Monday, April 21, 2014

Ratings speak

I rule.

Whole industries watch me with bated breath, their hearts in their throats, hoping I’ll rise up to dizzying heights.

My word matters. For a while, at least.

Stuff which should have been shoved into the bin gets worshipped. I have the power to make the contents of the trashcan go viral.

Eventually common sense takes over. But for a brief spell, my word carries weight.

Enough so you sit up and pay attention to me. Enough so I can laugh louder than my critics.

But laughter doesn’t always come easy, particularly if you want to indulge in it as you are driving to the bank. And so, you become willing to do anything to keep me high.

Sometimes I wonder how low the quality of your TV programming, of your writing, even of your Facebook posts, seems to be dipping. There is no limit to the kind of stuff some of you are willing to put up with just to keep me satiated.

On TV, stories are conveniently re-written to suit me. Actors are willing to alter their performances for my sake.

On reality shows, people become willing to parade their own lives and demean others for public consumption. They fall in love and out of it to please me.

On the news networks, I decide that bad news will be played up and good news be relegated to a slot in the future, when no news is available. Remember, no news is good news.

Why did I become so big? Why does everyone want a large piece of me?

Is it because my approval can be bought and sold as easily as any other commodity on the market?

What people don’t realize is that my loyalty does not stay bought. I am a fickle creature, and I am quick to transfer my patronage on the next hamster that is willing to perform for my amusement.

A part of me is ashamed of myself. The part that knows that I won’t last forever. That eventually readers and audiences will see through the sham that I am and turn their backs on me. That writers and performers will write for themselves and give up recycling crap.

And then I catch sight of your faces, greedy and eager to see what judgement I am going to pronounce on you.



And I realize that I rule.


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