Monday, March 30, 2009

Show you azz & azz holes will watch.

Point of order, no more photo journalism from me. Was down and out for three days with chills, fever of 104 and swollen glands, not to mention a sore throat that did not allow me to talk (my students loved that). I was also reminded that it is very hard and even impossible to write when one is sleep – learn something new every day. Any who, was back in class and was about to cover/introduce analysis of variance (ANOVA). I asked my class why we use T-Test and the assumptions of the T-test. They did not know and could not tell me. So I asked them to tell me the name of a reality TV show, and they named about 20. On all case I asked who they were. They looked at me like I was stupid.

So I said in essence, yawl know these folks, who they dating and don’t know what we cover in class. “Tell me who stupid?” Yawl pay about this much”, I proceeded to open my arms as wide as I could and continued. “Is that not more important than some show on TV that aint even real but acting?” They all shut up and I proceeded to write and work my problems on the board. Now what I am about to say is conjecture and the opinion of folk here alone. But I do not see the fascination of looking at something on television that obviously aint real. I mean in most cases, it is merely folks, insincere folks, trying to get famous, make someone or get with some star.

Is the fabric of America so dilapidated that we no longer desire to work for self and cannot think for self and what the easiest way out to what some perceive as success. It seems that folks get on the shows and go to town showing they azz and acting a fool, as if they have no home training. As if the main requirement is to be mentally and intellectually dysfunctional. Not to mention, that many deal with the most morally abject problems in our society – going to jail, greed, and sex. Seems too that the majority of these shows, especially with women, are designed to do what I figure a woman can do without being on TV – find love. What woman in their right mind would be on a show, chasing a man that is boning and grinding and kissing every woman in the house? Women that fight each over in spectacle like the old day gladiators of ancient Rome. And I suspect the men are just as foul too.

Now all this is speculation, for reality TV for me when I was growing up was sports, especially boxing. I figure a reality show should at least be real and teach you something. I remember folks used to say wrestling was real, just as they say this stuff today is real. I have maybe seen a portion of a few of the shows when over folks houses and they would always laugh when I would ask what or who is that. I have only seen two of today’s reality shows that taught me something and close to being real. Survivor man – where I learned how to piss around sand with plastic and a cup underneath to generate water and Man versus Wild (where I learned how to cook a boa constrictor- I normally sauté snake meat).

I don’t know where we are headed, it is as if we care to admire and watch folks that show their azz on TV in an effort to either get attention or attract fame. Even if that means fighting and chasing a man and throwing one’s self after said man as if a groupie or gold digger, when we know their parents or grandparents aint teach them such, or if being a rude tough guy who is disrespectful and self-centered is what defines manhood.

Now I know some of the shows, that deal with singing, or cooking, or moddeling , or designing or home decorating are different in some respects. But still, tell me, why do student I teach care or no more about so-called reality TV than their course work? Why would they laugh at me for not knowing who the fck they were talking about as opposed to laughing at themselves for not knowing what they covered already in class? Well one thing I do know if you show your azz on TV an asshole is sure to be watching.


MacDaddy said...

You're right. I can't watch this stuff without wondering where has the "home training" gone, or wondering if there was any home training at all. That's why I confine my tv watching to PBS, John Stewart and Steve Colbert.

Tha BossMack TopSoil said...

I can't even watch reality T.V. period. I haven't seen one episode of Trick J oh I mean Ray J. Tha last of tha reality shit I wathced, Well Semi Reality shit was tha Flavor of Sucka, Oh I mean Flavor Of Love. I was really done after tha escalation of tha Ratted New York to pseudo fame.

These reality shows do prove one of my theories. Hoodrat Krazy Bitches with whorish backgrounds make for good entertainment. (i.e. Lil Kim, New York, Hoops, Delicious etc.)

Soulstress said...

I'm standin by my reality tv whethr its real/scripted or whatevr. I like watchin tv and lookin @ ppl doin the craziest sh! aint me...and he!! I liked to be entertained lol. At the end of the day..aftr counseling folks, workin on a thesis, and slavin for da man...i like to sit on my couch and watch mindless tv.

Q said...

Do they hand out Valtrex when the girls enter the house on Ray J's show? Ewwww....

The Brown Blogger said...

Keeps us numb and distracted... Great thing when you're getting robbed.

TheophaniaPaige said...

