Sunday, September 14, 2008

it's called reality, folks, and it's time to wake up to it.

Who else out there is looking back on the Iowa/Iowa State game weekend in a state of shock and disgust? The outcome of the football game was great, of course, but outside the stadium neither the Hawkeyes nor the Cyclones represented themselves very well. Some of the completely irresponsible happenings in the bars, Ped Mall, and other parts of Iowa City on Saturday simply crossed the line of having a "good time." Yes, the game weekends are fun, and its great to have friends in town, but there's a point when it becomes apparent that our generation of drunken frolickers has growing up to do. We may be independent, we may be in college, we may be (or nearly be) 21, but a lot of us are not adults.

Don't worry college students, we're not the only ones that need to wake up to reality. No, the complete disregard of respect and responsibility starts even earlier, say the age of 16. It's laid out on national television with MTV's show My Super Sweet Sixteen, where teenage wannabe princesses whine and cry if daddy doesn't buy them that brand new car or that brand new dress. And we indulge them all the more by paying attention and watching.

One reality show, however, may actually do some good for these young adults we love to hate. On Exiled, the girls of Super Sweet Sixteen aren't thrown a lavish party; they're shipped off by their parents to spend a week in a third world country. Suddenly, the so-called difficulties of wealthy American life don't seem so bad when the girls are walking four hours to fetch water for an African village, slaughtering their own food, and sleeping in a hut on a dirt floor.

For once, "reality" television is giving its stars and viewers a taste of what reality in a lot of the world is like, away from the American bubble. Whether or not the experience makes an impact on the spoiled teens, I respect the show's premise. Maybe it would do binge drinking American college students some good to be "exiled," as well.


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