The Learning Channel has a new reality TV show about a funeral home that turns death into a celebration.
TLC, which brought the world "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "Sister Wives," has hit new depths: The new one-hour special "Best Funeral Ever" will follow dead people's journey to the grave.
New depths? This seems in the cultural vein of Irish wakes or New Orleans celebrations of the death of a person. The use of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" for comparison merits examination. America's demographic changes are producing new depths that are out of sight of our cognitive elites. The Learning Channel is just educating people about the lower classes.
Do we need trashy reality TV shows of promiscuous people (Honey's mom has kids by a few different guys to tell us how badly America's lower classes are performing? I think so. Most intelligent people aren't going to read Charles Murray's Coming Apart to find out how things are going wit the lower classes. On the other hand, most people above 120 IQ probably aren't going to watch reality TV shows either.
The Learning Channel is similarly doing a reality show on drunken drivers called D.U.I. I happen to think watching these sorts of shows is a waste of my time because I do not romanticize the masses or human nature and have spent a lot of time ridding myself of delusions. But quite a few people need to have their delusions challenged.
My problem with Honey Boo Boo and Jersey Shore is that they do not show the demographic extent of the kinds of people they present. They aren't demographically representative either. For example, anyone come across a Hispanic gang banger reality TV show? Or how about a reality TV show based around the lives of kids who attend a ghetto high school?
What I wonder: Do reality TV shows validate and promote the lifestyles they capture? Or do they show people what not to do with one's life?
We have lots of interesting subcultures waiting for video capture. Discovery is also competing in the trashy reality TV sphere: Amish Mafia. How cool is that?
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2012 December 16 12:33 PM|