“Reality ain’t nuthin’ but rude.”
She was large, obese, with a babe in arms and a bevy of other little ones storming her for attention. She was standing in front of one of those stores whose idea of window dressing begins and ends with rank upon rank of television monitors.
She was referring to a reality show featuring a few drunk twenty-somethings stumbling into walls, spitting curses and throwing whatever came to hand, their images multiplied a dozen times over. She turned a sad eye my way.
“Don’t matter what I say; when my kids see this kinda stuff, they figure ‘s okay to b’have like animals.”
The world of social media is geared toward acquiring followers, likes, hits, attention. And it’s far more interesting to observe the antics of misbehavior than polite manners.
This woman is raising her children at a time when rudeness is applauded, encouraged, rewarded with reality TV star status. Act out, incur conflict, and you’ve got an audience. More than that; you’ve got a following! Doesn’t matter if you’re liked. What matters is you’re seen.
The woman herding her progeny before her, and away from the spectacle of over-the-top confrontation, told me it’s a losing battle. She can exercise all the parental control available in her home, but at some point whether it’s TV or online or from playmates inundated with the same ‘reality’ message, rudeness will filter down through the cracks like ashes in Pompeii.
“Kids’ gonna be rude and won’t know how to spell, neither.”
My guess is she’s blaming the space limits imposed by Twitter and texting for that last. But I could be wrong. There might be a reality show out there about spelling bee losers that I haven’t encountered yet. I’m not worried.
I’m sure it’ll filter down and coat me with its fine ash.
‘Cause you can’t escape reality. And like the lady said, ‘Reality ain’t nuthin’ but rude.”