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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:53 pm 
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Well, I made the reference to the Cargo Cults in response to this part of Crazed123's post, not Bridalplasty specifically:
Crazed123 wrote:
the acquisition of material wealth and security tends to occur at absolutely random for no good reason at all, and withdraw for the same reason

That's what the Cargo Cults were all about - try and find the right "airfield ritual" to placate the gods and make the airplanes return with their bounty.

But as far as Bridalplasty goes (and there's so much wrong with it...) consider this. To compete on this show, these women are essentially abandoning their future husbands (I suppose spouses would be more PC, but I doubt the contestants are in anything but heterosexual relationships) and putting their wedding plans on hold to go off and win the "perfect wedding".

A "perfect wedding" that by definition (within the context of the show) has absolutely nothing to do with planning a gathering of friends and family to celebrate the start of the marriage. And everything to do with stabbing a bunch of other people in the back in petty and arbitrary contests to win massive amounts of needless plastic surgery. Which will basically ensure that the winner, I have no doubt, will return to their fiance looking like a completely different person.

So believing that having a perfect wedding requires being turned into a completely other person while dismissing, at least implicitly, the fact that the wedding means nothing compared to the marriage...yes, I'd say there is some Cargo Cultish-ness in that thinking.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:24 am 
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So your point is that getting plastic surgery in pursuit of the (gag) Perfect Dream Wedding is a Cargo Cult substitute for anything likely to actually result in marital happiness? Well that makes sense, though the analogy still seems a bit convoluted.

But then, those reality shows are never just about celebrating crassness. They're also there for the audience to judge the characters. Most people who watch these shows are repulsed by them, but they enjoy being repulsed. There's this duality in American culture. People like to watch these wild, crazy, hedonistic, people on screen, but in a way that reaffirms their own moral virtue. They get to think "At least I'm not as stupid/selfish/shallow/entitled as these people".

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:48 am 
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Of course it's convoluted...I was forcing the analogy.

I think it's enough to say that both are the result of deep-seated pathologies...although one is personal and the other cultural.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Kea wrote:
So your point is that getting plastic surgery in pursuit of the (gag) Perfect Dream Wedding is a Cargo Cult substitute for anything likely to actually result in marital happiness? Well that makes sense, though the analogy still seems a bit convoluted.

But then, those reality shows are never just about celebrating crassness. They're also there for the audience to judge the characters. Most people who watch these shows are repulsed by them, but they enjoy being repulsed. There's this duality in American culture. People like to watch these wild, crazy, hedonistic, people on screen, but in a way that reaffirms their own moral virtue. They get to think "At least I'm not as stupid/selfish/shallow/entitled as these people".

Well that makes a lot more sense than my previous theory that people watched reality shows because they were jealous of how shall and hedonistic a life the contestants got to live.

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:11 pm 
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For a long time I figured that reality shows were a solution to the dilemma that networks faced when they knew they were going to be beat in the ratings game on a particular night and thus decided to fill the air time with something that was just cheap enough to produce that they could still manage to make a profit off the meager advertising revenue that remained. Then I found out that reality shows actually have fantastic ratings. I believe that it was around this time that I stopped watching television. The idiots may not actually inherit the earth (at least I hope not), but they certainly do decide what's on television.

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:18 pm 
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While reality shows existed before it, their prevalence is a by-product of the writer's strike a few years ago. Having no writers, producers needed quick, cheap, easy content to fill their air time. Reality shows fit that niche perfectly.

The fact that they satisfy our inner gawker (watching one is akin to slowing down to look at the wreck on the side of the road) is just a happy (for the producers) side-effect.

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:37 pm 
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Aren't reality shows just a longer, extended version of those talk shows like Jerry Springer dedicated to showcasing America's most bizarre and messed up people? Looks like the TV networks figured, why bother to have a host at all? Just film these people being crazy. There's no shortage of people willing to air their dirty laundry on TV.

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:14 pm 
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In a sense, yes. Most Reality shows still have hosts, though, what they lack are actors and scripts. The hosts are actually kinda essential, because the enforce a narrative structure on what would otherwise be just unstructured interaction, which isn't really that exciting. Reality shows are a triumph of editing, in many cases.

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Fun Fact: Jerry Springer is actually a pretty awesome politician, and it's a shame that he has probably ruined his chances at a political career just cause his name is attached to a silly show.

Okay, carry on. Nothing to add of value here.

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:50 am 
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I thought he originally went into talk shows after getting disillusioned with politics at the municipal level...

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:06 pm 
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Nope, he became a local news anchor after losing one race. It was supposed to be temporary, but became a 10 year thing. Then he got his own talk show, which was supposed to be somewhat political, but it tanked. The producers wanted to take it into another direction, and Springer went along for the ride as it escalated to its current infamy. He considered running for office again back around 2004-ish, but people couldn't look past the rep to the actual political views. Kinda sad, really.

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:15 pm 
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[quote="weatherwax"Kinda sad, really.[/quote]

No kidding. If anyone could have gotten the republicans and democrats to work together, it's that man.

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