I don’t watch reality TV shows.
I’ve never seen an episode of Survivor, American Idol, The Bachelor, America’s Next Top Model, or any of that ilk. And I never will.
In fact, I don’t watch much TV at all and when I do, it’s not to watch people being humiliated, embarrassed, and literally or figuratively scolded by a host or verbally bitch-slapped by another contestant. To me, it feels base and degrading to deliberately watch other people put themselves in situations where there’s a guaranteed bad outcome for someone, and call it “entertainment”.
And I think it says something about our culture that so many people do watch these shows and find them compelling. That advertisers line up to reach the demographic that is watching. That people spend more time watching, discussing, analyzing, and caring about these stupid TV shows than they do about the real problems this planet faces.
But, it’s just entertainment, people protest. It’s just a way to kill time. It’s just fluff.
Do we need more phucking fluff in the world?
And then someone asked me, “well, how can you object to crap like reality TV when you write crap like gay porn?”
Valid question. And here’s my answer.
Because the stories I write (and it ain’t gay porn, lemme tell ya and any gay man who reads them will probably agree), are at the very least about two human beings connecting with each other. They’re not hurling invectives at one another; they’re not scheming to get another team member thrown out of the inner circle; they’re not pandering to our base instincts about throwing the weakest chimp out of the chimpanzee tribe. And anyone who doesn’t think we’re just chimps with cell phones hasn’t read Jane Goodall
Because the stories I write give a few people some pleasure, even if it’s only for a few minutes and it’s read with one hand. I don’t mind that.
Because I hope the stories I write celebrate our humanity and our sense of attachment to one another, however brief. I write characters that treat each other kindly, not with malice.
And if that’s more phucking fluff then so be it.