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Wednesday, July 12, 2000

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Reality

I can't believe how much hype there is about the reality shows Survivor and Big Brother. It's not like they are real reality since the people know they are being watched and, especially in Survivor, they have to do certain things. Even Real People got fake fast. Once the camera is running people change. It's like the difference between being at home and being out in public. We like to think we are just as authentic out in public, and we are to some extent, but it's a different authentic, a different side of us that is a bit more spit and polish.

I certainly don't behave in public like I do at home. At home I can wander around in my underwear (not a pretty sight) and burp with impunity. Yeah, yeah, I know, guys do these in public, well some of them, but I don't. Since I live by myself I don't even have to act civil toward someone else and can just sit there like a bump on a log or watch what I want on tv or eat when and what I want to and no one is asking me what's for supper. I personally find the whole idea of being before a camera 24 hours a day, sends a chill up my spine.

I don't mind being out in public but it's nice when they don't know me and we'll probably never meet again. It's not that I do disgusting things in situations like that but I always feel more relaxed when I'm alone around strangers. I guess it's that I know if I do something stupid it won't matter, not that I deliberately do stupid stuff in public but there's always that possibility, especially for someone like me who's more than a bit absent minded.

This is one reason I don't mind staying in hostels. I know some people just get unnerved at the idea of sleeping in a room with strange people, but it doesn't bother me. The noise bothers me sometimes, but not being around other people. Even so I'm always glad to be by myself after a few days at a hostel since I also need a certain amount of privacy to just relax and veg out and it's nice to have a private, anonymous hotel room all to myself.

How cute! I'm watching a show on a couple that are teaching miniature horses to be guide animals. They are so cute in their little tennis shoes. Supposedly they can be house broken and can live in the house. Cheaper too as they only eat a bale of hay a month. I wonder what other animals could be guide animals? I know there are a limited number of animals that can be domesticated which is part of the theory in the book "Guns, Germs and Steel" which is about why the europeans pretty much conquered the rest of the world.

This kind of thing I like. This is reality, not some staged idiocy. I enjoy seeing strange, and stupid, things people invent. I also just saw a clip on a guy who has spend a couple years making a rubber band ball that is several feet in diameter. It's not something that will save the world but he did it because he wanted to not to make people believe he was something that he's not. He's only in his early 20s so it's not some old guy who has nothing else to do either.

I like people who chase tornados to see how they work. I like people who try to walk or bike coast to coast. That's becoming more common, especially the biking, but it's still great and I would like to do that some day. It would help, of course, if I rode my bike around town a bit more. When it cools off I'll get back to some long rides. I admire people who are willing to make fools of themselves because they believe in something and want to try something.

I like people who try to make a better mousetrap or a better way to poach an egg or get to Mars. I may not always think it's something we need or something I would spend my time on but I applaud their efforts. It's because of people like this that we aren't still living in caves and gnawing on raw meat. They gave us penicillin and cds and polyester as well as nuclear weapons, but at least they gave us something instead of just settling for things as they were. This is real life, not some tv show.


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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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