Monday, May 27, 2019
Ah, yes... The sun always shines on TV. Or, at least, it used to.
I'm sure no one watching Game of Thrones, right now, has any belief in this anymore.
Because TV has changed.
No longer is it an idealized land of make-believe where everything works out in the end, the bad guys are defeated, and the hero gets the girl. Or, you know, whatever version of that you believe in.
And, yes, I'm pretty sure TV did used to be that way.
Thinking back through all of the old shows I used to watch when I was a kid, stuff from the 50s and 60s, I can't think of any shows that didn't always turn out right in the end. Well, except, maybe, Gilligan's Island, because they never did get off of that thing (not until years later when they made the TV movie to get them back home again), but, then, that was the point of that show, right? Within that context, though, everything always turned out fine.
At some point, reality began to work itself into TV shows (and other media, too (I'm, of course, tempted to talk about Marvel Comics and their breaking of the CCA in 1971)) but, really, I blame the 90s. Maybe, even, I blame MTV and The Real World, not that The Real World had anything to do with reality, but I think reality television changed the way things work. Not in a good way.
It gave us Trump (#fakepresident).
More importantly (to this discussion, at any rate), it gave us his obsession with ratings.
And, man, is he obsessed with ratings. His own ratings.
Which is not new information but, you know, sometimes you know things but don't quite grok them (yeah, if you don't understand the term, go read my review of Stranger in a Strange Land, then read the book), and I recently grokked something that scared the shit out of me:
To Trump (#fakepresident), this is all just TV. The things he does, the firing people and the chaos and everything else, are because those are the things you do to keep your viewers. To keep people watching you. It's that whole "all publicity is good publicity" thing.
I suppose I could break this all down and go point by point, but I don't think I need to do that and am not feeling compelled to do so. All of this came upon me because I was listening to one of his associates, someone who has been with him for decades, describing his "style," this style that he's had for, well, decades. A style he developed because of his reality show, evidently, and I had one of those... moments. An "Oh, shit! He thinks the presidency is TV!" moment. It's just to keep eyes on him and keep him in the news and people talking about him.
So, you know, if we end up in an actual war, say, with Iran or China, just know that it's because war is good for ratings.
Fuck this shit.
The sun has gone down.