TV Land

It’s easy to forget we live in the real world, that our actions have consequence and others are the main character in their own show. It’s even easier to forget that sometimes we aren’t the hero, or the protagonist, we’re just a person walking around happening to he where we are any the time; nothing special, just real. It’s easy to think that at the end of the day everything resets, that the arcs and storylines from yesterday concluded and that today is a new day. Well, it’s not. Sometimes we’re the villain, sometimes we’re background noise, an extra, but all of the time what we do has an effect on others.

It’s easy to forget that in film, television and stories that situations are exaggerated for entertainment. A simple fact it to me years to realize. The circumstances, actions, reactions, even down to the emotions of the characters are all fake. Mind blowing, I know. Now extend that to so called reality tv, televised real people in real situations. Real people with real emotions doing real things is boring as fuck. There’s no way they would show the real life of these human beings doing taxes, grocery shopping, taking shits, and when they do there’s always some contrived drama that allows the story of the episode to move forward, and eventually conclude with some cliff hanger set to dramatic music so you’ll tune in next week to the Kardashian’s crazy and totally real antics. It’s not real, reality tv is not real or else it would have no place amongst the cartoons and the dramas that are so much less entertaining than real people in fake situations. We accept that it’s real because we want it to be so we can sit back with our popcorn and say “oh, I’d never do that,” or “if that was me I’d totally do it this way,” and be satisfied that our lives aren’t that ridiculous.

What brought this thought about was an all too common video of police officers forcefully arresting a cooperative man in front of his family. They were man handling him, slamming him into the wall as he was saying “just let me go, I told you I come with you calmly.” Another officer came to assist the first in trying to handcuff the criminal. He continued to plea that the force was unnecessary and that he would go calmly without the cuffs, I suppose to retain some shred of dignity in front of his wife and son. A 3rd cop was trying to stop the wife from filming as she was screaming that he wasn’t resisting. They finally force the man out onto the walkway in front of his apartment, at this point all three officers were tackling and beating him while the wife begged them not to punch him. Suddenly a taser was pulled, and a small dog entered the scene. One officer was tasing the man, another was holding his son back while the 3rd kicked the small dog out of frame. I couldn’t watch anymore.

Now it’s possible that there was something that happened before the video started to cause such drama, action, and brutality. However it had a tinge of theatrics, an NYPD Blue sort of quality. What I’m saying is that growing up in a time where NYPD Blue, and cops were some of the most popular shows on television probably inspired a lot of kids to become cops so they can take down bad guys. In that simplicity and with that inspiration it would totally make sense to make any routine arrest as dramatic and exciting as possible.

This doesn’t extend solely to cops either. I see it on Twitter and Facebook and real life everyday. This dramatization of real life leads to a point where someone will see a Kardashian pulling someone’s hair for saying something mean and think it’s okay to do that in real life and then wonder why the cops were called to beat the shit out of them. Then people will complain that their life is too boring to simple. Well fucking good you’re doing something right, it’s not a bad thing if your life isn’t dramatic, real life is hard enough with cops forcing you out of your house for missing a court date, or some dude trying to beat the shit out of you for looking at his girl. In real life things aren’t as important or extreme as shown on tv.

I’m not saying we should eliminate reality tv or that police brutality is a rampant and terrible problem, I’m only saying that maybe we should all collectively take it down a notch.