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Why Are People So Crazy? Reality TV!

One of the reasons that people may vote against their own interests is the popularity of Reality TV shows. We begin to exhibit symptoms and behaviors indistinguishable from what the real world would understand as a persecutory delusion. The closer to the truth we get, the crazier we seem, until we end up doing things like supporting a needless war that maimed and killed thousands of our soldiers.

Or as Ed Harris, one of the actors in the 1998 movie "The Truman Show" (which depicted a man named Truman whose whole life was a sitcom--although he didn't know it) says, "We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented."

Love it or hate it, reality television is changing the face of the entertainment industry and our culture. Communications expert June Deery is interested in how it "consumes" reality. She says, "You can snicker at its trivial nature, but there is no doubt that reality TV has become an enduring phenomenon. It is worth asking what it reflects or amplifies about current trends in our society and economy.

"Ti-Vo and the DVR sent the industry into a crisis, by making it possible for people to access content without viewing advertising. Reality TV's solution is to commercialize the content through post-advertising strategies such as product placement, branded interactivity, and corporate donorship.

"What's supposed to be shared? What's public? What does it mean to sell your persona on a media platform?'' And what does it mean if YOU'RE not special enough to be a reality TV star? And do you confuse reality with showmanship--especially at important times, when we need to elect a President?

Is there anything good about Reality TV? Deery says, "My opinion is that much reality TV is yet another spur to commercial activity. The examples seen on television put pressure on people to keep acquiring more things, whether it be clothing, or services, or surgery."

Lots of folks think "contactees" are crazy, which makes them pretty miserable, but we're here to help: We show the world how sensible and sober they are by interviewing them, one at a time, just for our subscribers, and letting them tell their amazing stories in their own words.



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