Reality TV…

…as a form of ritualized human sacrifice.

I’ve said for years that as our culture repaganizes and euthanasia becomes increasingly accepted, it’s just a matter of time before some soulless corporate media type “pushes the envelope” by monetizing the process with pay per view gladiatorial matches in which people with nothing left to lose battle to the death for big cash prizes.

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  • godescalc

    A long way down the line, perhaps. I note there isn’t even a black market in snuff movies at the moment (snuff movies being still a matter of urban legend rather than reality), let alone a population willing to watch snuff reality TV, so this is something that hasn’t reached “cloud the size of a man’s hand” status yet.

    Although I can imagine reality TV getting increasingly dangerous, perhaps from a combination of backlash against nanny-statism with individual self-determination – there are porn actresses who insist on the right to make porn as a form of self-expression, so it’s easy to imagine adrenaline junkies similarly insisting on the right to risk their lives on live TV. After a decade or two for everyone to get used to it, that could turn into televised death matches, all the while with strict insistence on the contestants’ rights.

    (…which is similar to what happens in the Robert Scheckley short story The Prize of Peril – a story about lethal reality TV from the 50’s, before reality TV was even invented – guy was ahead of the curve.)

    (Haven’t seen “Hunger Games” yet, though I may do over the weekend.)

  • B.E. Ward

    The ‘reality’ show I can see coming down the pike in the next 5 years is “America’s Next Hot Stripper”, using the American Idol model.

    And it’ll be on one of the big networks. To keep it legal, they’ll have the unfortunate women wear ‘barely there’ things.

    I agree with the last commenter that we’re a ways off from live fighting to the death.. we’re still in “titillate, denigrate, humiliate” mode.

  • Louis Hacker

    I would not be surprised if in the future there were “pay per view gladiatorial matches in which people with nothing left to lose battle to the death for big cash prizes.” However, even now the nightly news occasionally shows videos of people actually being murdered. They warn that the video is “exlicit,” but it there for anyone to see. Besides real murder there are the fictional “CSI” and “Law and Order” kinds of shows that show people, even children, being physically and mentally tortured and killled for the public’s enjoyment. Most of the victims are helpless women. Even though the stories are not true, I think that it prepares people to accept the real thing. Does anyone else remember back to the 60s and 70’s when there was a push to cut down on violence on television because studies showed that viewing violence encouraged violent behavior in real life?

  • Mark R

    A few things…

    I saw The Hunger Games and although it had a few silly elements, overall its approach to violence is not what I expected. The heroine avoids cold-blooded killing (but there are other cold-blooded killers), and is more than once motivated to protect smaller and weaker girls. Its ending is just short of a happy ending, considering the story’s premise.

    The porn industry is now threatened by the availability of porn for free via internet, which undercuts their financial motiviation.

  • Rosemarie


    I sometimes wonder about reality shows like The Deadliest Catch, which do actually involve bloody injuries and fatalities. Granted, they’re not in the same league as a gladiatorial match but they may be paving the way for such “entertainment.”