FROM THE VALLEY: Is this the real deal?

Tom Valley

Let's go to the airwaves and see what's on TV.

Say what you will about us northerners, but them southern folk: they just plain stupid. Seriously (tongue in cheek), who else would be involved in a serious criminal enterprise and think it would be a good idea to say “Hell, yeah” when a cable TV news crew approached and asked if they could film and document everything they did, illegally, for a national TV audience to witness?

Of course I'm speaking of the hit (of sorts) TV show “Moonshiners.” What in the name of Jack Daniels are these hootch-makin' hillbillies thinking? Then again, the local authorities are also southerners. And it's apparent they couldn't track a whale in the snow. (Psst, Officer, just watch the program, it might help.)

One of the underling themes of the show, other than tradition, is that poverty fuels the characters' actions; it makes them do what they do. So, out of curiosity, don't these mountain-dew merchants realize that other TV shows pay their stars quite handsomely? Oh wait, I forgot; they get their advice from Billy Bob and Possum Pauly Pete. My bad. There I go stereotyping.

I'm thinking maybe I'm the dummy and the program is all hogwash. If so … never mind.

Continuing on with this uncontrolled TV-related thought stream: Evidenced by the fact that society now provides three different public bathrooms for people just because 0.001% of the population can't decide which sex they are and, heaven forbid, we point out that they are any different …

And since we've replaced the names of buildings, sport teams and schools because they offend some folks, even though intent of the original name was never given its day in court … (stay with me) ... and just because whoever makes TV commercials these days has so-over-the-top compensated for the inequalities of the past, you seldom, if ever, see a white couple in television ads anymore, because someone might claim “foul” (And you dare not mention that spineless cop-out, lest you be labeled an insensitive racist jerk) …

… You'd think (I'm finally at my point) it would be impossible to put some of the stuff on TV that you currently see on the air. Especially in light of the just cited mindset of trying to placate every single person with a psychological, if not misguided, reimbursement of sorts.

Yet, diametrically opposed to that same empathy — no matter how overboard it might be — there are reality TV shows like “Little People, Big World” and “7 Little Johnstons” (not to be confused with the porn flick) that do just the opposite. They are the epitome of shameless exploitation.

Greedy profiteers who obviously perceive these folks as oddly different, anomalies and freaks, pin their hopes on an audience overlooking the fact that it's the equivalent of a P.T. Barnum sideshow and find it just-plain-fun to watch. That's heavy, dude.

By the way, it's not cool to say "midget" anymore, uh-uh, no siree Bob, because it's offensive. That would set them apart from the rest of the world. Can't do that. But it is OK to have a TV show highlighting how they have to stand on a book and struggle to reach a bookshelf. That's OK.

You know, I may have gone too far with this, but I'm in too deep to quit now.

There's also “1,000-lb Sisters,” the TV show whose attraction is subconsciously connected to wanting to see a train wreck. We feel good about ourselves watching this, even though we're 50 pounds overweight. Why? Because we don't need a fork truck to go outside. It's shameful. Bad, bad people!

What else is on? Oh yeah, there's that commercial for a teddy bear you can buy. Not just an ordinary teddy bear … the Trumpy Bear. I'm serious. For just 40 bucks you can buy a $5 stuffed toy that is supposed to be a symbol of the ex-president. Unbelievable.

And, even more unbelievable, it comes with the — glory hallelujah —certificate of authenticity. Why? I dunno. Authentic what? Is someone going to show up at your house, wade through the maze of signs in the front yard, take one look at your new teddy bear proudly displayed in a toy shrine of Mar-a-Lago and ask “Yeah, but is it the real deal?”

And the irony is: how authentic is the actual person? His hair? His tan? His integrity? His claims? Blah-blah, blah? Just asking. That's all.

There ya go; that short blurb ought to fire up the people who haven't called me names in awhile. Sorry, Steve B. (a decent guy from Niagara Falls). But glad you're reading. And thanks again, partner, for your service to the community.

And remember, you can let the paper know just how upset you are in a letter to the editor. (Take it away, Joyce and Matt. Please ... just take it away.)

And that's the way it looks from the Valley.

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