Yesterday, America celebrated Labor Day. This is observed on the first Monday in September to ‘celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers’.
Hmm. I must have missed something. According to my personal research, it’s the day when people welcome friends and family to their backyards and crack open the beer to enjoy the last of the summer sun. It’s when the American football season kicks off, and outdoor pools shut for the winter. And, interestingly, it’s considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable for women to wear white. Someone better tell Liz Hurley.
I did what most people do when they have a day off and are a teeny bit hungover. Clear the sofa and get that telly on NOW.
American television is just astonishing. It’s like wading into a parallel universe where shit isn’t brown, it’s multi-coloured and piped into a fancy cocktail glass. In its infancy, reality television was a fascinating take on the docu-drama that created heroes and villains, real characters we could relate to, laugh about, sympathise with, learn from. People now aspire to be like the monsters feted by celebrity magazines and fed by viewing figures. The American television industry just keeps on giving birth, but to smaller, weaker offspring that actually make for far greater entertainment. Well, when i say entertainment, I mean ‘slack-jawed with shock’.
I watched ‘Lizard Lick Towing’ on Tru-TV. The blurb for last nights’ episode was:
“Ron gets put in a dicey spot at a motel during a sting on a sexy escort; a pimp suggests Amy try a new occupation; Ron and Bobby get more than they bargained for at a mud bog, where they’ve gone to pick up a tricked-up truck.”
I spent ten minutes watching two fat men fighting with two other fat men in some mud before I switched over. Turns out it’s about a company in North Carolina that repossesses trucks. I would never have guessed.
Other reality shows I have skimmed but never watched for fear of becoming sucked into the vortex above and beyond this Earth of man-plus-beast-plus-film-crew are “Hillbilly Handfishin'” and “Bear Swamp Recovery”. Plus I can’t actually understand what they are saying.
Sadly one of my favourite programmes, ‘Sandwiches That You May Like’, wasn’t on – it’s amazing what you can do with a wee bit of ham. But ‘Extreme Couponing’ was, a rather sad programme showcasing the obsessive desire to buy as many groceries with as little money as possible whilst being filmed – the kind of economic and social contribution by workers that our forefathers could never have imagined.