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Masochist Television and The Hitler Channel

My cold came back for Round 2 today so I've been sick most of the day. As I write this I'm bleary-eyed and have some sinus pressure. Ick. For the last few hours I haven't been able to do much of anything so I watched some cable television.

First: MTV. Why I watched Masochist Music Television I have no idea. Today's broadcast included many episodes of Inferno 2, and of course no music. At all. This show is one of those "pretty people playing games" kind of shows. All the girls are thin and perfect looking. All the men are chock full of machismo. All "participants" on the show are only on the show for one reason and one reason only: They look great and love to argue.. and they do that quite a bit. Ah, to be in your 20's and perfect looking. Must be wonderful. Oh, and let's not forget - one flaming gay guy. MTV always makes sure to have at least one flaming gay guy in any reality-type show they do. This one is no exception.

Second: The Hitler History Channel. After getting real sick of watching Inferno 2 - which didn't take long - I flipped a few channels to The History Channel. Guess what was on. Hitler. It's always Hitler. Seriously. Go to History Channel at any given point in a daily broadcast and Hitler will be there. Hitler this. Hitler that.

Small sidenote: Just in case you don't believe that History Channel is all about Hitler, check this out (actual broadcast schedule for EST):

Friday May 6 7PM "Modern Marvels: SHERMAN TANKS"
Friday May 6 8PM "The Last Days of WWII"
Saturday May 7 7PM "The SS : Power Struggle"
Saturday May 7 8PM "The SS : Himmler's Mania"

Sheezis. Hitler Hitler Hitler. Okay, we get the point. He was an awful human being bent on power and corruption and mass murdered innocent souls left and right. We all know this, BUT.. History is not just about HITLER, thank you very much. Can't we discuss more pleasant things that happened in Germany, like the fall of the Berlin Wall or the VW Beetle? It's just sad.

Anyway, so I decided to watch Hitler. I watched for about an hour. This particular episode was about the "The Order of the Death's Head" Schutzstaffeln (that's "SS" by the way,) which were the primary instruments of mass genocide. Scary. It convinced me to never ever get anything that displays a skull/crossbones logo on it ever again.

I finished watching MTV and The History Channel and then had a moment of realization sprinkled with a touch of the surreal: I had in effect watched two different reality shows. One that concentrated on modern pretty people with problems. The other focused on mass deaths that happened decades before I was born.

MTV depicts perfect plastic people with trite arguments that mean nothing - but they look good doing it. We say we hate that kind of television but watch it anyway, like a subconscious desire to be part of a perfect world where everyone looks great.

The History Channel depicts the SS "cleansing" society to make way for a perfect "master race".


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