14 Reality TV Life Lessons

People claim that reality television is just mindless drivel that is causing the downfall of America. But if you really pay attention, you’ll find that every hoarder and child beauty queen is teaching us a valuable lesson about life, love and the pathway to inner peace. At the very least it can make you feel better about not being romantically involved with your car.

Here is a list (cause you people love lists) of 14 Real Reality TV Life Lessons:

1. If You’re Rich, You’re a Horrible, Horrible Person (My Super Sweet 16, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Atlanta, New York, Beverly Hills, Miami and Orange County): Might as well just call all of them the Real Housewives of HELL! I mean, I can take a certain amount of cringe-worthy television, but these are too much even for me. Maybe it says something about my personality that I’ll watch a homeless 19-year-old shoot heroin for hours, but I can’t take two seconds of a 15 3/4-year-old complain that she wants a Porsche for her birthday, not the crappy Mercedes (my apologies to rich people, I honestly don’t know if you’d consider a Porsche better than a Mercedes).

2. You Should Throw Away Everything In Your House (Hoarders, Hoarding: Buried Alive): A Hoarders marathon is a dangerous thing. About 10 minutes into the 2nd episode I’m ready to toss everything in my house into the garbage. Obviously the fact that I have a box with old newspaper articles I’ve written and my 3rd Grade craft project means I’m just about one step closer to poop in a bag. It’s a logical jump. At least as logical as thinking you’ll need that TV Guide from 1984 again someday. Although, I can understand their fear. What if you need to look up that one actor’s name from Charles in Charge after the zombie apocalypse when all computers, phones and nerds are gone?

3. Never Throw Anything Away, It Could Be Worth Money Someday (Pawn Stars, Hardcore Pawn, American Pickers): Those hoarders are nuts! So anyway, you were telling me about that $100,000 coin you found in a box in your grandmother’s attic?

4. Man-Whores are okay, but Woman-Whores are Pathetic Sluts (The Bachelor/The Bachelorette): You ever hear people talk about these shows? There is such outrage when the Bachelorette goes and makes out with a couple guys in one night. If the Bachelor makes out with two girls, people wonder why he didn’t make out with five. See a little double standard here? It’s 2012 people. There should be equal standards; everyone on reality TV is a ho.

5. People With British Accents Can Get Away With Anything (Super Nanny, Kitchen Nightmares, American Idol, America’s Got Talent): There is something deeply engrained in we Americans that makes us just accept (and maybe even enjoy) British people verbally abusing us. And yes, I know Gordon Ramsey is Scottish, but most of us don’t know any better. If the idiots on Jersey Shore hailed from Fingringhoe or Cockshoot Close (yes, those are real) then we’d find them ever so bloody charming, wouldn’t we mate?

6. The General Public Knows Nothing About Talent (American Idol, The Voice, America’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance): Why do we leave these decisions in the hands of the general public? Sure, we let them decide menial things like who runs our city, state and country, but there is $100,000 and a recording contract at stake here! People know nothing about who’s pitchy, dawg! Also, the fact that someone had a semi sad childhood (i.e. was maybe lower-middle class) doesn’t automatically mean they’re a better singer.

7: Schadenfreude is Alive and Well (Intervention, Addicted, The Biggest Loser): Sorry, Bob Harper, but no matter how much it ticks you off, I’m not going to stop eating pizza and ice cream while I watch a morbidly obese person pass out after the first time they’ve ever worked out. People take joy in things like that. People watch Intervention for the same reason they watch auto racing; they want to see someone crash and burn.

8: Overpopulating the Earth is Very Entertaining (19 Kids and Counting, Jon and Kate Plus 8): That crazy Duggar woman has said she doesn’t believe in overpopulation. ~Shocking~ To be honest, this really should be put under #7 because I’m pretty sure people just watch this show to feel better about not having a whole litter of children.

9: Super Boring Family Crap is Somehow Entertaining With Little People (Little People, Big World, The Little Couple): Going to the dentist? Boring. A little person going to the dentist? Oh, the adventure! Small in stature means big in entertainment! Hey, I should work in marketing.

10: People Are So Freaking Stupid (I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant): I don’t even know if this show is still on. I could research it, but then my browser history would forever show that I searched “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.” Either way, I just felt this needed its own special category of idiocy. And the stupid ones aren’t just on the show, they’re also the people who have watched more than one episode. How many times can you hear about a woman giving birth on a toilet?

11: What the F*&$ Is Wrong With People? (My Strange Addiction): If there is one thing reality TV has taught us, it’s that there are some seriously messed up people in this world. But this show wins the crazy prize. A guy who is dating his car (and when I say dating, I mean DATING), a woman who snorts baby powder and a chick who drinks gasoline are all at least watchable. But the woman drinking her own urine almost made me vomit. I got through about 10 seconds of her explaining the different flavors and I had to turn it off. I’m going to stop talking about it now because I’m about to puke again…

12: You’re Not A Professional Blower-Upper Guy (Mythbusters, Jackass): They all have the same basic warning that you shouldn’t blow stuff up, but they can. But what made them professionals at blowing stuff up? Doing it a lot and filming it. So kids, get to it…

13. Every Woman In America is Planning a Wedding at All Times… or Wishes She Was. (Say Yes to the Dress, Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids, Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss etc): It is kind of amazing how many ways you can make a white dress. But any woman who claims she doesn’t watch these shows and picture herself in every dress is lying.

