Thursday, August 26, 2010

What MTV Should Be Showing

I was a Real World fan for the first few years. The first season was fricking amazing. It truly was ground breaking and I thought, an excellent model for young people to shine.

Over the years, however, it's just become a piece of shit. The show and the channel. It's a shame because MTV actually had a great influence in politics, modern society, music, and in the music/tv/movie industry.

They were the "60 minutes" for the younger generation. They "got" "us" (I was young once) and they addressed issues that "we" cared about.

Then at some point, they decided to get away from it. Did I get old? Or did they sell out?

I have to think it's the latter, due to what they show now:
* Real World now is all about who parties hardest, who gets into fights, and who bangs the most women or men. An entry in wikipedia sums up my feelings on the show:
The series was hailed in its early years for depicting issues of contemporary young-adulthood relevant to its core audience, such as sexuality, prejudice and substance abuse, but later garnered a reputation as a showcase for immature and irresponsible behavior.[

* Jersey Shore, um, is this the Real World with a different name?

* Parental Control is a dating show where mom and dad can pick a REPLACEMENT date for their daughter or son's current shitty girl/boyfriend. If you haven't seen it, you must watch ONE episode to find out how appalling it is. I have an inkling that some of it is a bit scripted for the show, but even to script such crude behavior? APPALLING to say the least.

* Cribs likes to display the opulence of being a celebrity and showcases homes of the filthy rich and narcissistic wealthy. "I want to be like that shithead" is what this teaches young people.

So you get the point. Just crap with no redeeming qualities, IMO.

Recently, MTV started another series that has a bit of its old school personality: If You Really Knew Me. This is a decent series that follows Challenge Day at various high schools in the US. Challenge Day being a day dedicated to breaking down stereotypes and finding characteristics that all of us (mainly teens) have in common, and to find empathy or sympathy for others.

I first learned about Challenge Day during a summer series for tweens/teens at my job. Yes. My workplace rocks. Last summer, there were four, weekly sessions for tweens and teens to come and watch a video about Tobacco, Drugs, Alcohol, High School Life. It was High School life that we (CJ, me and MiMi) learned about Challenge Day, which was to alleviate bullying and social cliques in school. It was pretty amazing.

So to have this as a series has been interesting to watch. The old woman in me finds it appealing but not hitting me as it probably would have if I were in high school. CJ and I watch it; it's definitely something I am glad is on this mucked up channel that is putting a positive spin on life for young folks.

Another show that we have been watching is Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts. Tim actually saw this and decided to record it for the girls to watch. We picked up the series and it is another show that I think young people should see. And old people. And rich people. And ignorant people. Anyone that will buy a $100 pair of jeans should watch this show.

This was a BBC series that brought about six young fashionistas to India, to see what it takes to make the clothes that they are obsessed with.

These folks end up working in the cotton field, where cotton is grown for production. Then they work in the sweatshop, making clothes that get sold by the big name brands across the world. They earn the same amount of money that the locals do, which at some point, they state is $10 a week. They have to pay rent, buy food, groceries, etc.

It is, as expected, very sobering to see. One: to see flashbacks of the young folks in their "previous" life, before coming to India. It's sobering to see them whine and complain about the work they have to do. But most of all, it's sobering to see what the working class people do in this country to survive.

This is what MTV should broadcast, not how some social debutante lives, shops, or who she has sex with, or how little she cares about doing every day work that the rest of the nation has to do.

Social awareness? Sadly, despite the "fad" to be green, it doesn't make ratings nor money.

2 comments:

  1. Though it might offend our American sensibilities, people in some countries (India and China being two that I can think of) are quite happy to have those sweatshop jobs. If that job weren't available, do you think they would move on to a better job somewhere else? If Americans moan and groan to the big chains saying they don't want their clothes coming from sweatshops, how does that help these people? The big chains stop buying from that sweatshop (most likely to only buy from another after public pressure has decreased) and all those workers are let go to beg in the streets.

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  2. I agree somewhat.

    I think what is more heartbreaking is the fact that, unlike our own country, these people are taken advantage of. There are no regulations for the job conditions (hours, safety, etc.) and they don't make enough money to buy food or live in anything that resembles a house (the show has most of them sleeping in the sweatshop; they send their money to family 'back home'). And the companies that do use the sweatshops are rolling in dough. To me, that is what is appalling.

    Just like our illegal immigrants here in the US - the jobs that they "take", the stereotypical American would NOT do this job for a decent wage (for the company and for the worker). So my bitch isn't so much that our sweatshops are in other countries, it is the treatment of the people working in those sweatshops that haunts me...and that corporations (globally) accept this with greed.

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