Monday, June 27, 2005

The Reality of TV, Goats, and Murder

I feel like I'm shooting blanks today, not that I'm sure you'll particularly notice in the quality. Once at basement level, how can we descend?

1) If you weren't aware, so-called reality TV is (gasp) scripted. Since the beginning of the Real World, writers have been guiding situations and crafting story arcs to add dramatic oomph to life, which- while rich and multi-textured- is often boring. The current issue is that to maintain the myth of "reality", as well as the puny production costs, writers have been credited as producers, consultants, and other sorts of catch-all meaninglessness to disguise their function on the shows. Not being billed as writers, they're not working under Writers' Guild provisions and don't get the benefits thereof. Now, in general I'm not a union fan, it's true. However, I think Hollywood may be so divorced from real reality (if that makes sense) that free market principles can't penetrate its silicone shell. Writers ought to be credited as such for their career development, and shouldn't be treated worse than camera operators and caterers just because their job is to make entertaining lies.

2) For fans of the indubitably authentic detritus of murder and tragedy, here's the auction for you. Now, I do love the macabre, which includes in its definition the suggestion or representation of death, a perfect example being Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies, viewable here. I love the equal absurdity and dark humor of Mexico's Day of Dead and its kind of whistling in the graveyard, but I have no interest in actual Faces of Death or owning the sad remains of broken lives. Some might say that makes me unrealistic. I disagree.

I believe it's realistic and respectful to discern that one category is an intellectual and artistic tickle recognizing that life can be fragile and short and ridiculous, while the other dehumanizes true evil and loss. I don't generally believe in hauntings except for purposes of generating frissons of delight at Halloween, but beliefs from the karmic to feng shui hold that items can be infused with negativity through association. Having a Gorey on my wall celebrates a product of artistic creation; these others are emblematic of destruction. To me, it makes all difference in the world.

3) In our everything-old-is-new-again segment for today, please enjoy with me the eminent sensibility of employing herds of goats to thin fire-prone brush. I have family in California who live very near a grazing hill for cows which protected them when last summer's blazes got dangerously close to their house. Not only are grazing animals a historically smart way to control overgrowth, but I like goat cheese, too. Wouldn't it just be plain cool to hear the sound of bells, put down the Blackberry and look out the window of your San Fran wifi-espresso bar to witness herds of goats cutting the rug? TCB, my Capricorn brothers and sisters!

1 comment:

April said...

Goats are really useful animals, and they make cute pets, too. Except they can get through any fence. 50 lb or so Marie can worm herself out of a 3 inch opening in a fence..I'm not exaggerating. My friend has a black pygmy goat named Marie Laveau who, if you're bent over weeding or something, will hop right up on your back, like you're some kind of moutaintop. Very cute, I must say.

People in the south use goats to eat Kudzu to death, which really elevates goats to a high place in my mind!