Hey hey now, I enjoy mindless entertainment from time to time, something has to make me laugh!....but I also know why we use a T-Test so they are tripping, smmfh lol...

Lovebabz said...

I love Iron Chef...both versions (American & Japanese)

I love the Amazing Race (racing around the world with a partner using your wits, intellect and common sense for a $1 million)

Top Chef...I used to be a chef and we used to participate in those kinds of competitions...YEP I have a few trophies under my chef's hat.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

but our people aint that disciplined

Tha BossMack TopSoil
folk who run they own business like u or me aint got that time
doesn't it make you feel sad to know students even workers no this stuff better than their work. no wonder folks cant add or subtract wo a caCULATOR - glad i grew up without this. my kids dont watch it, but they take lead from parents - wait til u have a kid and she wanna be a video vixen like superhead

LMBAO - never seen the show but students knew all about it

The Brown Blogger
true and then we want to complain after the fact

aren't we mindless enough, i mean if we desire to be entertained we should read a book

food = learn how to cook

Seattle Slim said...

I like watching reality tv, some shows anyway, for the same reason the Romans liked watching gladiators get torn to shreds by each other or by animals. You are amazed at the level of stupidity or guts it took to put your ass out there. Also it is a great character study and truly escapist. None of my friends or family conduct themselves in that manner. Besides, I believe one should always know what their enemy is up to.

a.eye said...

My problem is not only the lack of education in the shows, rather that young people can't distinguish between what is real and what is acting and what is sensationalism meant to draw viewers. They think that the whoring around they see on The Real World is normal (though they don't understand the need to use protection or the high rates of STDs or the fact that sex can sometimes equal baby), they think the fighting over little stuff they see on Bad Girls Club is great, they think that all women should be uppity like the Real Housewives of (fill-in-the-blank).

This is what is damaging society.

Though -- I do love the reality shows like Top Chef, and Man vs. Wild. Who can't love a show where a man teaches you how to survive in the wild, drinks his own urine, sleeps in a dead camel carcass and even teaches you which bear shit to eat if you are really in need of food? Bear Grills is the man.

TheophaniaPaige said...

Some are very mindless, but I don't consider myself mindless because I don't get caught up in it and know when to turn the mess off. Now for those who live to watch it week to week, look up their bio's and blog about it I think they're doing a little too much. Trust that isn't all I watch (I love the travel channel, A&E...) nor do I think a person should ONLY have their nose in a book (and I for one love reading btw) but I think to be a well rounded person one should get a little taste of everything every now and again, I don't think there's any harm in that...

KELSO'S NUTS said...

Knowing how to do a small sample t-test of a hypothesis and the follow on ANOVA are the keys to the vault. Full stop.

Mean-variance space is to one's real life what the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare are to the essence of being human. Both capture pretty much all there is.

I can name 40 probability distributions. Let me see how many reality shows I can name:

The Amazing Race
American Idol
Latin American Idol
The Apprentice

And I've never seen one minute of any of them. That's it...i'm done...unless FEAR FACTOR and SURVIVOR are still on. I've heard of them, but again, haven't seen either one.

Is DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES a reality show or just a sitcom? I've never seen the show but I've seen it on the cable guide listings. Does IRON CHEF count? I've seen that one.

Chanel said...

wonderful post. I am a student and I can't stand that people spend more time watching tv and more effort memorizing stars from reality tv than they put time and effort into school. im not gonna lie, i have spent time watching dumb reality shows before, and then i realized my brain was seeping out of my ears. i'm a book person, i wont lie. lately, ive been spending hours reading books, like i used to when i was a little girl. i find this much more fulfilling.
Also, it irritates me that a lot of undergrad students waste their parents money to go off to college and fuck around and make mediocre grades because all they want to do is party and wast time. sometimes i feel unfortunate because i have had to put myself through college, but then again i am appreciating the educational experience much more because it comes out of my own damn pocket.

BuelahMan said...

Some ppl get off on the strangest shit.

I have three TV's. One plays for about an hour or two max/day (and that's Sprout and other children TV). And even then, my daughter doesn't enjoy it all that much (she'd rather play with puzzles, books, etc). The other two (one is 54") just sit there... blank. We now keep them unplugged just to save energy.

I don't know what changed me, but I get little enjoyment from the tube anymore.

Seinfeld was my last TV enjoyment.

Jay Midnyte said...

what is a t-test and ANOVA.

Anonymous said...

