What Passes for Entertainment


I was reading the latest version of Texas Co-op Power Magazine, the periodical that I get because I'm get my electricity from GVEC, and I came across this article.

What struck me first is that with today's low standards for entertainment, the Texas Giants would definitely get a reality TV opportunity. We'd see them fight over a tall girl, one would marry a midget, they'd play basketball in a rec league. I'm going to start looking for a tall group of brothers today.

I also thought about how the entertainment scene in their time was so incredibly limited in comparison to today. No TV, no radio, no movie theaters, no Internet … Nothing. So a traveling circus was huge. It brought sights and sounds and characters that the local people had never known. A perfect scenario for a hustler/promoter/producer like PT Barnum.

I think the reality TV producers and developers are today's PT Barnums. But they have so much competition and clutter that they have to be much better than Barnum. They have to find the extremes, the people who are so far over the top that the "normal" people in this world will take notice and, more importantly, give their time and eyeballs and ears.

But this consistent effort to drill down deeper and deeper, this race to the bottom is not without reward.

H.L. Mencken captured it perfectly. "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."

All I have to say to prove this point is "Honey Boo Boo."