Knuckles, knives and baseball bats: The real reality TV is on You Tube.
September 20, 2015
Believe it or not, I rarely go to You Tube for the truly gnarly stuff that gets so many views: fail videos, assaults on buses, gang fights, that sort of thing. I mostly stay away. Not necessarily for moral reasons (though I’d like to think so) but rather because it just doesn’t interest me. Sure, occasionally I was drawn to some big event that everyone was talking about. Arab Spring. Earthquake footage. But mostly I go to You Tube to learn how to do something, fix a machine, load a printer, tie a fishing knot. Oh, and movie trailers. I love me some movie trailers.
The other night I clicked on a lurid video depicting a street fight outside a bar in St. Augustine, Florida. I’d been watching movie trailers for a few obscure horror movies and I guess the content matched up. So I went there. A melee featuring a bunch of shirtless drunks beating the shit out of each other. Real blood! Real screaming! Everything was jittery just like in a found footage horror movie. But the horror was real!
I was riveted. Then I clicked on another video. This time a fight outside of nightclub in Manhattan. This intoxicated douchebag in a rumpled suit was standing up to a huge-ass bouncer. After some jawing back and forth the bouncer did what angry bouncers do. Pound that young urban professional, brother! That’s what I’m talking about! I clicked on another video. And another. Before I knew it it was 1 o’clock in the morning.
I turned off my computer. I felt unclean. There was sweat under my arms. Gross, I know. My two goldfish stared at me from their cube, bug eyed. They have huge eyes because that’s what kind of goldfish they are. But still. It was as if they were judging me. Unblinking bastards.
Yet, perhaps I deserved it.
I had discovered the real reality TV. Not the choreographed drama Real Housewives create to get more camera time. But real idiots being real assholes. With baseball bats made of wood. Knives and knuckles. Gore!
Half a century ago, Newton Minow famously called TV a “vast wasteland.” I believe he’s still alive. Dude needs to check out You Tube. It’s freaking Fury Road.