The fact that they don't know what's going on in class has nothing to do with reality tv. Maybe they're just lazy.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

Seattle Slim
i was taught psychotic people live escapist lives.

i guess u live in the city, my fault live on a farm and have lived in africa (6 countrys for a total of 8 yrs plus) not running water, no reg. electrictiy...we americans are so myopic


they all involve acting is all i know lol

i paid for mine too folk good point.

yep like running i9n nursing homes and shotting old people - i feel ya.

Jay Midnyte
statistical tool to discern diff between 2 groups: anova more than two groups (group to the kth)

thats very different from what i know about attending behavior. it requires being attentive and effort. The effort to look at tv is no diff than the effort to study. its a choice. Unless there is no such thing as free will or distraxctions

Kayos said...

Just the title of this entry got me interested.

I agree. You can't watch reality without wondering where and who's brain child this stupid stuff is... I'm not a fan of reality. I think it is just another venue for people to do as your title suggests!

Muata said...

America at its best...

Sad scenario! Lord help...Them!


msladydeborah said...


When I tell people that my television fast is on-they go crazy from the notion that I refuse to turn on the set and watch. Quality has a whole lot to do with it. I do not like a lot of the programs.

This is a pop-culture generation. They were fed years of this crap from out of various cultures. So it has become important even if there is no real value inside of the shows.

btw, The next time your throat hurts try some honey, lemon a dash of cayanne pepper and cinnamon. A tablespoon or two will at least make things tolerable.

Dope Fiend said...

True story! I've neve see the appeal of reality tv, ive never once got in on the hype, it just seemed so ridiculous to me. I cant even explain how much a waste of life watching Reality tv is.

TV in itself is a joke, and I hardly watch it, I can admit to watching House, Greys and Heroes but as a writer and a thinker I actually get a philosophical understanding out of them. Anything else is not worth my time.

Can I just say before I go on...I REALLY REALLY like your vocabulary! I have a major crush on your mind its so unserious!

anyway moving swiftly on...the bottom line is people would much rather fill their heads with nonsense rather than truly acknowledge the real world until they are forced to. Ignorance is bliss n all that.


4GOTTEN1 said...

I think it all goes to the fact that sometimes we all need an escape. Entertainment whether it be sporting events television concerts or maybe even a good book is usually an escape from your reality. That's why most of us want to sit and watch some of this stuff it just takes away the harshness of our reality. Now the flip side is you still have to take care of business. Your students should have known what their tool for class was used for. I think they just have their priorities out of order but that's why we have people like you. A good teacher can take you a long way. If you drill that point in their head they will be that much more prepared. I'm almost certain that you caused someone to rethink their actions. It may have been a really good class cause i bet most of them left class that day knowing exactly what a T Test was and why they needed to use it.
Maybe I've gotten a little of subject but I hope it makes sense my man.

Tamra said...

Awesome post. You should read _Twilight of American Culture_ by Morris Berman.

(We are SO screwed. ;-)

Rich Fitzgerald said...

TV is designed to entertain the masses who have no vision for the future, thus the term tel-a-vision.

Since you have none, I'll tell you mine.

Erin Michell said...

I'm not going to lie. I watch some reality TV like ANTM, Top Chef, Man vs. Wild, and Project Runway but I get my work done as well. I am not a fan of other shows like I love NY, Flavor of love, and whatever Ray J's show is called. I have no desire to watch people make a fool of themselves and call it entertainment. People especially your students need to handle their business before becoming obsessed with the lives of others. They will learn. Your students are going to be upset when they have to apply their knowledge and they realize they don't know what to do. Grant it, some of them might not use stats later on in life, but its the discipline and the ability to analyze and problem solve they will need. But if they think reality TV will help them attain their goals, more power to them. LOL

RunningMom said...

There was so much trash on my TV that my son was watching I shut the cable off. Oh how I miss Iron Chef and the cake decorating show. those were my favs.

I cannot stand most reality TV. I do like America's next top model, but that's just because I like to see the different pictures.. not because I like the drama. I can miss it and not care.

a.eye said...

Pictures are the only good part of ANTM. I can miss the entire show and just watch the last 20 minutes and be cool.

Anonymous said...

Torrance, it has been forever since I stopped through to catch up and what do I find but a truth so true I now feel I must spread it.

Show your ass and assholes will watch is now the phrase my daughter will hear when she does something stupid.

