Sunday, April 28, 2013

Morons: Blessing in Disguise

There's this TV show called Anges de la Télé-réalité in France which chronicles the day-to-day happenings in the life of a group of young, relatively attractive but extremely stupid people, not unlike MTV's Jersey Shore. Nobody I know has any kind words to say about this sad excuse of a TV show, but almost everybody knows it. This show has spawned some catchphrases which, ironically, are mainly used by the same people who hate the show.

It made me wonder: how is it that a dumpster of a show ridiculed for its sheer idiocy can get such high ratings? This must mean that people are still flocking to watch despite all the negativity surrounding it. There must be a whole lot of them who actually like the show for whatever reason and watching it becomes a guilty pleasure. So I decided to dig deeper, going on to internet message boards, talking to people around me, and tuning in to talk shows which are bound to discuss this show. The hatred towards Anges de la Télé-réalité is unanimous, no doubt. So at first I concluded that fascination was the main reason. People are just fascinated by wreckage (in this case, the presumed brain damage suffered by the cast), the exact reason why we can't look away from a car crash.

But is that all there is? Fascination gets old fast. I was fascinated the first time I saw a sword-eater doing his trick on the street, but would I watch a TV show of that guy doing the same thing every day? Definitely not. After a while I'd just secretly wish the guy would choke on his sword already. So fascination is too flimsy a thread to sustain an audience of a TV show.

What is it then?

I decided to dig even deeper into the psyche of the French in general, what they like and what they don't like, what unifies them and what divides them. (Spoiler alert: Sweeping generalisation of the French coming up!) One thing stood out: their love for sounding intelligent which may stem from either a staggering superiority complex, or self-doubt. Many times I have been confronted with people who would used the entire Obscure Obnoxious French Words Dictionary in the hope of shutting me up. It's like they are born with Schopenhauer's The Art of Being Right pre-installed in their heads. The French have chauvinism and sarcasm down to a science, and damn do they know how to be sassy. In short, arguing with them sometimes feels like listening to a repeated chorus of "Look how smart I am!".

That's when it hit me: the French innate belief that they are all naturally smarter than everyone else still needs polishing sometimes, and shows like this make them feel better about themselves. It's really reassuring to see certified morons broadcast their lives on national television because it provides a huge ego boost for everyone. It's like the whole country is circle-jerking while watching the show, finally convinced of their superior IQ. As much as they hate the show, they wholeheartedly love the morons for merely existing and making everybody else look better.

I don't know if I hit it right on the nail, but I'm pretty sure that's it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With havin so much content do you ever run
into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My
blog has a lot of unique content I've either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any ways to help protect against content from being stolen? I'd certainly
appreciate it.

my webpage - read more here