Ain't no reality in that

They’re calling it “Reality TV.”

Reality has nothing to do with it.

Take “Survivor.” Put 12 people on an island, give them some ridiculous challenges, then give the last man left on the island a million dollars.

What’s the reality of that? How many times has that happened in real life?

Reality is Carolina Vines fighting for survival—fighting for one more minute of life, then another and another, all the while worrying about how the family will pay the bills for the costly treatment.

That’s reality, but I don’t see that on TV.

Or, that same family spending night after night wandering if Phillip would survive after his accident.

That’s reality.

There’s a  show called something like “Reality Danger.” Contestants are put in “dangerous” situations and the one who gets through all the situations in the fastest time wins $50,000. In the show I saw, contestants, dressed in a padded suits and gloves, had to run across a field with an attack dog clawing at them. Sure, it’s scary, but it isn’t reality.

When a small child, unprotected and naive, is mauled to death by a vicious dog . . . that’s reality.

Real life doesn’t sell much television ad time. Reality is boring and hard and, sometimes, very sad, and that’s not what people want to watch on television.

Cancer is reality.
Paying bills is reality.
Going to work every day is reality.
Reality TV is not.

A friend once told me the biggest problem with soap operas was that some people actually believed that was what real life was supposed to be. It’s not.

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Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it. . . . What frustrates us and robs our lives of joy is this absence of meaning. . . . Does our being alive matter?
Harold S. Kushner in
"When All You Ever
Wanted Isn't Enough"
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