Now on to the topic. I have never been able to stomach reality TV. When its a show with black folks it always seems we have the least amount of class and the the largest helping of asshole tendencies. I find nothing entertaining or humourous about these shows and most of the time I end up feeling more embarrased for theses fools than they are for themselves.

Reality TV makes me uncomfortable and i don't like wasting time feeling uncomfortabel.

Judy / IslandBroad said...

Firstly, I'm glad you are feeling better.

I personally like watching reality television. It makes me feel more human along w/ the fact that it is hilarious.

Hardly anyone wants to learn these days. It is sad because it seems as though my generation is breeding more and more of these types of people

Nikki Wadley said...

I must admit that I am guilty of watching a few reality shows. As I have matured, I have learned to see these shoes for what they are; social experiments. Some are just plain stupid and other do actually make you think. And you get a good laugh too!

Mo said...

I shiver at the mention of anova, t tests, significance, null hypothesis and all that jazz. i passed my stats class & i aint goin back lol

The stuff on TV is nothing but "entertainment." I've been without television since September and I haven't missed it much. Sure I catch a few shows online - ER, United States of Tara, & SVU (b/c all my criminal justice professors are quick it quote it as well) - but if I miss an episode, I'm not traumatized and I for damn sure ain't ignoring school work for something that won't profit me in any way, shape or form.

You should've given em a pop test for that mess and counted it as 50 percent of their grade. They wouldn't be laughin then would they?

Linda said...

*lol* Really.. you shouldn't complain about it, just ditch your TV.. it worked for us ;)

Greetings from the netherlands!

p.s. Don't tell me that boa constructor meat tastes like....... chicken?

Dusty said...

Is the fabric of America so dilapidated that we no longer desire to work for self and cannot think for self and what the easiest way out to what some perceive as success. ~ The answer is yes Torrance..we, the universal we, have become worthless hacks and lazy bastards and bitches. Pathetic no?

Angel said...

I have no time for TV at all!
Too busy living.

Sista GP said...

Just the other day I recalled how much I did NOT miss the bombardment of reality shows I was subjected to before we moved.
I think Mom was becoming a reality show junkie. Since the only place I could get a decent wireless connection was near the family room, I had to endure them all.

Besides the reality shows, there were so-called game shows. I do not understand the attaction to shows that have no strategy at all. Seems like gambling to me. I might have like the competition shows is there was no back-stabbing going on or "voting-off" because they think you are going to win.

I am so glad no more of these!
Hell's Kitchen
Flava Of Love
Charm School
Biggest Loser
Amazing Race
Deal or No Deal (no strategy whatsoever)
{singing lyrics}
Project Runway
and many more...

and most importantly, no more AMERICAN IDOL. Why interrupt several nights a week to watch shows and then spend several hours trying to vote? It was interesting in the beginning but when it was obvious a popularity contest and not based on talent, why waste the brain activity?

BTW, who's Ray J?

Bee Gee said...

The real "reality" is that these shows aint goin' anywhere. VH1 spawns 2 or 3 shows out of every show, providing further opportunity to act a muthafckn fool to each show's most notorious characters. I think we have to treat "reality" TV for what it is... cheap-ass entertainment. I won't lie, even though I think Ray-J is a serious clown, I watch the show every week - It's entertaining and to view it anymore deeply is to give it more attention than it deserves. The notion that a man or woman can find love out of all that chaos in 30 days is the funniest thing about it. I don't do much "reality" TV because I can only take the shit in tiny doses, but if you've seen one show, you've seen'em all.

Tammy said...

Dayum!! Talk about putting things into perspective!!! I need to stop watching TV and read a book. Even though I read at least 3 books a week , I watch too much tv. Wait isn't that the same concept though..?? Book give you the story - with someone else's ideas and opinions, while the TV does all of that and includes the pictures..?? Although books allow you to come to your own conclusions, and develop your own ending if you chose to. I'm done getting sidetracked!! When I go back to school this summer I need to keep this entry in mind.

NoRegrets said...

What a great way to start the class. You go!!! And glad you finally feel better (at least I think youdo)

Aly Cat 121 said...

It done on purpose to make those watching BELIEVE "this could be you too" as in fame, fortune, big house, luxury cars. No one ever thinks that those folks are ACTORS and that it's ALL scripted.

If you can be rich and famous with loads of cash, why would you need to be educated?

Aunt Jackie said...

