A few years ago, I discovered something. I have found that I can’t stand television. In fact, I abhor it. It didn’t used to be that way. I mean, I used to like TV. TV used to be full of fun stuff like “The A-Team”, “Starsky and Hutch” and “The Dukes of Hazzard”. Those were the days kids, I’m telling you. You could tune in and watch the good guys kick truckloads of ass every single week. Oh, how I yearn for 20 years ago.

Now, let’s fast-forward to the twenty-first century. Television is no longer an instrument that is used to inject some mirth into the doldrums of everyday life. It’s now a social replacement system. It is everyday life.

Just in case you haven’t figured what I’m getting at, I’m talking about reality TV. Could somebody point me to the people responsible for this cultural train wreck? If you ask me, (and you must have, since you’re reading this), reality TV has greatly contributed to the decay of our society. We as a people are becoming fatter and lazier by the day, and deep down inside we all know it. A lot of us out there are having some tough times, me included. In fact, let’s lay it out on the table here. For a lot of people, life sucks right now.

If you’re one of those people, whom, by your own estimation, falls into the “cappy life” demographic, Guess what? You are the target audience for reality TV. I haven’t the foggiest idea how this happened, but I’ve noticed that there are fewer people taking an active interest in the direction of their own lives, and more and more people who are interested in who will get kicked off “Survivor”.

Let me clue you people in on something, okay? “Survivor” isn’t real. It’s a TV show. If it were real, there wouldn’t be any of this voting stuff. If “Survivor” we’re real, people would die. That’s what it means to survive. Not to die if you’re really stranded on an island. Let’s say you pass out and fall in the fire like old what’s-his-name did, and there is no helicopter to ship you out. You just lie there and burn to death. The only one who is doing the “voting” is God. None of this tribal council crap. The Big Man just punched your ticket for the train, and it’s time for you to go. Sorry about your bad luck, Junior. The only decision the Tribal Council gets to make is whether to bury your stinking carcass or to eat you. Now that is survival, boys and girls. When you have to eat your buddy, you know you’re in some serious trouble. Now, if you think that’s mean of me to say such a thing, because these people have families and such, well that’s just too bad. If these people really carried about their families they wouldn’t whore themselves out to some stripped down Club Med vacation in pursuit of a million dollars that they will undoubtedly blow in six months on stuff they didn’t really want or need, not to mention the doctor bills they will incur for the wretched case of skin cancer they’ll get as a booby prize for spending a month in direct sunlight. Screw them! Let the contestants rot. It’s natural selection in action, and I don’t know about you, but I think our gene pool could use some serious chlorine right about now.

I might watch “Survivor” if they had it in some place where the contestants were in perpetually imminent danger, such as, oh, I don’t know, say, Chernobyl, Russia. I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to watch that? I think it would be great. They could implement some “last man standing” rules, so the last one who hasn’t rotted apart or puked his or herself to death would be declared the winner. “Out think, out plan, glow in the dark”. How’s that for a catchy slogan? I really think it could work. There should be plenty of food in that town for people to subsist on. I’ve heard that the animals in the area are just teeming with extra body parts. A show like this would pull in fantastic ratings simply based on the fact that it would satisfy the bloodlust that every television viewer secretly has. Don’t lie to yourself. You know it’s there. Let go. “Fuck ’em, kill ’em, and eat ’em.” It’s that line of thinking that made America great, after all. Moving along, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t mention “American Idol”. Am I the only one who realizes that the goal of this show is consumer enslavement? For years I have heard people complain without end how the music business and radio have gone to complete shit because all they do is cram the same pabulum down our throats day after day. It’s a simple process, really. The record companies find someone with marginal talent who can be easily exploited with the help of record producers and stylists who possess magician-like skills. Then, when the album is complete, the record companies pay off radio program directors nationwide to play the same song on the radio over and over and over again until you think it’s cool. Do yourself a favor and don’t kid yourself on either front. “Payolla” still goes on, and you know once you get some stupid song stuck in your head, you start singing it, and then you think ,”Gee, I never liked it before, but this is starting to grow on me.” Next think you know, there you are standing in line at Tower shucking out $20 for an item done by a warmed-over clone of a previous artist, all of which cost about thirty cents to make.

They’ve got you now, sucker.

What people aren’t realizing is that all “American Idol” is does is let consumers decide the method of their own extortion. In fact, it’s a double-whammy. They can bombard you with commercials during the show, so you’ll buy stuff, while you’re waiting to have the show’s winner’s album shoved up your butt for the next year and a half. People go nuts over it, too it completely baffles me. Some folks are downright obsessed with who will win, like they know the contestants or have some sort of a personal stake in the matter. The only thing at stake here is your wallet, and you’re a fool if you think otherwise. I don’t give a damn about who wins, and neither should you, because no matter who it is, there will still be a slew of sub par albums by every contestant on who was ever on “American Idol”, whether you voted for them or not, and they’ll be gone in two years. Your votes didn’t help the winner, because he’ll probably still end up a lounge singer at best. All you did was help to buy Simon Cowell another house.

I beg you: Dare to be different don’t fall into this trap. Don’t live vicariously through the “people” on TV. Be honest with yourself. Which would make you happier? Watching some ditz whore herself out to 50 thugs on that televised meat market called “The Bachelorette”, or going out and living a fulfilling social life of your own?

Don’t let TV and radio dictate to you the notions of what’s cool, figure it out on your own. There are a lot of great musicians out there that never make it on shows like “American Idol”, and the best part is…they make real, original music. The Internet has become a haven for those who don’t have major-label backing. There are tons of independent labels and artists out there that are dying to be heard. Check them out. If you don’t have access to the Internet, check your town clubs. Almost every town has at least one jazz club, not to mention the other genres. If you take the time to look, you’ll probably find exactly what you’re after.

Television started as a simple diversion. It has now become a crutch. I think that’s scary. If we as a society don’t take our lives back soon, the “glowing god” will drag us all down with it.

Television isn’t real.