Tuesday, November 1, 2011

You Are What You Watch On TV

When the news broke out yesterday that Kim Kardashian was filing for divorce after being married for only 72 days and spending $20 million dollars for the wedding, I saw red. Suddenly, it became clear to me how absurd all of us are for watching a family make millions of dollars by simply showing us how greedy and self-centered they are.

Suddenly, it occured to me that young women across the country are influenced  by this kind of reality television. Consequently, they think it's okay to take the institution of marriage lightlly--looking at it more as an opportunity to plan their dream wedding. The kicker was when Kim was so suprised that Kris wanted them to live in Minnesota. You mean to tell me you're too busy putting on a $20 million wedding to discuss where you will live as husband and wife? Sheer stupidity. No wonder Presdient Obama doesn't allow his own daughters to watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

What's more, with so many people in our country struggling to keep their homes and out of work, the Kardashians' behavior is clearly out of touch with how most of us are living today. Perhaps we watch the show to escape our own reality. I know in the past I've watched it with a sense of envy, thinking if I won the lottery I'd be able to shop endlessly and have homes just like them. But think about it. Disconnecting from your own reality feeds their ratings and helps let them continue behaving inappropriately in a bad economy. It's shameful.

I am not criticizing all reality shows. I love watching Dancing With The Stars because there is something joyful about seeing a star with no confidence, stepping out of her comfort zone to nail a dance each and every week. We get to see how that discipline transforms her and boosts her confidence.

Kelly Osborne is a perfect example of how the show transformed an unsure, 25-year old girl into a poised woman and it helped opened doors for her career. I see it with Rob Kardashian as well. All I can say is bravo. It reminds all of us--both young and old--that if you commit to something and give 100 percent you will be rewarded ten fold. It gives us--the audience--an opportunity to see these stars grow into extra ordinary dancers and it's truly inspirational. I would say the same for Donald Trump's The Apprentice and there's similar shows as well.

The point I'm trying to make is if you're going to give your time to a TV program, make it count. Be inspired to try something new, get an insight, learn history.  PBS always does that for me. I watched Ken Burns' documentary, Prohibition and went on a quest to learn more about my grandfather's days working at a brewery in Wisconsin, post-Prohibition.

I am not wasting my time watching shows like Desparate Housewives, where women have fists fights over a dinner table and a cast member hangs himself due to the pressure of pretending to be rich. I would rather tune in to a programs that give me tools to build a better life.  Just remember, it's your time when you turn on your TV.  You can veg out watching mindless drama or you learn something. It's your choice.

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