Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Dutch Kidney Scramble

I suspect the reality show is closer to reality than we care to admit. While the 'best' reality shows are spectacularly contrived and ever more bizarre, it is their connection to the human condition that makes them work.

Three contestants whose own kidneys have failed will - with their families - attempt to outdo each other in miserable accounts of pain and heartache, while a terminally ill kidney donor selects the winner to receive the kidney. Viewers will phone and text in with their votes. The predictable facade of 'money to charity' and 'raising awareness' is both glib and clich├ęd.

While it would be fun to examine the ethics at stake, I'm also interested in where this 'reality' thing can go from here. What's next? I understand people have already had their marriages chosen by reality show. Perhaps potential suicides will be voted on or off with... "Is life worth living? Dial now to bring your favourite jumper in off the window ledge". How far will this degradation go?

And yet it's really not a sign that things are getting worse. I'm reminded of Pilate who asked the mob who he should release from the death penalty - Barabbus the murderer, or Jesus Christ who had committed no wrong. The mob was thick and the mob was easily manipulated. This is undoubtedly compelling theatre, but hardly the soundest decision making process.

6 comments:

james higham said...

"Best"? You're really into these things?

Peter said...

Sad... so very sad...

Onyx Stone said...

James, when I say 'best', I mean most effective and successful of the genre. Personally, I cannot bring myself to watch the crap.

...Big Brother, Wife Swap... argghhhhhHHH! Sometimes, caught in a surge of perverse curiosity, I've watched about 5 or 10 minutes - but I hate it. It's like watching a train wreck, only with unbalanced personalities and wafer thin characters instead of trains.

gledwood said...

I heard about this elsewhere (probably from one of your friends actually) .. I mean how DISGUSTING is this... seriously I was convinced it was all a big hoax and a con when I 1st heard of it...
now I don't know what to say ...

anyway I'll say HI! to you ...
I found you via your friends ...
hopping A..B..Z.. between all manner of blogs ...
I'm at gledwood2.blogspot do drop by if you like you're most welcome ...
See you later maybe!
All the best
from
Gledwood "vol 2" ...

Bag said...

That suicide one may be a winner. I'll put it forward to the panel and see what they think. It might be too controversial at the moment though but when the smoking and drinking is clamped down on people may see it as more acceptable. A bit like that book I read quite a few years ago where people fought to the death. I'll look it out for some show tips.

Another one I'm looking at is voting for a politician to be executed. I think that would be more acceptable now.

Good ideas guys. Keep them coming. Our society is changing and things like this are become more acceptable to the general public.

james higham said...

Ah, that explains it, Onyx.

By the way ... don't forget to get those nominations in for the Blogpower Awards - vote early and vote often!