“Attention? It’s more fun to get than to give.”
- Malcom Forbes
Just about everybody has had a need at one point in their life for attention, to be noticed, to be thought special.
Some people want and need it more than others, but I doubt anyone wants to live their entire lives going completely unnoticed.
Little kids get attention by yelling, “Look at me Daddy” as they blink their eyes like they are the first person to ever do that.
The need to be noticed is also filled through sports, academics or by simply acting up and being little brats.
Negative attention is still attention.
Does that need for attention diminish when we are older? For some it may, but for others I doubt it ever goes away.
If it did, there would be no movie stars, rock stars or fat guys wearing Speedos at the beach.
When it comes to getting attention, Hollywood is the centre of the ‘look-at-me’ universe.
But how do Joe and Josephine Shmuck get attention if they are not good at sports or acting or anything else for that matter?
They go on reality TV, that’s how. Some people have built a career out of reality TV.
Remember Amber and Boston Rob from Survivor – professional attention seekers and reality show contestants.
I have to admit, I have never watched Survivor for more than 10 minutes. I tried watching when it first came on to see what everyone was raving about, but I just did not see the thrill watching a naked dude run around doing a bunch of goofy tasks.
The attraction of the show eluded me (as it still does to this day.)
Nowadays, it seems every second show on TV is a ‘reality’ show.
I am not sure what ‘reality’ these people are from because none of my friends look like the buff, trim and big-breasted people featured on many of the reality game-show type productions.
If the producers really want reality, they should follow some balding, pot-bellied, middle-aged bonehead around while he tries to get his three children to three different events at the same time. Now that is reality.
Or perhaps video of a fat guy sitting on the couch in his underwear drinking beer and yelling at a hockey game could be a reality show.
It might not be pretty, but it would be reality.
Instead, there is a parade of beautiful people prancing around some island paradise doing stupid tasks and trying to figure out how to screw each other over.
Perhaps there is some skill needed for these shows, but the latest crop of reality offerings actually seek out people who suck at things.
I can sort of see signing up for Survivor or something similar because it is a competition and the winner gets some money (and attention), but these other shows I just cannot figure out.
Canada’s Worst Driver – why would anyone want to be known as one of the worst drivers in the nation? Attention, that’s why.
Canada’s Worst Handyman. Same question, same answer.
They could probably have a show called Canada’s Biggest Dork and people would be falling all over each other to sign on.
Each contestant would be dorkier than the last until the king of the dorks is crowned.
The winner could then tell their grandchildren, “Yup, grandpappy was proven to the biggest dork in the nation.”
“Gee, grandpa, do you think we can be losers too.”
Maybe they could have a show called Canada’s Biggest Embarrassment and all the contestants would have to do is run around and act like fools.
Wait a minute, my mistake, we already have that – it’s called Parliament.
Canada’s Worst Politician would have so many contestants, the show would have to run everyday for years.
Shows featuring extremely dysfunctional families also mystify me. I cannot understand the need for attention being so great people would expose what crappy parents they are just to get their 15 minutes of fame.
They do it under the guise of getting help, but guess what, there are plenty of counselling services and self help books etc. out there that do not involve TV cameras following your every move.
But where is the fun in knuckling down and quietly solving your problems. It’s much better to let the world know your life is chaos so you can sit back and see yourself on TV.
Now, if you will excuse me I have to go and make sure this column is getting the attention it deserves.