Sunday, May 22, 2011

Primetime: a Never Ending Sporting Event

Once upon a time, there were TV shows that conveyed families. Sure, there were kookie families like the Addams, and over-productive families like the Bradys, but they were families nonetheless. Today the going thing seems to be competitive reality shows: races, survival, Trumptious, dancing, skating, singing, showing off strange and often disturbing talent, and even competitive dating. Competition has taken the field, and we are all referees. What about this is appealing? As one who has helped develop various online communities, I suppose that some may argue that it is all about community and involvement, but there are ways to accomplish that without the competitive element.

Certainly, we all should celebrate one another for our individual achievements. My favorite story is the "overcoming the odds" story, the Rudy stories, the "pushed oneself to their physical limits" story. It is when the story deteriorates into the "must be better than" or "must make them look worse than me" story that I suddenly lose interest. I love seeing good sportsmanship. There is something magnificent and transcendent about the individual who rises above in behalf of another.

You may be wondering where all of this is coming from. It might have something to do with me watching a recent TV show or two where where I was just dying to see who won, and then afterward I reflected on my eagerness to watch. What was the point? The suspense? The drama? The apparent "unknown?" I decided that I had gained nothing of value from any of these.

I suppose you could say that I reexamined my time allotment. I have always been one who tried to maximize my time. I even turn off the radio during commercials because I don't want to sponge in meaningless ads. Resolution: I think I can find better uses of my time; I have more important things to do.

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