Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2010

The final apprenti smugly beaming to camera

The Celebrity Apprentice is a very odd show, one I find strangely compelling while simultaneously detesting every single smug second of Donald Trump`s increasingly strange shaped head and vulcanized hairdo (which his two smarmy spawn sons seem to have inherited).  The premise of the show is simple (er, actually its bizarrely convoluted).  A dozen or so `celebrities` – a very generous extension of the term there – with contestutants (yes, my freshly coined neo-logism) ranging in fame from disgraced senator Rod Blagojovich to someone who may or may not have competed in the Beijing Olympics but her personality is so non-existent that I frankly don`t care if she quickly swam through a pool in China or Australia.  Or through a swamp in Belize for that matter.

But I ramble.  These pseudo-celebs whose major achievement in most cases seems to be aggressive self-promotion, are weekly tasked to perform a pointless campaign which strikes me as little more than a heavily sponsored product placement for some lucrative but absolutely useless service, from some expensive personal data security service called `life-lock`, a service so completely befuddling that even the president of the company had great difficulty explaining or even being aware of what it is, to a rapid plumbing service that guarantees they will be on time with a cash back promise.  Finally, a service that treats fixing my oft broke commode like it’s a pizza.

But what is so deeply astonishing and disturbing about this show, is the petty nastiness with which the celebrities treat one another.  They have become so thoroughly narcissistic that every tiny interruption of their single minded attention to themselves brings down their full wrath upon each others` pin-heads.  In this last week`s episode, one character (I shall call her a character, as I don`t think there is any genuine person cast in this show) dared to steal a slice of pizza from another team.  This pizza was most likely provided gratis by the show`s producers, but quite possibly a tiny amount of one of these over paid star`s personal budget, and yet the sour faced misery that such a petty act conjured up was almost beyond belief.

And herein lies the ideology.  The Celebrity (sic) Apprentice is a show that ostensibly tries to be about the `real` world of business and finance.  And it fully lives the attitude that the world is a `dog eat dog` environment.  Contestants are selected and groomed based on their fulfillment of the show`s ideological worldview that business and that society functions best through competition and consequently through nastiness and pre-emptive attack.  The show presents and normalizes the attitude that petty self interest, that vindictiveness and spite, are all simply a part of the day to day business of accruing massive personal wealth despite that wealth being to the detriment of competition, neighbors and even teammates.  No wonder America is in deep financial crisis.  If American society and values have been headed unchecked in the direction of such aggressive personal self interest that every action is approached as a personal affront even when it comes down to sharing a slice of free pizza, then we`re all well and truly fucked.

Read Full Post »