Well as a reality tv producer and casting director i will say this. the numbers of post college kids coming out for reality shows is through the roof because there is no economy to support their major.

in a global economic crisis, reality tv is a booming industry. billions of dollars a year are made and spent on reality shows and i'm thankful because it keeps me employed and puts food on my table.

and to answer why people like reality tv, it's the same reason people read each other's blogs, just a break from the mundane. everyone breaks differently..some work out, some smoke pot, some drink, some f*ck and some watch tv.

reality tv will go away with rap music is my common answer!

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

nothing wrong with being entertained but there is when you know more about it than your major

u said it bruh

i could not said it better re pop culture

Dope Fiend
thank u baby my mind - lol a new one on me

thanks folk i try and i hope so and i teach in an effort to make them know what i do

thank hon and no i have not but i will now

Rich Fitzgerald
lol i know how u do folk

Erin Michell
thanks hon and that is all i desire of and for them

i bet u dont know more about it than what helps u daily


and its not just us its everybody we fallen bad as a nation and culture

Judy / IslandBroad
thats what so sad but my students want 100k after 4 years of college though

Nikki Wadley
i can respect that folk

lol you allergic to statistics?

i should complain when my students dont know their lesson but that and i am their professor - thats was the main point

sad and frightening

I feel ya

Sista GP
he is a lame

Bee Gee
yep they are making looot and i think u are right. the new frontier it seems

glad to be of some influence i just hope it is positive

lol thank u maam

Aly Cat 121
who wants to be a fool - but i feel ya

Aunt Jackie
I feel you and agree, but my main point was the importance that they put on this as opposed to their class work and how they knew more about this than what they pay for

2sweetnsaxy said...

Times have changed so. People don't seem to have any shame any more and nothing is taboo. But I won't lie. I watch some of them because it continually amazes me how desperate and ridiculous folks can be... but I keep hoping.

Anonymous said...

All shows including Opera and Doctor Phill- or whatever he called himself are based on social engineering. These are the reasons why we continue to fail as a nation. Moral values have been thrown out the door--husbands dont listen to wifes vis-a-vis wifes dont listen to husband.

Folks have subjected themselves to mediocrity. Bossman, let the students know that Opera nor Dr.Phil will provide food on the table for them.

People of color continues to be disenfranchised today all over the world ( except in sub-saharan African where bigotry is more tribalistics), it is more important for folks to know that education is a legacy and it has no substitute. It becomes more imperative to equipped ourselves so that when we discuss issues, we continue to be a force to be reckon with.

I am of the opinion that there is the need for us to challenge ourselves interllectually as opposed to engulfing our minds with trash that has no substance or add to the value of our lifes. Now, Im by no means saying that folks should not watch Opera or Dr.Phil, but it should not consume our lifes- it is hardwork, perseverance and your level of technical know-how that differenciate between the "haves" and have-not". I hope and a pray the students take heed.

Anonymous said...

All shows including Opera and Doctor Phill- or whatever he called himself are based on social engineering. These are the reasons why we continue to fail as a nation. Moral values have been thrown out the door--husbands dont listen to wifes vis-a-vis wifes dont listen to husband.

Folks have subjected themselves to mediocrity. Bossman, let the students know that Opera nor Dr.Phil will provide food on the table for them.

People of color continues to be disenfranchised today all over the world ( except in sub-saharan African where bigotry is more tribalistics), it is more important for folks to know that education is a legacy and it has no substitute. It becomes more imperative to equipped ourselves so that when we discuss issues, we continue to be a force to be reckon with.

I am of the opinion that there is the need for us to challenge ourselves interllectually as opposed to engulfing our minds with trash that has no substance or add to the value of our lifes. Now, Im by no means saying that folks should not watch Opera or Dr.Phil, but it should not consume our lifes- it is hardwork, perseverance and your level of technical know-how that differenciate between the "haves" and have-not". I hope and a pray the students take heed.

DP said...

Dawg - You are precisely on point with this. I think every generation goes through the same process of wondering what the hell is wrong with kids these days, but man, just watching a few minutes of some of these so-called reality shows is enough to turn your brain into mush (like they say in the HuLu commecrcials).

But it gets worse when you add in the court shows, and the daytime talk shows, and even the news show talking heads. By the time you add all of those program hours up and compare them to a couple of hours of Planet Earth or something mildly educational, you realize it's a losing battle.

Don't give up trying to teach them though. It'll stick and at some point down the road, recall will occur.


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