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Rushdie's Reality Essay

820 words - 4 pages

I have long felt that reality television is contributing to the moral downfall of modern society. This is validated, yet again, by Salman Rushdie in his 2001 article, “Reality TV: A Dearth of Talent and the Death of Morality.” Much like Rushdie, I avoid being pulled in to the idea that watching someone else demean and humiliate themselves for the sake of fame and fortune is an acceptable, moral attitude. However, the media has placed it in nearly every variety of television programming possible. The “tawdry narcissism” (p.4) of society today is blatantly displayed for all the world to see in these programs. Has society today no shame? Have we, as a society, completely forgotten the virtues ...view middle of the document...

8) Rushdie maintains that by doing this, “anything resembling real value…is rendered redundant.” (p.8) Therefore, it is logical to conclude that worth is only found in acts that are mean, conniving, and all around lacking in morals such as honor, integrity, and virtue. Society is slowly beginning to believe that to achieve success, anything is acceptable. It becomes especially acceptable if it is filled with revulsion and deviousness. I don’t believe all of the moral virtues have been forgotten, just conveniently tucked away where they are not seen. They are in a zone that is known as “out of sight, out of mind.”
In the time since Rushdie wrote this article, many new reality TV series have made an appearance. These newer programs promote conflict and strife, rather than compromise and peace, as normal. They have also replaced many programs that did promote positive morals. The TV is flooded by teenage “Baby Daddy” conflicts on MTV, couples airing their differences on ABC Family, and even a family that farts, burps and cusses on The Learning Channel. Pointing out that reality TV is a “fad,” (p.9) Rushdie still feels quite sure that societies “voyeurism will become more demanding.” (p.9) He goes so far as to suggest that “gladiatorial combat is being reinvented” and viewers will desire “more action, more pain, more vicarious thrills.” (p.10) Rushdie is correct. These programs have become...

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