Wednesday, January 9, 2013

On the stupidity of the nation

We, as a nation, revolve around the concept of schadenfreude - that is to say, we like watching the misery of others play out before us as a relatively solid reminder that we are, in comparison, more sane and have more stable lives than some of the more interesting members of our society. Often these people have agreed to open up their lives and family to encouraged and even planned drama, and they are typically bound to the will of the network that their contract is with. We see the immediate effects but the results of the drama are often lost on us - and typically we don't decide that a reality show's premise is harmful until after we've been exposed to it for a while and begin to see the wear and tear it creates on its stars.

Except, sometimes, it is blatantly obvious that something is an absolutely horrible idea.

Take, for example, Oxygen's new "brilliant" concept, absurdly titled, "All My Babies' Mamas". The idea is apparently that the network will follow a man who calls himself "Shawty Lo" and the 10 women who have fathered his 11 children. Apparently, tossing his 19-year-old girlfriend - who is a year older than his oldest child - somehow makes the whole thing more like a "Brady bunch" situation and less of a painful clusterfuck of stupid. The network intends to follow Shawty Lo around and document the interactions he has with his children and their mothers, with an implied hilarity level that I can't even begin to fathom.

In short, this series is a combination of every single "lesson" that I'd prefer my children never learn.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out how ultimately demeaning this series is - to the mothers who are a part of it, to the kids who are involved without their consent, and to both women and the African American community. A number of people have already spoken up in protest of this crudely-designed form of entertainment, and I'm adding my voice - not to follow with the crowd, but because this has illicited a serious "dafuq!?" reaction in me.

Am I wrong?

Here's a man whose appearance thus far in the promotional material seems to scream "stereotypical gangster". He is portrayed as a guy who can't keep his dick in his pants, with a harem of women who somehow find him and his womanizing ways irresistable. Mind you, I don't mind the idea of plural relationships - if everyone involves consents and is aware of any potential repercussions, and everyone is aware of everyone else's other relationships, who cares? But this is plain exploitation. And god forbid we consider the kids - whose impolitely nicknamed mothers (including "Sassy Baby Mama") are being degraded from individual women with names, lives, and personalities to irritatingly cutesy and insanely embarassing monikers meant to somehow set them each apart from one another - in this entire disaster. There are 11 in total according to Oxygen's information about the show, and their dear father can't remember all of them.

And he proves as much on camera by trying and failing multiple times to name them all.

So, again, I ask: Dafuq is this.

Oxygen, you have GOT to be kidding me. I just.. I've lost words, I'm so disgusted. All I know is, I can tell you one network I won't be watching anymore - and that any advertisers who put in commercials during that show can count on losing my business.

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