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Bruce Springsteen once sang that there were “57 channels and nothing on.” Well that was 1992 and not much has changed except now there are approximately 2000 channels with even less on. The chances of finding something good to watch is pretty low, but there are so many things to learn from American cable. It’s positively exhausting.

There is always somebody willing to be famous

I can only imagine what Andy Warhol would think of modern television with its seemingly-endless roll call of people willing to sacrifice even the most basic of decency for a slice of fame and fortune. Whether it’s mothers and/or their children subjecting the world (or, at least, Lifetime Channel viewers) to their horrible attitudes and disgusting treatment of strangers and each other, wedding planers who show off their bad organizational skills week-in-week-out, or imbecilic grown humans that have somehow convinced a group of people to watch them act like privileged 12-year-old children — it doesn’t really matter. Even the Food Network doesn’t get off scot-free, with reality competition shows hosted by mean-spirited “world-famous chefs” that think berating competitors with cruel barbs is the best way to find the next huge network star.

America is screwed beyond help

Sorry America, but there’s nothing we can do. It is entirely possible to be flipping through channels on any given day and find a world of wrong. A Law & Order: Special Victims Unit marathon featuring nothing but episodes where Detective Benson finds herself used as bait to catch sick rapists and murderers! The History Channel doing a series focusing on the country’s ten most surprising serial killers (bet you didn’t know about the cheerleader)! The modern-day MTV generation speaking in incomprehensible English as they wear hideously over-sized clothing and goof off in front of candid-camera-style set ups! Pretty much everything on Lifetime!

People would rather look like someone else

When most people want to give themselves a make-over they go to the hairdresser and maybe purchase some new clothes from a cool store. Not on cable TV! On cable TV everything becomes a commodity and that includes our own self-worth. Why go to the hairdresser down the street when you can go to a plastic surgeon who just happens to have cameras follow him around everywhere? Why buy a rockin’ new pair of jeans and a cool shirt when you can hire a personal stylist who just happens to have cameras follow her around everywhere? Why get contact lenses instead of glasses when you can just be blind and tell your miraculous story on a show called Make-Over Superstars with a free new wardrobe and a holiday to Los Angeles?

Some shows are always on

I can guarantee that right this second some network is screening Seinfeld, Sex and the City, Law & Order (any of its varieties) and probably Friends and The Golden Girls, too. Sometimes multiple networks air the same show at the exact same time, which is good if you’re the type who has seen every episode and wants the option to choose which specific episode they watch for the 20th time.

There are way more sports than you ever thought possible

I’m not sure why anybody would want to sit down and watch these things, but apparently there is an audience for them. You’ll wonder how these athletes came to find themselves in this career when you weren’t even aware if existed until you turned on ESPN3 and saw people in a triangle throwing an odd-shaped ball at one another scoring points by doing stuff you can’t quite understand and yelling out things that you swore was Russian for “bread.” It’s a mad, mad world out there.

Nepotism is Alive and Well

There’s no easier way to fame than being related to somebody who is already famous. The number of reality shows centered on famous people and their desperate-for-fame spawn and spouses is truly alarming. Why people would want to watch Clint Eastwood’s family act like a pack of prats is beyond me, but somebody out there is tuning in avidly. Presumably aiming to kick-start their family’s own fame so that they can finally take a break – Ozzy Osbourne must be enjoying his time off now that Sharon and Kelly are on TV every week raking in the cash and sponsorship deals – or just to keep them occupied and distracted. And, hey, even Ronan Farrow as a news commentary show of his own now because obviously.


Image Credit: Deviantart/frozen0rb