We all know too well the easiest way to get on television is to either have something tragic happen or to be tragic. It is clear in almost every reality show on television from The Real Housewives Series to The Bad Girls Club to Jersey Shore that we as a world are desperate for three things more than most; for people to either fear us, feel sorry for us, or to laugh at us. And perhaps now that we have the technology available to share our every waking emotion, we’ve lost some of the things that were once cherished, like secrecy. Unfortunately, it seems all of tv world is suffering from a serious case of Munchausen’s Syndrome.
Recently, there have been numerous posts about Antoine and Kelly Dodson and how they fought off a rapist. The news story, taking place in Hunstville, Alabama has resulted in numerous viral videos of remixed songs mocking Antoine’s gay patois and featuring his family members stomping about seemingly outraged at the occurrence. Of course there are many political underpinnings. How safe is communal housing? How “typical” is it for poor women to be sexually assaulted? Do poor black people even expect cops to intervene? Should certain kinds of people be allowed on television? I get it. This video points to so many issues but it also points to the problem we face as a world hyper-exposed to reality tv drama, where trauma and bad behavior are commonplace. We have become desensitized to suffering. At the very least, we have developed a more rigid expectation of what “real” pain should look like.