Saturday, February 6, 2010

Why Do We Find Joy in the Suffering of Others?

I was watching TV the other evening for fun and relaxation. During a commercial break, I decided to surf around until the show comes back. As I clicked through the channels, I came across a commercial for a show called Operation Repo, which airs on truTV. The Operation Repo team goes out to recover property from people who have fallen behind in their payments. The show essentially ridicule the folks they are attempting to repossess items from, showing them in unflattering and demeaning behaviors. They highlight the anguish and pain and horror of having to deal with the situation at hand for laughs.

As I saw the piece, my thought raced around my head trying to find the enjoyment or joy in seeing the pain and suffering of others. I could not see it even in my minds eyes. There is no enjoyment or fun in such a situation. I guess there is some Hollywood hyperbole included but the concept is sad.

So because someone dared to live a little piece of the American dream, but run into a bump or a pit should we fault them or make fun of and revel in their downfall? Come on! Things work out sometimes. One has to be optimistic. When the plans breaks or fail, you’re not going to give up but try to work it out, try to get back on track. So, ok, it doesn't always work out and you may have to give up, even so, kicking and screaming. Why is that a source of or cause for entertainment?

Hey guys, remember karma, what goes around...., do unto others....., every dog has his day, etc, etc. What then when the tables are turned. Right about now, I can think about all of the phrases why we should be mindful of what and how we treat each other because one can never know what they may encounter tomorrow. Operation Repo, you may not know who will be on the other/upper end tomorrow. Are you then deserving of respect or mercy?

I am not only talking about the producers and actors and others associated with the 'show', but you the viewers as well. This travesty of a show, is reportedly in its third season. What little value we have for each other. Yeah, we laugh at all kinds of things and ills and affront to each other in jest, but this wreaks! I have to say I have not watched the show to see if there are any redeeming qualities in it.....I don't intend to either.

My friend Sathira's recent post on Breaking Mindset asks if Human Beings are Sadists. As she asks, Why should we be happy when we see others making mistake or fail in whatever they do? Well I'm not sure of the answer, but I do know that we need to examine ourselves and remember to give respect and understanding instead of making a spectacle. To produce a show, to profit from some people’s misfortunes is perhaps just as irresponsible to the human spirit and sense of community as the economic situation we are in. Even if the 'villains' were irresponsible in making the purchases, do not ridicule them and broadcast it to the world. These ‘repo people’ look like pirates! Is that what sadists look like? I am not condoning living above your means, if that’s what this is about, or holding on to the property of others, like unpaid goods, but the impetus to return the goods or collection effort if the parties are slow in doing that doesn’t have to be a circus act.

Let us see how you dance when the show get’s cancelled. I hope you find another job soon after or your nest egg holds up. I hope you do not have any goods or commitments that are riding on the salary or profits of this exercise. Someone might just find joy in your story!

We are in trouble America, if this is entertainment!

No comments: