Case in point:
As a national watched this silver, Jiffy Pop shaped balloon sail through the air, they held their breath riveted by the shocking scenario of that wayward balloon containing a six year old boy.
News stations broke in with special reports as cameras followed the soaring balloon. People stared, stunned and hoped and prayed that the little boy would be safe. National Guard helicopters took off after the airborne juvenile. Police and paramedics, state troopers and fire departments, all jumped into action . The problem was, that no one was quite sure what the proper action would be.
The national guard even began to see if they could use a helicopter to tether the balloon boy and guide his floating carrier safely to the ground. Some began searching the ground beneath the balloon. They were searching for debris and possibly even for the remains of the small boy who we thought could have easily fallen out of the floating monstrosity.
50 miles away from where it broke free of its tethers and rose up and away, the balloon gradually declined until finally, it gently scraped the soft soil of recently tilled farm and landed. It couldn’t have been scripted any better.
As an ambulance and EMS workers arrived on the scene, they carefully went through the balloon, slashing it so that there was no chance of the wind picking it up and carrying it way again. But while they made sure that there was no chance for that, they also discovered that there was no boy.
A befuddled nation was now bewildered and many though the worst. Maybe that poor little boy actually did fall to the ground with the box that was supposedly attached to the bottom of the balloon.
Six hours after the event began, the little boy was found in the attic of his family’s garage. In the wake of the event , we learned that the little boys name was Falcon Heene. We soon discovered that the Heene family were performers on the TV reality show Wife Swap. Later that evening, the boy told Wolf Blitzer on CNN that what he did was done “for the show”. We learned that Falcon’s parents Richard and Mayumi Heene met while pursing acting careers. As suspicions increased, after Colorado officials investigated the matte, it was proven to all be a hoax.
Sheriff Jim Alderden indicated that the family was hoping to use the incident to obtain a lucrative contract for a television reality show. According to the Sheriff, “The plan was to create a situation where it appeared Falcon was in the craft and that his life was in jeopardy in order to gain a lot of publicity with the ultimate goal of gaining some notoriety and perhaps furthering their careers by gaining a contract for a reality TV show,”. Sheriff Alderden added. “On the bizarre meter, this rates a 10”.
The saga is still not over. There are investigations into who else may have conspired this expensive PR stunt. When all is said and done, I for one hope that Richard and Mayumi Heene suffer greatly for this foolishness. I hope that they are made to realize just how low they are to exploit their own children in illegal escapades. I hope that they will remain indebt for the rest of their lives as they pay the cost that the emergency services, national guard, police and all the other entities involved incurred for this “hoax”.
Most of all I hope, that these fools never again appear on television or the big screen. The only exception being their appearance before the court when they are arraigned and then again when they are sentenced to sever penalties for their prank.
What the Heene’s did was a sign of the times though. We no longer live in a true reality. Today we live on a stage. The invasion of reality TV has spread like a disease. Between staging scantily clad people on supposedly deserted islands and forcing them to eat beetles, and busty black women picking a partner from a group of muscle bound knuckleheads with names like Pretty Boy or Killer, there are no limits anymore.
In between a bevy of sexually suggestive reality shows that have millionaires picking a wife from a group of trollops, to images of Hugh Heffner’s dumber than bunnies, playmates, prancing around his house, what do we get? You would think we could get a break from the innuendo and sexual references during commercials. But what do we actually get when the the reality cams stop rolling? We are bombarded with adds featuring former porn stars talking about getting bigger or cackling women talking about finger size vibrators while they sit sipping coffee in cafe’s. And when there is a commercial that is not about arousal, what do we get in its place? We get some aerobics instructor yelling at usand screaming about how we just have to suck down her snake oil so that we can clean out our colons.
Once those ever so subtle commercials over we’re back to a stoned out, washed up rocker picking his partner from a group of divorced biker babe moms who left their tiny tots back at home with their “uncle” in the doublewide.
Reality television is anything but real but it has become the reality we live in. It is a reality with no bounds, no limits or decency. It is a reality where everything from going to the bathroom to fighting with loved ones is all a show.
That is how we got such wonderful, civic minded, wholesome people like Richard and Mayumi Heene. They are a product of reality based television. They are the diseased results of modern pop culture. They are symbolic of a world full of teenagers who drop everything to become America’s next idol. Who cares about that education? “If I just stand in line long enough they will fall in love with me and make me star”. Thta’s the mentality we live with.
Do you realize that more teens knows the words to Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You Been Gone” than do the National Anthem? Thank goodnes for American Idol.
If you think I am exaggerating, look no further than the Heenne family and six year old Flacon. He did actually soar through the sky but with parents like the ones he has, he might be better off if he leave the nest, sooner rather than later.
As I said; we no longer live in reality. Today we create a an imaginary reality. Fiction no longer imitates reality. Today we make reality imitate fiction.
As Shakespeare said;
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.
And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow.
Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part.
The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound.
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.