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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Reality Television

I grew up in a family where television was not very important.  From the age of 8 until I was 19 and in my sophomore year of college I probably saw less than 2-3 hrs of programming a week.  The majority of that was David Letterman's monologue (we really only could "tune in" CBS) that I would sneak in late at night when everyone else had gone to bed.  Needless to say I missed out on a lot of "current events" of the time.  I definitely don't think this is a bad way to grow up and I almost wish it for River.  I really enjoyed my childhood playing OUTSIDE, riding my bike, playing with firecrackers, building barn loft "forts", hunting squirrels-blackbirds-mice or anything else my mother allowed.  Yegi really finds this funny and says we are "going back in time" every time we go back to White Pine.  She also loves to make fun of me because when I was in high school I was listening to popular music of the 70's & 80's and truly believed that it was cutting edge stuff (Def Leopard, anybody?).  We definitely came from two totally different worlds.

For Yegi's family, television was a major part of their life. Her mother learned English by watching music videos on MTV (back when they played music videos).  For her whole family it was a way to learn about American culture, or at least the way it was portrayed on sitcoms in the 80's & 90's. This love has continued as Yegi is firmly addicted to at least four shows at the present time (Dancing with the "Stars", Top Chef, Real Food Network Star, Bachelor).  These four shows all fall under the "reality" label and in each of them someone is eliminated weekly either by popular vote or a judges panel.  I get very annoyed with the way these shows are put together.  First you have the introduction of the "players", then the challenge, the putting together of their "plan", carrying out their plan, showing all that goes wrong, the twist, and then finally the dramatized expulsion of one contestant.  It is pretty much the same with all these shows.  I can stay interested for the introduction of players & challenge and then the final part of the revelation of who is going home.  Yegi has to watch it all and really gets involved in the final drama that plays out.  I knew it was getting bad when the other night I looked over and I think I saw a tear welling up as one of the hoe bags on Bachelor Pad was making their way to a departing limo.

A couple nights ago I woke up to Yegi screaming "NO!".  Usually I only hear that when I'm trying to get a little frisky with her and I knew that was not the case because it was past 10PM and she had been asleep for hours.  Yegi is a very hard sleeper so when I jumped up and asked "What?, What?" it did not phase her and she just kept yelling.  After about 20 seconds she was back in her normal silent sleep pattern and I chocked it up to a bad dream.

The next evening Yegi revealed to me that she believed she has been watching too much reality TV because she had dreamed that people she loves were being voted out of her life.  She told me that the night prior she had dreamed that River was being voted out and that it upset her.  Not having asked her about the screaming from that night yet I started laughing and told her the story.  Mystery solved.  Now I'm just wondering why I didn't hear any No's when I was being voted off the island.