Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The NEW American Dream

It is no secret that the American public loves reality television. From Survivor, to Flavor of Love and its numerous reincarnations, viewers flock. Much of the time, particularly with the VH1-brand reality shows, watching an episode is like watching a train wreck, one cannot look away. It is quite enjoyable to watch people make fools of themselves on tv. This begs the question why do people continue to put themselves on these shows, where often they are the object of ridicule? The answer is simple; they want to be famous. Indeed, it seems that many people are not content with the "old" American Dream of owning your own house, ensuring that your children have a decent education, etc. etc. etc. Instead being famous, making it big on television or some other media outlet, seems to be the New American Dream.

Enter the Heene family, perpetrators of the infamous balloon boy hoax of 2009. "You guys said that we did this for the show." As we now know, the Heenes orchestrated the entire balloon-sailing-away-with-child-in-it in order to create publicity for some reality tv show idea the parents had. (Or perhaps to focus the public eye on the horrible conspiracy that is plaguing our government. WATCH OUT FOR THE REPTILIANS!) Despicable. It's not shocking to discover that the Heenes have already had a taste of reality tv fame. They are two-time participants on middling reality tv fodder Wife Swap, best known for that crazy christian woman. At any rate, it is obvious that there is a direct correlation between loss of moral values and the pursuit of this new American Dream.

One only needs to look as far as TLC hit reality show Jon and Kate plus 8/Kate plus 8/whatever it is called now. The pursuit of reality tv fame corrupts. I took several minutes to compile a time-line of Jon Gosselin's moral de-evolution over the course of the show.