Or the perversion of values and the rise of decadence
by Mark Linnhoefer
A long day of smoking weed and watching TV comes to an end, and I am feeling more and more disgusted with the garbage that passes for “entertainment” nowadays. I can literally feel my brain cells dying from an over-saturation of stupidity and depravity when being subjected to the audio-visual torture that are reality shows, sitcoms, and staged dramas.
It is inherent to the entertainment sector to tailor its output to what the masses are interested in, seeing as that is of the utmost importance when it comes to generating views and profits. And that is not a bad thing per se, the people should be getting the kind of entertainment they ask for, but the problem is that entertainment is by this definition a representation of what the viewers enjoy, and looking at what’s shown on television nowadays, the average TV audience member is a depraved, decadent, selfish asshole thriving on the suffering and alleged stupidity of others. Just look at the sick bullshit that is swamping television sets all around the globe; it’s an ugly amalgam of staged stupidity, trash talking, and the glorification of excessive consumerism. Unfortunately, that is also a pretty exact representation of the ‘values’ present in today’s society. The bar somehow got lowered to a point where making shows in which overweight people are made out to look like complete idiots is not considered morally repulsive anymore. I don’t know about American television all too much, but here in Germany we have a show that advertises as a sort of public dating service specifically for overweight people, but in reality, as multiple people that were on the show confirmed, it is a scripted hell hole for the participants who are made out to look like disgusting, stupid fat idiots, which they are not in real life. Hell, there were even a couple of mentally handicapped people on that show, which wasn’t said, and therefore made those poor handicapped souls out to look like complete idiots, which is just a fucking disgusting display of an unbelievable moral depravity. And there’s more: the people from the TV station set up their camera equipment in their victim’s home and thereby make their electric bill skyrocket up to a point where it is more expensive than the compensation these poor souls receive.
But that’s nothing new; the entertainment industry has always been overrun with soulless and morally corrupted maggots. The problem nowadays is that these kind of trashy shows represent a majority of what is being shown on TV, and that they’re getting more and more tasteless. These shows are made for asocial cunts that get a kick out of watching even more asocial people behave stupidly on national television, because laughing at those they deem socially below them helps these idiots compensate for their own messed up existence, and seeing as the overall understanding of morals and tastefulness are steadily decreasing, so is the quality of the content on said shows. It’s sad, really, how fucking low we as a species have sunk, exploiting mentally labile people in order to get ratings and perpetuating the idea that entertainment has to be tied to the embarrassment of some for the amusement of many. What we’re doing today is worse than what the Romans did to the Gladiators. They at least knew what they were in for: a fight to the death for the entertainment of the masses. Things were clear-cut. Nowadays you’re being told that you’d get fame, that you could find a partner, make tons of money, or whatever, to deceive you into signing an adhesion contract that will rob you of any dignity, wealth, and mental health you possess. A practice that has by now become commonplace in the TV world, and that each and every one of us watching such shows in order to laugh at those we deem stupid is perpetuating the exploitation of people, the fall of values, and the rise of decadence.
Because that’s what it’s all about: consumerism. Buy, buy, buy! Advertisements try to convince us that we need so much more than we already have, that there can never be an end to getting more stuff, that we have to consume in order not to crumble. Consumption is the capitalist’s holy grail and exploitation his metier, which is why decadence is constantly glorified on TV: big houses, nice cars, beautiful women, and gold-plated toilet paper have become the new plus ultra, the must-have in our modern-day society. In a world ruled by swine, dirt is weighed up in gold and grunting is considered intellectualism. And don’t think we’re not to blame; the swine have come out of the shadows within us, we are the ones who by the force of our voices and TV-remotes propelled them into power, and thereby created the mess we’re now struggling to get out of. We cannot keep on pretending that the virus of selfishness, greed, decadence, and utter lack of shame has not infested our society in its very core. It has crippled the great potential not of a single country, but of the entire Western civilization. The Western culture used to stand for freedom, individual fulfillment in a community, peace and prosperity, but nowadays it’s all gone to shit; it stands for greed, corruption, and the exploitation of many for the success of some.
And if we now say that these values are only exhibited by the media and politicians, and can therefore not be applied to the people, then we’re essentially saying that Democracy has failed completely. Democracy in itself means the rule of the common folk, and so if the rulers are no longer able to represent the will and spirit of those ruled over, then the concept of Democracy has ceased to exist. Call me overly dramatic, but to me the way entertainment has degraded itself to stoop to such a pathetically low level is an alarming sign of a massive problem within our society, and that we cannot judge a country’s population by its government is proof to me that something went horribly wrong with our implementation of the concept of Democracy. We have let the swine in us come out of the shadows, and now we’re being rolled around in their dirt, slowly but surely letting go of our values as well. Selah.
illustration by David Pratt