Reality Used To Be A Friend Of Mine

On occasion, I write.  Several times someone has told me incidents in their lives, their work, their marriage, their wacky kids that invoke hilarity that they think would make good screenplay material.

I always thought a TV series set in a bank would be a great idea.

No.  It wouldn’t.  Neither would an insurance company or law office or a manufacturing plant.  Those are settings and settings are seldom compelling… people are compelling.

Or at least they should be.

The problem is most of us aren’t.  I am perplexed by the amount of people willing to forgo their own boring-ass lives to watch someone else’s boring ass-life.  Those who would actually pay money to see Jennifer Ringley of JenniCam make toast and coffee.  I would bet a paycheck that 95% of subscribers to her service were dudes hoping to see, literally, the girl next door, get naked.  You could put a webcam in my house and there is only so much farting, playing Call of Duty 4 and eating pizza rolls any human should have to endure.

Hell, a lot of times I didn’t like being me.  Why would anyone else want to watch the slow disaster that is me unfold?

When I was a kid my brother and I used to stand in front of the RPG-sized VHS camcorders in Sears and dance in front of the televisions until my father dragged us away.  We did the same thing in front of security cameras.  The funny thing is adults did the same thing.

We were on TV.  That never happens.

I can’t remember the last time I saw kids impressed to see themselves on TV.  For that matter, I can’t remember the last time I saw cameras plugged into a television.  The novelty is gone.  You’re on closed circuit television… we get it.

But to us, we were famous… because famous people get on TV.

It used to be you had to do something to be famous.  Kill a bunch of Nazis, win a Superbowl or walk on the moon.  Now you just have to get on TV and they’ll let anybody on TV… I’ve seen Frankie & Neffe… I know.

This brings me to the Tiger Woods Freak Train.  Now let me be clear that I am not giving Tiger Woods a pass.  I don’t subscribe to all that role model crap unless that’s what you’re selling.  Like most Americans, I can tolerate a liar… what I hate is a hypocrite.

Now that I have established that Tiger is a 100% USDA Asshole, who are these skanks he’s been banging?  Seriously, I watched some cocktail waitress on The Today Show tell me she had to come forward to “clear her name” after there were rumors she was a prostitute.

You are a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas.  I can’t swing a broke dead tourist without hitting a cocktail waitress in a Vegas casino.  Who were you trying to clear your name for… the three hundred people on your Facebook page?  You realize the other three hundred million of us in America have no idea who you are and will forever refer to you as “Skunt Number Four.”

Or really were you just trying to get on TV?  Most of them have been with no shame for what they’ve done.  I have one on television with the absurd confession she thought she was the only mistress and now she feels betrayed.

But she’s on TV and I guess that’s what counts whether you’re some idiot that builds a weather balloon and falsely tells police your child is in it or you’re the former Vice Presidential candidate and think blacking out the campaign logo on your visor will make you less noticeable.  And if by “less noticeable” I mean it’ll get yourself some ink on CNN on a slow news day then we’re on the same page.

I remember years ago seeing Monica Lewinsky on the red carpet at the Academy Awards.  I’m sure someone invited her but how many White House interns do you think get to go to the Oscars?  Someone invited you because they know who you are and they know who you are because you’re the most famous cocksucker in history.  Nothing to be proud of.

Lewinsky, Frankie & Neffe and the Tiger Bunch aren’t famous… they’re infamous and there’s a difference.  And what’s worse is they are my least favorite type of fame.  Fame by proxy.  The same reason I know who LaToya Jackson is and have no idea why.  She isn’t a singer.  She isn’t an actress.  She’s famous for being Michael Jackson’s talentless sister.  She’s famous because she’s standing next to someone who is famous.

This also goes for you Heidi Montag, Kim Kardashian, Nicole Ritchie and anybody that has ever been on a show that starts with “The Real Housewives of…” or has the words “Real World” or “Road Rules” in the title and now gets airtime on Access Hollywood.

A few years ago I was at work and the Orlando CBS news was reporting what happened the previous evening on Survivor.  When I questioned it one of my co-workers said:

CO-WORKER:  Well, people watch that and it’s important to them.

ME:  It’s a game show and it isn’t even the season finale.  They might as well report what happened on Wheel of Fortune and WWE Smackdown.  I don’t care who wants to see it.  It isn’t news.

We live in an era where being on TV makes you famous and being famous means you’re somebody.  And sometimes it doesn’t even take television.  It takes a Twitter or Facebook account and a few hundred followers.  Just type in the first thing that comes to mind even if it doesn’t make any sense.

Cheese is good.

Work sucks.

My babies are cute.

Case in point is Dana Hanna, who felt the need to Twitter during his wedding ceremony.

The next time someone points out how sacred marriage is I am going to point this douche out and then promptly drop my pants so they can kiss my ass.

Then there is Shellie Ross who has 5,400 Twitter followers as a military wife of four.  When her two-year old son Bryson was found in their pool she called 911 at 5:38p.  Thirty four minutes later she Tweeted her son’s death.

I’ll say that crazy shit again for anyone who thought they read it wrong.

Thirty four minutes later she Tweeted her son’s death.

For all intents and purposes she did what any celebrity would do: she held a press conference.

The Police said it’s normal in mourning to reach out to your community for support but I am suspecting she’s never met ten percent of the people in her Twitterverse.  They aren’t friends.  You’re friends know you and you know them.  These are spectators.

The bottom line is that few of us are that interesting to warrant updating people on our status no matter where we are or how cold it is.  If anything, it’s made us lazy that now we don’t have to choose our friends because we can have them all because friendship isn’t something we work at… it’s a series of memos we use to keep people updated.

In our own little reality show.

But Jim, you write a blog every week telling us what you think and about your personal life.

Well, kinda.  If you know me you know this isn’t the real me.  It’s a sitcom version of my life where I am cast as the buffoonish overweight husband and Natalee as the intelligent level-headed hottie who in real life I should never be able to get.

And who am I to argue.


2 thoughts on “Reality Used To Be A Friend Of Mine

  1. Oh yes!!! I haven’t even read it yet but I was so happy to see it that I screamed. I think I may have a problem…

  2. Between that… Yuri, Ray and all the odd crap that happens in those circles… Face it Jim, you’ve been on a TV show for a while. We’ve just never told you. Everyone you know that up and leaves = written out. Your e-mails are responded to by writers. Phone calls? Voice actors. One of these day’s you’ll head down to Disney, ask to see Herm and find I’ve been recast. Warning – Natalie will want a baby during sweeps.

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