In other words, I'm a tabby cat again. Lenny and Hobbes should be pleased.
But that's not why I'm writing today; I'm writing because I'm concerned for all y'all's television viewing. That stuff will rot your teeth.
Right now, not content with merely showing everyone how young lower middle class New Jersey teenagers/twentysomethings live when they're given unlimited money, rent-free digs, and cameras on them 24/7 (hint: Not at all like they would in the real world), some channels that think they're better than that (*cough*lies*cough) have decided to showcase people with serious mental illness, under the guise of "education", but really so that we can stare at the people like they're freaks at a carny sideshow.
Yes, VH1, I'm looking at you. And A&E. And Bravo. Hoarders, Hoarding: Buried Alive, and VH1's contribution to the mess, The OCD Project, where you don't just stare at the mess, you watch some asshole who should never be allowed near anyone with mental illness (or anyone else for that matter) tell people with severe OCD that they just have to "stop". They get punished if they don't. It's fun watching people in agony, isn't it!
Television, you weren't supposed to take Bruce Springsteen's "57 Channels and Nothing On" as advice. Assholes.
Speaking of asses, Animal Planet is now trying to get in on the action, with Confessions: Animal Hoarding, where people with a compulsion to collect more and more animals will be paraded before you, so you can squeal with disgust at the animal pee and poo they have everywhere, and feel better about the fact that sometimes you let Fluffy's litter box go uncleaned for a week, or that you named the new puppy "Puddles" because you can't be bothered to house-train him properly.
Basically, these shows are an affirmation of the status quo. "Normal people don't do this", you can tell yourself reassuringly, totally ignoring the fact that no-one is normal, if you define "normal" as "Ozzie and Harriet" (and most people do, albeit subconsciously). Hell, Ozzie and Harriet weren't normal. Considering that statistics say that one in four adults in the US has some form of diagnosable mental illness, I'd say that mental illness is pretty normal.
But enough of the serious! I was watching the previews for Confessions: Animal Hoarding, and I realized how one of the sleazier networks, say... Fox, could get in on some of that tasty, tasty sideshow action. I expect a mention in the credits and some money from this, because remember, you heard it here first.
"From the network that brought you Who's Your Daddy? and Survivor: Totes Racist, Fox is proud to present its newest reality show, Confessions: Animal Humpers! It's all the excitement of Wife Swap, combined with the severe discomfort of watching the more delusional auditions on American Idol!
"In the premiere episode, watch Frank, a husband to Betty and father of three kids, confess to his family that he's been having an affair with the family horse for the past ten years! See his wife's despair and disgust! Drool over the horror! Watch the kids cry in endless action replays!
"Frank: You see, it's been such a burden all these years. I'm really glad it's out in the open.
Betty: You've been humping a horse?! And you decided to tell me this on national TV?!
Frank: Betty, you're being really judgemental about this. I'm coming clean about my affair, and I think I should get credit for that.
Betty: A horse?!!!
"You'll be drawn into the drama, as the kids deal with teasing at school, Betty packs up and leaves home, and Frank gets arrested for bestiality, which is still illegal in 49 states!
"Betty: Damn. I thought he was into his secretary, but noooooo. He's gotta be special, and fall in love with a freaking horse. (to camera) And why are you still following me around? Shouldn't you be interviewing the horse?
"It's everything you ever expected from Fox, the network that takes Teabaggers seriously! The network that employs blatant racists! The network that has absolutely no sense of decency! Coming this fall! Confessions: Animal Humpers! Don't miss it!!!!!!!!!"
Fox: The network that scrapes the bottom of the barrel for the stinkiest sludge you can imagine.