Michelle Teheux: ‘Sequestration’ just the latest reality show
I’m not a particular fan of TV anyway, but the two TV genres I especially cannot stand are “reality” TV and soap operas.
Thus, I am not paying attention to the hot new reality-show-soap-opera extravaganza everybody else seems to be talking about, “Sequestration.”
Yawn. I’m sorry, but it seems too much like other productions that were presented recently. Who can forget the riveting show “Debt Ceiling” or that equal nerve-biter of a production, “Fiscal Cliff”?
You always know how these things are going to end — with a flurry of panic from all sides, followed by a last-minute solution that could easily have taken place months in advance … except that then we’d miss all that drama, which apparently some people have just gotta have.
I suspect a veteran soap-opera writer is handing our politicians their scripts behind the scenes. These are people who know how to take something that everyone can see is inevitable and drag it out for months by throwing implausible roadblocks in its path until finally “whoa, what a surprise!” exactly what we all thought would happen, happens.
Xavier and Vanessa do in fact get married, after a season of misunderstandings and setbacks and drama. Everybody knew none of those stormy scenes between them meant their romance wasn’t really chugging along on track to its inevitable conclusion. And everybody is happy to see them finally make up and put a nice ending on things … until it’s time for the next little crisis to give us something to watch.
The Washington soap opera is the same. We have a cast of quirky characters who will do unpredictable things, but in the end it will be OK. You’ll see.
There will be tantrums. There will be threats. There will be hysteria from all sides. There will be tears from The Tanned One.
And just as it seems all is lost and we’re all gonna die, hey, it’s over. Everything is fine.
Until the next time, that is.
I sort of hope that if we all quit tuning in, they’ll stop performing and will settle down to work. Of course, that’s a vain hope.
I’m afraid that the general public is so used to watching so-called “reality” TV that it no longer understands anything else. That’s why government has become just this sort of grand performance: so the members of the general public will think they understand it.
Is it a coincidence that so many of the characters, er, candidates, proposed for election are no longer the somewhat boring, gray-haired political types we used to see, but are instead perfect reality-show contestants?
Take a look at some of the recent ones, and you’ll see lots of eccentric and generally attractive crack-pots who don’t know a lot about how government works, but are apt to spout crazy stuff you cannot believe they just said. They’re great, as long as what you want to hear is something entertaining rather than something complicated and important that you’ll have to really think about.
Of course, reality TV is just as scripted as any sitcom. The difference is, when you watch a sitcom you know the whole thing is made up. When you watch reality TV, you might actually be convinced that you’re watching reality. Which you’re not, so don’t be fooled.
When you watch the government in action, you might actually be convinced you’re watching reality. Which you’re not, so don’t be fooled.
Michelle Teheux may be reached at email@example.com. The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the newspaper.