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The Tangential Thinker - Ladue News: Tangential Thinker

The Tangential Thinker

The Price of Shame

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Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 10:47 pm, Tue Aug 9, 2011.

Ever since there have been celebrities there has been publicity—positive and negative. Movie stars get fan mail, but they also get hate mail. A movie star once said, Who cares what they’re saying as long as they’re talking? Lately, however, people seem to be taking this concept to the next level.

    Now, I’ve mentioned Jersey Shore and Bad Girls Club and their ilk. Basically, if you’re willing to make an ass of yourself, some obscure cable channel will pay you to film it. Now, please to enjoy, National Geographic Channel’s latest offering, Taboo, a show about people who have ‘outside of the mainstream’ lifestyles. The debut episode was about an adult man with a steady job who lives his life as a baby: He comes home, gets in his playpen, plays with blocks and wears a diaper. Come dinner time, his girlfriend—yes, he has a girlfriend—puts him in a high chair, gives him a bottle and feeds him. Even Freud would have said, Are you kidding me with this?

    Upcoming episodes feature women who exclusively date prisoners. I’m reminded of Jerry Seinfeld’s old stand-up joke about a woman who dates a felon. When he gets rehabilitated, the woman says, It’s like I don’t know you at all anymore. TLC is jumping on the bandwagon, as well with My Strange Addiction. The show features a woman who eats couch cushions, a girl who ingests soap, and a man who is in a relationship with a blow-up doll. I’m assuming it’s monogamous, but those dolls get around.

    So maybe these people want help, or maybe they’re trying to get the world to accept their alternative lifestyle. Whatever the reason, the vehicle they have chosen is television, and with it comes a certain degree of fame. Is this really what you want to be famous for? I don’t know about you, but I’m going to think twice before inviting the cushion-eater over for cocktails. You leave the room for a minute and your ottoman is gone. Yes, I mock. That’s my point. For 15 minutes of fame, these people are willing to endure eye rolls, mockery, and worse. I guess for them it’s a way to leave a stamp. I mean, we’ll forget their stories as soon as we watch a show about a guy who injects bleach or a shut-in who hoards human heads, but they will always have cable. LN

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