Reality TV, for lack of a better title

The crops are in and growing
The crops are in and growing

I am trying to decide if I should return to this field through the summer and autumn for updates on the crop progress. Part of me wants to do that, but another part says, “How boring.” Any comments, one way or the other?


(Let me apologize in advance to the English language purists for all of the sentence fragments, mixed metaphors, and other errors that I so liberally sprinkle through my posts. This post seems particularly egregious to me.)

I don’t like Reality Television. I dislike it so much that I usually put the term in quotation marks on paper and in my head (though I refuse to use air quotes). I watched the very first episode of Survivor, and have never watched another. What was real about that premise? You put a group of self-centered schemers together in a remote area (now that’s a good idea) and see who can out-ego their way to the top of a pathetic heap. Pure gold, evidently.

I will admit to watching the first season of Food Network’s Next Food Network Star, but I only watched it for the food…honest. Oh, and the network seems they have changed the name of the show by dropping the word Next. That may have some deep meaning, but since I no longer watch the show, I have no idea what that meaning would be. Enlightenment, anyone?

So why did I start this post with reflections on Reality TV? It was the last of a string of things I thought about after waking at 4 a.m. My starting point was a reflection on living an emotional life and/or a life based on pragmatic reality. Believe me, not every morning starts this way for me. Most mornings start between 5:30 and six when I half-open my right eye, and with a croaking mumble try to say “Coffee…need coffee.” But not today.

Everyone lives a blended life, but most people tend towards the emotional or towards the pragmatic reality. I’m less emotional. There, I’ve said it. That isn’t always the case. I had days when I was in college, when I would feel so depressed (usually about a girl) that I wanted only to just sit in a chair, sip beer, stare out of a window, and listen to slow ballads. Luckily, I would do that for a few hours and then get so tired of feeling sorry for myself that I would start to cheer up. I stopped having those days shortly before I went into the army. Or perhaps I simply learned to wear a pragmatic mask to hide the emotion from myself, as well as from others. Hmmm.

There are times in life when you are dragged over the line to a place where you are uncomfortable. For me, this has happened when a person I love became ill and left me with nothing I can do but observe. For instance, when my father fell ill for the last time, I was on an emotional roller coaster. He had physical and emotional ailments. I was down. A doctor examined him and said he would be fine in a short amount of time. I was up. Dad fell and went into the hospital. I was down. I visited him and he seemed to be getting better. I was up. Mom got upset with the people who worked at the hospital, and took dad home. I was down; truly down, because I knew the end was near. I hate those emotional swings because you feel so helpless.

Saying that, I can still understand the allure of the emotional life. You have the heady rush of feeling like you are living life on the edge. You aren’t bogged down in the mundane. It can be so alluring, so hormone inducing, that some people become addicted to crisis. They actually feel bad physically if there is nothing stirring their emotional pot. So, at times, some people will (unknowingly?) create a crisis out of nothing, and voilá, their life balance seems to be restored. I know people who are like that. I find them draining. You don’t know anyone who is like that? They are on Dr. Phil five days a week.

And that took me to Reality Television. Did I mention that I dislike it?