The Humanoids: A Trainwreck Society

Amazingly, The Humanoids is back for the second week in a row. There’s a lot of really screwed up things in the world. With the exception of one subject this week, all of my targets are in the media/entertainment industry. That exception would be the BCS which has completely screwed up college football. Not only is the media an utter trainwreck but some of the people following them are trainwrecks as well. Since we’re a society that’s far too enthralled with the lives of celebrity, obsessive behaviour is really screwing up people’s minds.

Trainwreck TV
I fleshed out my theory on the popularity of reality and other exploitative forms of TV on Twitter but it bears repeating here. People watch reality TV largely because it makes people realize that their lives aren’t so bad. Of course, reality TV is such a complete and utter fabrication that, like scripted TV, reality TV requires people to suspend disbelief while watching it. I think that there’s also some people in society that revel in the suffering of others. The tabloid news industry seems to be chief among those. Shows like TMZ TV, any of the other entertainment shows, Nancy Grace and even Maury exploit the suffering of others for ratings. Granted, those shows cover a wide range of people from A-list celebrities to folks from a trailer park. If you look at the most popular moments in American Idol history, William Hung probably ranks among the top. Hell, most promos include a horrendous singer. People would rather laugh at someone on TV than applaud good effort (see Idol, American). It’s this inexplicable desire for trash TV that’s leading to the downfall of society. Sure, we can blame the networks for shoving this down our throats but if people weren’t watching, the networks would be broadcasting it. Full Disclosure: I watch Maury and Springer. They’re funny shows. I consider Jerry to be the less exploitative show because the guests and audience are in on the act that it’s all entertainment. Maury definitely exploits people with his paternity and lie detector tests.

The Bachelor
I’ve never watched the show, even when Canadian NFL quarterback Jesse Palmer was on the show. However, an excessive amount of ABC promotion made me think about writing up a scathing take-down of the show. Then my local newspaper (and I use that term loosely) ran a half-page story about the new season of The Bachelor and I knew I had to write a takedown of the show. Meanwhile, Little Mosque on the Prairie, a quality Canadian TV comedy that’s popular in several countries, got about half a paragraph in a story that covered 1/16th of a page. Even the guy that was the titular Bachelor said that he didn’t think this season won’t be as good as last. Though, based on the promos, I’m guessing that his statement was made to limit the number of people who would watch him getting slapped because apparently he didn’t pick any of the women in his previous appearance. In other words, he didn’t bother to start a TV romance that would inevitably fail. Somehow, for being the only person in Bachelor history with something close to a brain, he’s slapped repeatedly. How much do you want to bet that the contestants or whatever you call the women whoring themselves out for their 15 minutes of fame were told by a writer or producer to slap buddy boy? And the worst part is that the whole of Tuesday’s lunch table talk at my nine-to-five was about this godforsaken show.

Jeremy Clarkson
Not surprisingly, Top Gear host (and savior, don’t forget that he and Andy Wilman championed the revival of the show after the BBC cancelled it) Jeremy Clarkson is in trouble with the British public yet again. I’m not talking about his Boxing Day appearance in a burka on Top Gear. No, the latest controversy is over his salary from the BBC. For doing Top Gear and Top Gear related things, Clarkson made about $2.8 million. That’s apparently too much for the BBC license fee payers to stomach. For the sake of comparison, The Situation made something like $4 or $5 million dollars for appearing in the most recent year of Jersey Shore. Clarkson made over $1 million less for hosting, writing and producing the previous year of Top Gear. Jersey Shore has a North American audience that can’t be any bigger than 5 million viewers. Top Gear gets at least 7 million viewers an episode. Jersey Shore, near as I can figure, is really only hugely popular in North America. Top Gear is one of the BBC’s largest properties behind maybe Doctor Who. It has three spinoffs, the original version of the show has been sold into several countries and claims a worldwide audience of over a quarter-BILLION people. And yet Jeremy Clarkson, who is responsible for scads of money coming into the BBC is a villan for making millions of dollars. If only the Brits knew how much folks in America are paid for less popular TV shows, they’d clamor for Clarkson to get his salary doubled.

