Reality Is Not Pretty

After September 11th whenever I heard anyone say if we live in fear they win, I would jokingly say "OK, they win."

And now 12 years later, the attack in Boston has brought it all back. We live in a scary, unpredictable world with people who really hate us and only want to hurt us.

The thought of a bomb that may have been triggered by remote control only makes me want to stay away from crowds, big stadiums full of people, rock concerts and parades.

I know. Feeling this way they win.

But the reality of a dead eight-year-old boy with a severely injured mother and little sister who lost her leg, a two-year-old with a head injury, two brothers that each lost a leg and a photographer at the scene saying that the first thing he saw were legs blown off is horrendous. All on a beautiful spring day. Patriot's Day. A day that Bostonians love to celebrate.

I can't imagine I am alone. I want to hang with my children, my husband, my dogs and my friends. I want to read good books, to continue to work and write but as for big crowds -- no, thank you. I will wait until I feel a little safer.

Which brings me to my theory about reality TV. Why is our society so obsessed with Kim Kardashian, bachelors and bachelorettes that profess love after a couple of dates, Honey Boo Boo and her dysfunctional family, the Octomom and overly self-indulgent housewives who behave like junior high teens?

Why are Americans obsessed with lots of mindless shows?

Because following September 11th, the world got way too serious. I believe the popularity of reality television is directly related to terrorism. After Americans watched people jump from the burning Twin Towers, doesn't it make sense that a little mental pabulum was needed in their diet?

Many brilliant intelligent people have spent evenings watching everything from the most inane like the Jersey Shore, The Osbournes and Here comes Honey Boo Boo to shows that are somewhat educational like Top Chef, America's Top Model, The Apprentice or Celebrity Rehab. Or just entertaining like American Idol or Dancing with the Stars. And then there are those who love all those Real Housewives. Why? We come away thinking we are more grounded, a better friend and a lot less botoxed than these women in Beverly Hills, New York, New Jersey, Miami and Atlanta. They legitimize us.

So before you criticize those who spend mindless hours watching reality television just remember. There are no pipe bombs or people who want us dead in our living rooms.