In This Reality Show World, Boomer Grandparents Have One Reprieve

The parents of our younger grandchildren watch “Big Brother.”  We know.  It seems to always be on when we visit. They tell us they like seeing the interaction between the different personalities.  The news is on 24/7 at soon to be 95 year old GG’s (great grandmother’s) house, and all she wants to discuss are the next “breaking news,” or new “national security threats,”  which seem to come every hour or two.  Our friends have taken sides and those who favor Trump do not speak to those who oppose Trump, or it is Trump all the time, spoken of or in the air.  We seem to be bombarded with crisis after crisis, whatever the level of crisis, it is “chicken little” and the end of the world.  My professional life for the last twenty years has been as a “neutral,” examining all sides, listening to all sides, weighing all sides, being the recipient of information and not going into the fray.  The fray is so omnipresent, I feel like I have no reprieve.

I really wanted to know when life became a series of reality television shows, titled as such or not, and went to Wikipedia, of course.  Wow! Big Brother was one of the pioneers and such reality shows have been with us since the 1990’s.  Here is Wikipedia’s description of reality television:

“Reality television is a genre of television programming that documents supposedly unscripted real-life situations, and often features an otherwise unknown cast of individuals who are typically not professional actors, although in some shows celebrities may participate. It differs from documentary television in that the focus tends to be on drama, personal conflict, and entertainment rather than educating viewers.”

Read more at this link.

This Grandma is hooked on HGTV.  It is the station that is on anywhere I am, even as I get ready in the morning.  However, even HGTV shows have heightened my anxiety level.  They now seem to follow the pattern of ‘create a crisis and then solve it.’  The sewer overflows, there is mold growing, and there are so many occurrences in between the renovations or selections that cause angst.  I want to scream at the screen that what happened to inspections!  Then again, there is the distorted creation of a need for speed, a need to ignore common sense and just go for it.  Someone told me that they heard from someone who participated in a program that these HGTV House Hunters are all contrived.  Really!  Look at the definition of reality TV.

I am definitely in overload territory.  I am trying to limit my exposure to all hype all the time. As Wikipedia says, “[T]here are grey areas around what is classified as reality television. Documentaries, television news, sports television, talk shows, and traditional game shows are not classified as reality television, even though they contain elements of the genre, such as unscripted situations and sometimes unknown participants.”  Everyone is trying to convince us to give our time to them, when hyperbole is driving me away from giving any of them any time.

I can easily understand why “reality” and “truth” are now suspect.  It has been a long time coming.  We have been conditioned by the twenty four hour a day cable news cycle and all reality all the time television and media and internet to suspect anything and everything.  Now we know the conditioning has gone on for decades.

The last bastion of escape, movies, has joined the war against any serenity in life.  So many of the recent movies are “based on a true story,” or are a “docu-drama.”  Not to say that I do not enjoy some of it, not just all of it all the time.  See previous post, “Learning About Having #It All From Another Woman Who Has Had It All, But Not All At the Same Time.”  At least, as a retired judge, I believed what came out of the mouth of a United State Supreme Court Justice.  Now, the news around Judge Kavanaugh is wallowing in the salacious mud.

Then, the father of the older of our two baby grandsons Face Times us and we get to see true reality, the smiling face of a seven month old well cared for and loved baby.  Then, the mother of the younger of our two baby grandsons Face Times us and we get to see true reality, the smiling face of a five month old well cared for and loved baby.  Our older grandsons wave in the background and sometimes participate.  Our eleven year old grandson texts us constantly as he just got a telephone for his birthday.  Our near fifteen year old grandson and twelve year old granddaughter text pictures and videos and I respond with a lot of emojis they taught me to use.  They don’t watch television as they are the internet and texting generation.

Life is good.  Our grandchildren provide the joyful reprieve from “reality” in life to what is real in life.  We look forward to our next visits when we are too busy with soothing babies, and with older grandchildren busy with tennis, Mindcraft, coding, hockey, swim, and piano and preparing for tests to think about what is swirling in the outside world.  And, when the parents of our grandchildren watch “Big Brother,” we can tune out easily.  We have the best real distractions in the world.

Our grandchildren are what is good in our world.






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