These bitches be crazy. Okay, I’ll stop attempting to pretend I’m down with hip hop culture. If only Bieber would do the same. Then he might be slightly more tolerable than completely and utterly intolerable. Anyway, it looks like Bieber, who is 16, is dating Selena Gomez, who is 18. I’m not sure about the legal accuracy of but they made a joke to the effect of that sounds like statutory rape. It’s a good joke and it’d be funnier if they were right. Apparently Bieber fans feel the same. They’ve taken to Twitter to send death threats to Gomez because she’s dating Bieber. They’re just together and she’s getting death threats. The same thing happened to Kim Kardashian because she and Bieber did a photoshoot and tweeted something to the effect of thinking that Bieber was cute. She got death threats there too. It’s amazing how obsessive that these crazy ass bitches are over a guy whose balls haven’t dropped and they won’t care about once they realize he isn’t a teen heart-throb but a talentless hack who was only cure because he had bad hair and the voice of an eight-year-old girl. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with celebrity crushes. After all, Jackie and I made a running gag of my celebrity crush on Shania Twain but I’m not planning on death threats to her new husband. That’s life. The Bieber-ettes should do something that Justin hasn’t tried yet and grow up and move on with life.

Sometimes TSN’s homerism is tolerable. Right now, I want to throw the remote control through the TV every time I watch, well, any TSN program. They’ve tortured the country with Belak and Berg (AKA Miller and McGuire) on World Juniors coverage. Their top plays of 2010 were mostly those broadcast on TSN. Alex Bilodeau’s gold medal which was Canada’s first on home soil didn’t make the list but a Blake Griffin dunk did. How on earth could they omit such an important moment in Canadian sports history? Because the voice of that moment (as well as a couple of other golden moments) was Rogers Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell. If memory serves, Sportsnet’s Rob Faulds was the voice of the skeleton run that launched John Montgomery to national superstardom. They’re pushing the Oilers to the moon even though they’re a monumental failure this season. They make a big deal over getting the CIS football bowl games and Vanier Cup but production quality and having to put up with Rod Black made me long for The Score’s Sony HandiCams and Tim Micallef. Speaking of Rod Black, I pity Habs fans that have to listen to him. Now TSN is doing a lot of self-fellating in their promos. They’re going on about being Canada’s #1 speciality channel and how they’re “Canada’s Sports Network” and promote the hell out of all the sports properties they have. I think that TSN is really starting to become too complacent for their own good. We really need the CRTC to open up the competition some so The Score and Sportsnet can force TSN to up their game. And don’t even get me started over their treatment of the old Hockey Night in Canada theme song.

Bowl Championship Series
Time for the annual look at the ever exciting one-game, winner-take-all (in the computer’s eyes, anyway) between two teams from big conferences that were pretty good during the season. This year, it’s Auburn (with their possibly ineligible quarterback Cam Newton) against the Oregon Ducks (who bounced back from an opening day brawl last season that quickly ended title hope for 2009/10). You know what the worst thing about the BCS is aside from the fact that we’re years away from a playoff to determine a national football champion? It’s that the BCS has really devalued all the bowl games it’s associated with. Does anyone really care about the Fiesta Bowl or the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl anymore? I sure as hell don’t. I watch the Rose Bowl because it’s the Rose Bowl and I’ll also watch whichever game Michigan is in. Apart from that, I think the BCS has devalued the institution of college football bowl games as a whole. The computers and BCS group have basically told us that any bowl game is entirely meaningless except for this one game, that being the BCS National Championship Game. At least a playoff system that included the traditional games in the schedule would bring back some credibility to the bowl games instead of the opposite which is what the BCS fears. People might actually care about bowl games apart from those of their school. Wouldn’t that be a shame for those championing the BCS.

Tucker Carlson
I completely forgot that this guy was still alive until he turned up to fill in for Sean Hannity last week. I think he knew that everyone completely forgot about him based upon his most infamous appearance on Hannity. On the 27th, the topic of President Obama’s call to the Philly Eagles to thank them for giving Mike Vick a second chance. (The fact that it got spun into something completely different notwithstanding here.) Clearly looking to make a splash rather than a valid point, Carlson said Vick should have been executed. Fast forward to this past Monday night, Hannity’s back and talking to Carlson about media members “overspeaking” which is something that Carlson claimed he did. (Hannity also said that overspeaking shouldn’t be held against veteran media members. I’m guessing that the Democratic media won’t get the same breaks.) Then Carlson kept digging the proverbial hole by saying that convicted child molesters don’t get to adopt children. And we all know what that’s supposed to mean. But, of course, he overspoke because he certainly wasn’t comparing Vick to a child molester now too. Add to these outlandish statements the fact that Carlson wasn’t wearing his trademark bow ties and you get a pretty clear picture of what’s happening. Carlson is trying to reinvent himself for the age of over-the-top personalities and opinions in the “news” media. If Fox didn’t also cover the NFL, Carlson would already have a primetime show where he puts someone up for execution every day.


One thought on “The Humanoids: A Trainwreck Society

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