America’s reputation at stake

by Vista Kalipa

In an era where society is influenced by television content, itis rather unnerving to think that programs such as “Jackass” and”Wild Boyz” on MTV could be affecting the minds of the youngpeople.

There isn’t an ounce of entertainment found in these programs.Since when have we found men abusing animals to be funny?

“Wild Boyz” is a reality show about two guys who tour around theglobe finding more ways to dim-wit themselves. What bothers meabout them is that they abuse poor animals and do “wild” things tothem and yet we are expected to find that entertaining.

Maybe this is a new phenomenon in the television industry. Imust admit, some of these shows can be bearable and somewhatentertaining. But, are they a reflection of American culture?

For foreign people watching these, it comes only naturally forthem to assume that this is what American culture is about. When Iwas home this summer, my teenage sibling — after watching Jackass,the movie — asked me if people in America really did act that way?Some of these shows truly do not do any good justice to thereputation of the American people. Then of course there isPresident Bush who simply doesn’t help the situation at all.

Besides being the worst speaker ever, he is doing nothing butdrag the country’s reputation — together with his name — throughthe mud. Maybe there should be a reality show about him, too.

Then again, we have shows such as “The Bachelor,” where singlepeople meet under the false pretenses of them all. People on theseshows are very superficial and are forced to put on a fa����adeso they can attract the interested party.

Shows like these are all about marketing strategies. It issimple: If you don’t have a good way to market yourself to your”client,” then you’re at a loss because no one will show interestto your product.

Once again, what does this teach us? What sort of message are wesending about ourselves? We may not be on these shows, but theyabsolutely influence the way we function. We learn from televisionand other forms of media what the current trends are.

Is this the way we want to portray ourselves? I would certainlyhope not. Reality TV is really getting out of hand. Our TV screensare now filled and bombarded with makeover shows. Almost everytelevision and cable channel has a makeover show of some kind. Someof these can be entertaining and some are absolutely just dull. Butof course, this shows that the demand for these shows is going skyhigh. Is this a reflection of a shallow and materialistic society?That’s a question you’ll have to ask yourself.