I Love Reality and it Shows

Okay, so I talk a good game. I post poetry and muse on spiritual topics so you’d think I’m a deep kind of guy. Guess again.

I… like reality TV. Love it.

Okay, not all of it. But I love the kinds of reality shows that involve people with talent competing for their shot at the Big Time… and a Saturn Roadster.

Currently my shows are Project Runway, So You Think You can Dance (Dooce likes it too), and (a little less enthusiastically) Hell’s Kitchen. Other shows that come up around the year are American Idol and Top Chef. There was one on PBS called Cooking Under Fire but I haven’t seen that again since its first season. Pity, that.

I love watching truly talented and creative people do their thing. I like the performances, especially toward the end when the finalists are left and the lesser talent has been voted off the island.

Yeah, so I don’t care for the first “footage of idiots who think they’re talented” audition shows of each season, the smarmy hosts, the lame attempts to feature offstage drama, and especially the results shows that extend what should take about 2 minutes for 30 or even 60 minutes. But I look past all of that to find some really talented folks doing what they love for a chance to do more of what they love and earn a living doing it.

So yeah, I’m a sentimental mainstream lowbrow type inside. I like reality TV. Don’t be fooled by the poetry and the quotes from Reinhold Niebuhr.

Poem: Contraband

A nice poem came in my inbox today


That thing you sent didn’t open,

didn’t change my life as it should, didn’t complicate,

or play, although it made a hate

crime, a love note—both of those—a stolen

thing from the Congo passed through France

then shown to Picasso by Matisse at Stein’s apartment

a carving, a mask, a dance—a misrepresented

soul that became the thing—a trance

we lived in while we built the Great Wall,

The Chrysler Building, the Erie Canal—servants

to the civilization, dowsing, digging,

never stopping to drink. God strangled

the details as we smuggled the cargoes

of our gifted lives, our lies, our singing.

— Bruce Smith, via Slate Magazine