Staged Reality

I’ve not gotten caught up in these so-called reality shows. Not the housewives ones, nor Duck Dynasty, nor Millionaire Matchmaker– none. I nearly got sucked in though on a channel that I occasionally watch. I say occasionally because in winter I seem to gravitate way too much to television and am trying to break that habit.

I like Food Network. I like “Chopped” and sometimes “Cupcake Wars”, sometimes but not very often “Sweet Genius” or “Restaurant Impossible”. But those programs where they claim they have hidden cameras all over restaurants, in their kitchens, bars, and dining areas– I don’t know about those. They have a guy who hosts this program, having the restaurant owner with him in the control room where they have all these monitors. The owner has supposedly suspected one or some of his employees of stealing, abusing other coworkers or diners or something that would be a firable offense. Sometimes these are actually believable, but then the offender/s are brought in to the control room and wonder what all those monitors are. I can’t help but question whether these are actors portraying actual incidents. Or even made-up ones. They don’t appear truly surprised, or humbled, or inflamed, or indignant, or appalled, unless people are so callused that even their truth seems fake. No,¬†they appear to have been rehearsed through this. I mean, can this actually happen to someone who does steal or abuse a customer or coworker? Without the impending lawsuit people seem to be able to get away with these days for pain and suffering regardless of the blatant fact that they caused the pain and suffering by their own actions?? Nobody seems to want to be responsible for something s/he did or said to intentionally hurt or deceive someone else. It’s always someone else’s fault. They got caught! Plain and simple. But on so many levels even networks are exploiting people’s devious stupidity. They cash in on stuff they tell us happened, but did it really? I know it could, but really, who wins in this one? I’ve never seen a disclaimer stating the participants are actors, but maybe there is one. The credits roll so fast who can read them?¬†

Maybe this blog isn’t so much about false reality as it is about our pathetic so-called justice system. There is no justice in the law. Winners are those who can argue a legal point better than somebody else, sometimes regardless of whether it has any moral or ethical bearing at all.

Most of the time it doesn’t even give the appearance of justice. Reality as I understand it is raw, vulnerable, risk-taking, bald-faced authenticity. Something a person can not hide behind because it is all s/he is.

And we, in our inerrant (?) hope in humanity, want to believe.

Tangled webs

“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” People quote this wrongly attributing it to Shakespeare. I first heard it from my ex-husband who did not credit it to anyone. It was in Walter Scott’s poem, “Marmion” (1808). It’s kind of the moral of the poem, based on a love triangle where somebody actually dies. Suffice to say it really makes things bad when someone lies. It complicates everything. The person(s) lied to believe it because we don’t want to have the baggage of trust issues all over us, and basically we want to believe in people. So the liar has to perpetuate the lie, or completely discredit him/herself and own up to being a liar. Who wants that? Then it takes on a life of its own, this lie, kind of like a cancer. Its host, the liar, abandons reality in order to perpetuate this alternate universe, started by a simple, little lie. It’s easier to eat some humble pie, admit to the thing and get on with it. Maybe s/he loses credibility with a person or some persons. Maybe a lot of people. Maybe those people believe in second chances and the liar had a clean slate before. Then it’s easier to put the trust option out there again. But if this was a chronic situation, second chances having been had all around before it’s way harder. The liar might as well move, change jobs, or just dig a hole and wait things out. Do people forget? Some might. Some might not, but are willing to forgive, but they remember what happened so their antenna are up, you know, just in case.

What the heck. Being honest, telling the truth is a whole lot easier. At least you can sleep.