The Trump-Clinton Reality TV Mini-Series

The talking heads stare back, beleaguered, telling us of the ugliness, how unpresidential it has become. cnntalkingThey count down the days in feigned exhaustion. Only 29 days until another president will be elected, and more importantly, when the spin cycle can begin anew and the next batch of ne’er-do-wells can be stoned.clintontrumpThe talking heads say everything they can think of and they say it again and again – emails, rapists, locker room talk –  except about how their ratings are only as good as the race is bad, that the crummier they make it, the more Viagra they sell. buy-cialisAnd so that’s what we do. We consume this reality TV, hoping that next season, in just four short years, the chosen one might appear and take care of us forever.chris-harrison-bachelor-interview-ftr

Fuck You, Chris Harrison!

I watch The Bachelor for all of the right reasons. I am painfully amused by people making fools of themselves, confessing to devastating breakups, the loss of an alcoholic parent, awkwardly displaying their sensitivity just to make it as a low-level celebrity. why-am-i-crying-bacheloretteAnd yet as pathetic as the participants may appear, one can’t help but feel sorry for them, their lack of understanding for the contracts they’ve signed, the blood in their deal with the devil. jojobachelorThe Bachelor brand preaches a skewed morality – a GQ/ADHD cocktail of defending superficiality- to which all participants adhere, while they are coaxed to reveal their personal wreckage, be it a former love’s betrayal, a famous brother or deep, bitter anger. chad-johnson-bip-rageHost Chris Harrison has been employed to feign concern – “I know it isn’t easy for you to be out here with your heart on the line…but how did you survive that crushing day?” – to create the victims and monsters.chris-harrison-bachelor-interview-ftrAnd propagate the reality of this reality that love is sex, empathy is dishonesty and dreams only last until the next commercial.

Why I Write: Naked Smiles

I’ve had no success in getting my writing published. I am on my ninth novel now. Yes, nine completed novels and nothing. I’ve written six screenplays, two novellas, too many poems and articles, and this, my 757th blog post. And nothing.20141012_090728My publishing success is limited to a momentary sports column, a handful of advertorials for British Columbia Tourism and failed copy for a toilet company. neorestOnce, I posted a comment about the paparazzi the day after Princess Diana’s death and got a positive reply. Yes, 19 years later, and I still remember that one comment. Princess-DianaMy most successful blog – 1,200 hits – was due solely to the image of Bachelorette hopeful Jade Elizabeth posted along with it.

Over these many  years, I have accumulated hundreds of rejections from literary agents – all kindly phrased – while friends have listened to my writing ruminations with fading patience. Acquaintances are more interested because they don’t know any better.

It’s not that I’m feeling sorry for myself. I’m just trying to figure out what I’m doing with all of my time. It’s a dream of something – recognition, immortality, dinner with the president, a night of naked adulation, an admiring smile. jade-elizabeth-nakedI am well aware of Orwell and Didion’s thoughts and agree that it must be in my nature and that I am my only I, but it doesn’t feel like that very often. Not today anyway. It seems more like I’m being stubborn or, more accurately, a dumb shit. i-write

The Virtual World – and Company

Just back from a one-month writing stint during which I shed, albeit briefly, my log-in addiction, I was able to find some focus in the narrative. 20150710_202206No Leafs. No Dead. No Bachelor.

My days became balanced and quiet, my dreams vivid. I wrote and read and hiked and wrote and read. 20150709_213432It was as good as it gets.

Needless to say, I have returned and been disappointed in virtually every corner: The Leafs traded Kessel, The Grateful Dead devolved into something called The Dead and Company and The Bachelor concluded with a Nazi-like denigration of homosexuality. bachelorette-bachelorsAnd I’m blogging about it again!

Raymond Carver & The Bachelor

Readers of this blog may have noticed an odd confluence of reflections on Raymond Carver as well as various citations from the television show The BachelorCarver gaspingIt is possible, Carver wrote, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow those things – a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman’s earring – with immense startling power. IMAG2458It is possible, he continued, to write a line of seemingly innocuous dialogue and have it send a chill along the reader’s spine. 

Like Carver wrote about commonplace things with commonplace language, The Bachelor presents commonplace sexual relationship with the same innocuous, albeit redundant, zeal. article-2633504-1E06A34900000578-553_634x467This is not to imply that the producers of The Bachelor do any of this knowingly – or indeed with any craft – but that the participants, like Carver’s lost and lonely characters, surrender themselves to the process, seemingly unaware of how stupid and damned their lives must be.Screenshot (1058)

What We Say When We’re On “The Bachelor”

“What I am is very deep. I came here for love.”
Screenshot (1039)“I came here expecting to meet the girl who had her heart broken, not the girl who wanted to get her field plowed. I wonder if you’re that shallow.”

“My blood is boiling a little right now.” Screenshot (1043)“I am super offended by you. I’ve appreciated your deep side.”

“I don’t belong here.” Screenshot (1050)“I’m being punished for being an intellectual. You have to have original thoughts. I feel like I’m destined to be the bachelor. Oh man, I’m needing to have some sex.”

“He called me shallow.” Kaitlyn took Nick on her next date.Screenshot (1055)“The way he pulls me in, the way he kisses me, the way we are…Nick just makes me feel like a woman, a desired woman.”

They went into the bedroom, away from the cameras, and Kaitlyn moaned deeply many times and then, after a commercial break, stood in the morning light. Screenshot (1068)“I don’t necessarily feel guilty about the act. It’s more just guilt from caring about other relationships that I have. And I’ve never done this before. I’ve never dated so many guys and had to feel this guilt.”

The Legal Thorns of Finding Love on “The Bachelor”

Beyond the expected demands of not being a criminal, politician or married, The Bachelor requires contestants to sign a document which includes the following:

Rule #6: Applicants must never have had a restraining order entered against them… involving moral turpitude or violence, as defined by the Producer in its sole discretion. getting aa roseRule #8. Each applicant…agrees that the Producer may disclose any information…about the applicant’s private life (including) confidences and secrets with family and friends.

Rule #9: Each applicant agrees to be recorded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…by means of open and hidden cameras, whether or not he or she is aware and that such recordings may be disseminated on all media now known or hereafter devised, throughout the Universe in perpetuitythorny roseRule #10. Applicants agree that revelations of personal Information and recordings may be embarrassing, unfavorable, humiliating, and/or derogatory and/or may portray him or her in a false light.

In other words, the producers of The Bachelor are free to cast judgement, steal secrets, and lie about anyone on their show for as long as they wish…which begs the question: Is only an ‘x’ required on the signature line?the-little-mermaid-ariel-signing-contract-520x357