Monday, May 12, 2008

Morbid Curiosity

     I've got problems.  But I know that you do too.  Because The History Channel is all the way up to Engineering Disasters 19.  I am watching it right now.  And they didn't get there by just me watching.  National Geographic channel has shows called Air Disaster, Seconds from Disaster, Locked Up Abroad and Dangerous Encounters.  And those are just the shows that air on a regular basis.  You should see their list of specials.  A&E has made their success on crime shows and reruns of Magnum P.I.  I don't know what has led to this, but I love watching when things go wrong.  And so do you.
     Yes you do.  Don't even try that business.  If you didn't love watching disasters, and your mom didn't love watching disasters, and her boss didn't love watching disasters, and his barber didn't love watching disasters, and so on and so forth, then there wouldn't be 19 episodes of Engineering Disasters.  There would be 19 episodes worth of Cuddly Puppies Frolicking in Fields of Daisies.  And let's be honest, cuddly puppies frolicking through fields of daisies is all well and good if it's on a poster or something,  But you don't want that on your TV.  You don't even want to see that in person.  If you were driving down a country road on a sunny day in the summertime and you saw a fuzzy puppy bounding through a field of daisies chasing a butterfly or something, you wouldn't even think about stopping.  Unless it was to get out and puke on the shoulder of the road.  You wouldn't even stop for the scene if you were on
your bicycle, because you'd be like "No way am I stopping, that dog might bite me."  Now if a bear ran out of the woods and suddenly ate the dog AND the butterfly, then you'd stop and gawk.  Because we love it when things go wrong.
     That's why there is gapers block.  If you do or have ever lived in a big city with freeways, you know about gapers block.  That's when there is an accident for example in the eastbound lanes, and the traffic backs up, but then there is a backup in the westbound lanes too because so many assholes over there want to see what is going on with the accident.  It's retarded.  But it's inevitable.  Because even if two days ago you yourself were in a horrible accident, you can't not look.  You might try but you are physically and mentally unable to overcome taking at least a little peek at the ambulances and fire trucks, the pieces of Chevy Cavalier and Mazda MPV strewn about the roadway, the stretchers lying everywhere, the emergency personnel milling about.  You can't look away.  If a Flight for Life or Life Lion helicopter landed you'd probably piss yourself in excitement.  And so would I.  And so would the guy in the car in front of you.  And the truck driver two lanes over.  That's just the human condition.
     It's why Britney Spears still matters.  She hasn't done anything worthwhile socially in years, or musically ever, but she is still on the news, she is still in the tabloids, and she still manages to get more hits on her website than I do on mine.  Because she is messed up.  And we love it.  LOVE IT!  She's messed up and it makes us feel better about ourselves.  We love the dysfunction.  We love the tension of it all.  That's why everyone has heard of The People's Court.  We love watching people at odds.  No famous play or movie has ever been about two people getting along.  There can be no story without a protagonist.    That's the deal.  Peace and tranquility is good but disaster is great.  That's the human condition.  That's the way we are.  And all we can do is go along with it and go screaming off after the fire truck when it goes by to see what's burning.  Just so long as we don't miss tonight's all new episode of When Bears Attack Small Children on Bikes 2.

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