But I can tell you this. I fear for the next generation. What was wrong with Laura Petrie? That Girl? Gidget? Petticoat Junction? They used to be wacky. Downright loopy gals.
This Paris Hilton and that lousy hanger-on, Nicole Richie, are a couple of skanky, spoiled, teenage whores. I have yet to decide which is a lower point in television history: this Simple Life show, or Fear Factor. Would I rather the young children of today watch women in bikinis eat fourteen cow testicles, or would I prefer they watch these two spoiled teen hookers shit all over good people who have to work for a living? I will go for the cow balls, I believe.
All these shows are total garbage. On this we can pretty much agree. But I don't feel like kids are inclined to go out and locate some pickled monkey rectum to duplicate the shenanigans of Fear Factor. It's just a trainwreck. Nothing more, nothing less. But I do see young impressionable girls walking away from The Simple Life with an understanding that they can get whatever they want in life by just showing some ass. I see them thinking that it's funny to look down on people who live differently than they are accustomed to. I can see them shunning intellect, because it doesn't get you as far as good genes, a trust fund, and a credit card will.
Now, the show is funny. I cannot sit here and tell you otherwise. It's funny like a racist joke. You don't quite feel good for laughing at it. Something is unsettling about it. But one of the greatest flaws with this show is also the the thing that bothers me the most about this show's influence on kids, and that's that there is nothing at stake here. Where is the suspense in the show if we know that no matter what these girls do, no matter who they piss off, they will be bailed out. They will be absolved. There are $350 million worth of lawyers and bail money and a very cushy lifestyle to return to once the shindig is over. In Survivor, at least, you have normal people who want a million bucks pretty badly.
Regardless of how the show is devoid of any compelling narrative with something at stake, these girls also give off the illusion that, in life, nothing is really at stake. They give the impression that karma does not exist. That you can never paint yourself into a corner. That you can just go through life laughing at people, looking down on them, and hurting their feelings, and it's all just one big party.
I'll tell you what is not one big party: being Paris Hilton's father. I would not take kindly to seeing my baby girl cranking someone's shaft all over the Interweb. But that's another story altogether.