My Two Cents: Subtle unreality on television, in movies

Much of the focus in entertainment these days is on what is referred to as “reality TV.” This is a fascinating genre where people perform such life-affirming acts as eating live cockroaches to win cash and choosing a mate in what is essentially a combination courting process/gameshow.

While this proves a lot of people will do just about anything to appear on television, I don’t think this latest trend portends the end of Western civilization as we know it, as some critics would have you believe.

I myself am more interested in the subtle form of unreality that can be found in many of our television shows and motion pictures. I am not referring to the obvious over-the-top shenanigans of science fiction with technology that doesn’t yet exist or action movies where one man defeats an entire army.

Rather, I am referring to the little things. For example, it seems television and movie characters rarely go the bathroom.

In the reel world it’s not uncommon to see:
– People, particularly women, roll out of bed first thing in the morning with barely a hair out of place.

– A clean-shaven man remain that way in spite of not shaving for several days.

– Tires screeching on dirt roads during a high speed chase.

– People, for no discernable reason, always driving around with their windows rolled down.

– Average citizens only too happy to let police officers commandeer their vehicles during emergency situations.

– Plane rides so quiet that people almost never have to raise their voices (unless the aircraft is about to crash, at which point there is a lot of screaming and yelling).

– A person emerge from a fight having taken at least a dozen hard punches (no jabs, all haymakers) to the face, suffering only a few small cuts and some minor swelling.

– A woman beat up a man twice her size.

– A gun that has no kickback when fired.

– A person hit with a shotgun blast that knocks him or her 20 feet backwards. (This violates a fundamental law of physics that states for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This means the person firing the shotgun would also be propelled back 20 feet!)

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author, whose hair always looks really wacky when he gets up in the morning, gets in his two cents worth in spite of the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.