14. It’s Never Too Early to Start Teaching Girls That Looks Are All That Matters (Toddlers and Tiaras): When asked why they put their daughters in pageants, the mothers always have the same response “Pageants prepare my daughter for life. People are judged by their looks.” Oh, really? Tell me more, woman in the leopard print leggings and over-sized Disney t-shirt. Maybe comb your hair and put on some lip gloss before you tell me about the great life lessons your 5-year-old is getting from her spray tan and eyebrow waxing.

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Why Black Friday is Scarier Than The Walking Dead

We all know the familiar scene. Bloodthirsty, heartless, brain-dead drones attacking helpless victims en masse.  Little did that victim know that he would soon be slashed – price slashed – and consumed by a violent mob. That poor, innocent Xbox never saw it coming.

But, seriously. Have you ever watched a zombie movie or TV show and wondered just how they really took over EVERYTHING. I can see a zombie virus taking out a hospital staff quickly or running through a little town in Podunkville, USA, but the entire Military? That slow walking corpse took out the whole police force? Even the less common and ridiculous marathon runner zombies seen in movies like 28 Days Later should be defeatable be a whole police squad, right? Those men are trained to stay cool and calm and handle these kinds of situations. Oh… wait…

And before you Walking Dead fans say anything, yes, I call them zombies. You know why? Because they’re zombies. The fact that they refuse to ever use the word “zombie” is the least realistic part of the whole show. Are we to believe these people never saw a zombie movie in their entire lives? Come on! The dead coming back to eat the living? Yeah, sure. But a world without the word zombie? Homey don’t buy that.

Just get a few hundred people together for a mediocre deal and you can easily see why we will all eventually die in a zombie apocalypse. After hearing some of the stories of Black Friday 2011 I’m not totally convinced that there aren’t a few of the infected already out there.

Police pepper spraying shoppers, shoppers pepper spraying shoppers, pepper spray policing shoppers, dogs hugging kittens; it’s all a sign that we’re going down.

If a cop can’t even handle some housewives with too much time and not enough money, there is no way they’re going to calmly obliterate a zombie hoard.

And there is always that one character in the group of survivors that starts out okay, but has the crazy eye. You know the one. You see him and think “that boy ain’t right” (or “something is amiss with that young man” – individual thoughts depend on your level of hillbilly). But then that guy goes totally nuts and kills a bunch of people. Well, it would seem, based on Black Friday, that it should really be everyone just running around shooting each other in the neck.

People on TV calmly band together and find antibiotics for their friends. People in real life face palm their grandmother to get $100 off an HDTV. Which is scarier?

So what’s the point that this snarky self-helper is trying to make? If the world gets taken over by zombies, we’re all screwed. I’m talking I Am Legend even-the-dog-gets-it kind of screwed. Not Night of the Living Dead One-bad-night-and-then-we’re-playing-hit-the-zombie-with-a-rock-in-the-backyard style screwed.

What’s that? You didn’t need me to tell you that? You better hope I don’t become a zombie or I’m gonna crazy zombie bite you so hard…

We’re Not As Cultured As We’d Like to Think

People used to be so barbaric in their chosen forms of entertainment. There was a time when people would actually gather around the town gallows and watch others be hung to death for the sheer amusement.

I want to keep my posts fairly light-hearted in nature so I’m going to just ignore the fact that there are still places around the world that do this. Like most Americans I choose ignorance. Makes me feel less guilty when I’m bitching about traffic jams or how crowded it is at the mall.

Another entertainment pastime that was less morbid – but 100% politically incorrect – was the good old-fashioned freak show. Can you believe that people used to actually pay to stand and gawk at individuals with physical and mental disorders?

Oh, look! Jersey Shore is on…

As I’ve previously confessed, I love reality television. And I must admit that most of the reality shows I like are the kinds that make me feel better about myself through the art of judging.

My love of judging probably comes as a shock to those of you who know me. The secret lives we lead, right?

I personally don’t choose to watch shows like the aforementioned Jersey Shore. I want my reality television to trick me into thinking I’m watching a documentary. Makes me feel all classy-like.

Everyone has their own reality show sleaze-threshold. Mine cuts off right around any show involving a half ton man. I eat those types of shows up, so to speak, but I feel bad in the process.

Whatever your style of reality show, it will always contain some element of what I call the “Freak Show Factor.” We watch these people struggle and fail and make fools of themselves. And because of the freak show factor even the kindest one among us has had a moment of “I’m glad that’s not me.”

The Germans even have a word for this. They call it schadenfreude. The definition being: enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others. ~Shocking that the German people would go to the effort a creating a specific word for something so insensitive and cruel.~

If I were more thorough this is where I would insert some sort of information about the psychological principle behind all this. But I think you’re just as capable of using Google as I am.

So what is the point that this snarky self-helper is trying to make? We’re only human. Sometimes you just can’t fight nature. At least we’re cultured enough to feel bad about our schadenfreude. Or at least pretend that we do.