My friend Pat Stuckart wrote this to our local newspaper. I am posting it here, just as he wrote it. I am posting it because I agree entirely with what he says.
Too Much Reality
Those devious little rapscallions at the TV networks have managed to slip another one past us. While we were passionately and vociferously lamenting the loss of fictional cavemen and talking birds in the comic pages of the newspaper they introduced one more brick in the wall that separates us from the higher ideal to which we should be aspiring. On Monday, August 6, television viewers were invited to witness the launch of Fat March, right after Wife Swap and before Supernanny. If I understand correctly it is a reality program in which 12 grossly overweight people are challenged to walk 500 miles. The more of them who finish the march the more money each will receive. I declined the invitation. Sadly though there are many who will feel compelled to reserve that time slot every Monday hence to revel in the plight of this hapless band of corpulent competitors whose 15 minutes of fame have arrived. Another hour of productive potential lost to the hypnotic siren call of what has euphemistically been termed prime-time entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, I admire anyone who makes a sincere effort to improve their condition. In this case however, I find the nobility of the effort highly suspect. Fat March is perfectly situated between those other must-see spectacles of today’s urban society; Wife Swap (my wife doesn’t know what she’s doing, let me try yours), and Supernanny (we are clueless in raising our own children, you take a shot at it). I can’t say that Fat March actually making prime time TV surprises me. We have a rich legacy of having our sensibilities bludgeoned in unconsciousness with this kind of baseless drivel. We no longer sympathize with victims who suffer emotional or physical trauma, rather we are encouraged to celebrate the event and even find great humor in it. Jackass taught us that. Our children are not learning to know better. They are being desensitized into feeling nothing.
One of the most gifted commentators of the human condition that I ever encountered was a newspaper cartoonist named Walt Kelly. He created a cartoon strip called “Pogo” which ran in newspapers from 1948 to 1975. He once penned the following line; “We have met the enemy and he is us”. Indeed.
All I can say Pat is “amen brother.” Amen.