Friday, May 11, 2007

Non-Fiction TV

This morning at Cholesterol Cafe, we talked about what the concept of "survivor" is and discussed the meaning of Jesus' words about giving us life "to the full."

The conversation began by talking about the popular television program "Survivor." I would have loved to contribute to the banter, but I just can't watch that show. I watched it once and thought - "I see the formula and it looks like broken and redemptive humanity on display." I can't get past the knowledge that the show has a producer, and a crew influencing every "spontaneous" event that unfolds before millions of viewers. No thanks - it bores me! Same thing with all the fuss about "Lost." I heard someone I work with state that they "tivo" every episode and sit down to watch it later in the week "and please don't tell me what happened."

Whatever floats your boat, but that ain't me!

As you can see by the title of this blog, I don't quite blend in with the particular and contextual "mainstream" on this. I seem to be in the minority.

If I try to converse with others about the shows I watch (like Mythbusters, Forensic Files, North Mission Road, Dirty Jobs, The Investigators and other real "reality" shows), it usually results in a polite and ignorant nod - or the third-eye look. I feel like I'm in a very small minority when it comes to TV entertainment.

Let's see if I can explain my wiring - which is subject to scrutiny and correction or resonation and understanding. I've tried to do a self-analysis on this quirkiness of mine - and this is what I have concluded. This is me...

Non-fiction is not subject to manipulation or conniving. It simply displays things they way they happen or are. Long-held notions can be dispelled and insights gained by passive observation. This is more consistent with how we live our lives. We can plan to decide certain things, but our decisions are most often reshaped so that we navigate according to conditions before us.

"Survivor" and "Lost" are productions that simulate reality. Viewers find themselves drawn in to the drama of adaptive human behavior, but forget that the people are there based on recruitment and audition. The settings are chosen dependent on advance research and those involved have to be monitored (especially in our litigate-happy culture).

It's artificial humanity. Recent history has shown that those who gain fame (or infamy) on how they adapt and thrive through difficult challenges on the small screen, fall flat on their faces with mundane challenges away from cameras and selected remote locations.

I guess I'm much more entertained with the latter. Case in point: I'm actually enjoying the current situation with Paris Hilton's jail sentence. There is much more intrigue for me to hear she and her mother cry "foul" - for this petition to the Governator to pardon her and commute here sentence - to hear Rosie O’Donnell slough off the irresponsibility of driving under the influence. I'm actually gaining more insight and pleasure from this, than any production which requires my time and attention for several minutes when networks schedule its "airing."

Enough rambling (I love the freedom of blogging for this reason. It's up to you to make sense of what you read). It is my belief that salt and light become more intensified by looking at what we do and who we are from the perspective of the One who "emptied himself."

Make any sense?



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