mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF fascination & outrage

Terrifying TV, Part 2

The other show I have a carwreck kind of fascination with is the "Real Wives of Orange County" on Bravo.

I've only seen it a couple times, as an afternoon rerun. It follows five women with too much money and too much time. Maybe this is my class resentment speaking -- but what's cute on the fictional "Sex and the City" (like obsession with expensive shoes) simply comes across as degenerate in real women.

I guess these shows are produced to allow us to see how rich women live. Are we supposed to be sympathetic to their little problems or mock them mercilessly?

They say that in U.S. we are very indulgent of our rich people. We shrug at their tax cuts and their corporate welfare because it gives us something to strive for, even if our only chance is the 25 million-to-one shot in Lotto. Instead of outrage, we poke fun.

The other day on the Al Franken Show, Al said something like "satire replaces outrage in a degnerate society." That made me think. It's easier and more congenial to poke fun. Outrage is dark, risky.

I don't know where I'm going with this line of thinking... Should I care that rich women manage to turn themselves into grotesques and objects of ridicule? That they have a misguided notion of "perfection"? But, hey, they got on TV!



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