doesn't desperately need money would waste their time with and invest in a show that celebrates and perpetuates disrespect, superficiality, racism, materialism and eating disorders. I wouldn't trust a single person on the show with boiling water for me. Maybe the seemingly mean Persian mother...
I just wasted a paragraph now on this after swearing to myself I'd never support it again. My concern is becoming more grave. I have a better understanding of the addiction to raunchy reality TV. After my experience, I found myself with knots in my stomach, tense and fidgety. I may or may not have leaned in toward the television set, scratched my arm from withdrawals and asked the host "When's the next episode?" I hated everything in front of me, but I wanted more.
Why do we love watching others self-destruct? Why did watching a vain dummy humiliate herself publicly bring me temporary satisfaction? Maybe I just enjoyed the bad acting... Their meta-realization of being in a reality TV show... Maybe it has something to do with our superego reaffirming the ego, the outside world rambunctiously colliding with our private ideas of it all, our brains subconsciously struggling for clearer definition? Maybe it helps us bond with others the way medieval towns would rally against the village idiot, or maybe it allows us to easily feel right about ourselves? To some- this aspect makes me sad- these people are fascinating quasi-idols and represent their real, personal ideals. Any way I look at it, it's an insidious corruption, the hedonistic Lord Wotton to my naively bewildered Dorian Gray- but without the wit, etiquette or intelligence.