Hollywood 'Reelality' becoming Reality


Eight o' clock tonight. I was in the kitchen scrubbing the mashed potata pan and I hear a voice calling me. "Maaaahhhhhaaaaaaat!!! Maaaaaahhhhaaaaaat!!!" It was like the call of the Sirens, sucking me in. I dropped the Brillo pad into the sink and followed the voice. Where did it lead me? Out of the kitchen and into the living room, through the living room...and smack right in front of the television.

 

Sixty-Minutes had just come on. The leading story was about the American hostage who had been rescued in Iraq earlier this month after having spent ten whole months in a fruit cellar too small to even stand up in. They interviewed the rescued hostage and I just couldn't tear myself away. Absolutely compelling. Edge-of-your seat stuff.

 

As I watched the story, I could feel my blood boil. A bunch of Sunni Muslims who weren't even soldiers made this poor American's life a living hell for ten months just for the sake of collecting some ransom money. All my anti-war sentiment was thrown out of me in an instant. I was immediately Pro-Bush. "Those Iraqi sons a' bitches are cold-blooded bastards and they all gotta die!!!"

 

Soon, the story ended, a commercial came on and I managed to escape from the living room. All the mashed potatas I had consumed earlier in the evening were starting to make me a little drowsy. I took a little nap and when I say "little nap" I really mean a two-hour nap. At around 10:30pm I woke up, thought about the Sixty-minutes story and immediately realized I had been had. I had been had so bad that I wanted to punch myself in the nad.

 

Here's what I realized: The entire world is poisoned by a certain "reelality" that is portrayed in the Hollywood media...even in "news" programs, even in "news" programs that supposedly possess such "excellence in journalism" as Sixty-Minutes. This reelality resembles a reality you see in a Hollywood movie. There are heros, villians, clear conflicts and clear solutions to those conflicts.

 

The reason why the Sixty Minutes program was so compelling to me and so edge-of the seat entertaining for me was because it was told in a way that was no different from how a story in a Hollywood movie is told. The American hostage - and the American soldiers who rescued him - were the heros and the Iraqis were the villains. No effort was made by the Sixty-Minute reporter to provide any deeper insight into the situation because this kind of Hollywoodization of reality makes for good entertainment. Good TV. Good ratings!

 

I'm not saying that the Iraqi's who kidnapped the American and held him hostage weren't being naughty in doing what they did. BUT...it is of my opinion that the very kind of distortion of reality we see in the Sixty-Minutes program is what enables these Iraqi people (or anyone for that matter) to do such heinous things to other people in the first place. The media, in other words, deludes people into thinking that clear-cut villains do actuallly exist in the world, which means that there are people in the world who deserve to have such heinous acts committed against them.

 

So the problem is that the Iraqis, who are just as poisoned by the media as we are, see Americans in the same way the Sixty-Minutes story made me start seeing the Iraqis: as cold-blooded bastards. It is this delusional perception of reality that makes them hate us and makes us hate them. It is the source behind several (if not all) atrocities committed in our world.

 

Sixty Minutes wasn't doing anything the least bit "journalistic" in reporting on the story of the American hostage. It simply exploited the story, sprinkled some Hollywood dust onto it and threw it out to the American public as sheer entertainment, the kind of entertainment that, if you think about it, enabled the very kidnapping (not to mention all the beheadings and other stuff in that vain) to occur in the first place.

 

This is yet another reason why Hollywood and all related media need to be changed. We have to start seeing less of a Hollywood "Reelality" (one with clear heros, villains etc.) or we will become so detached from REALITY that we'll basically become extinct - not literally but figuratively. Living in an illusory state of existence where life can be broken down into good guys, bad guys, plot points, climaxes and happy endings is living the life of a dead man.

 

Or maybe we WILL become literally extict. Maybe we'll become so deluded by Hollywood-like entertainment that we'll start thinking that everyone other than ourself is a villain and just become so paranoid that we'll want to kill each other off in consequence. And WILL kill each other off....

 


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