article sums it up quite well:
Mr. Barnum would have had a higher regard, I suspect, for the other
humbug in the news this week, Kim Kardashian. But he would have been a
little perplexed at the general reaction to the news that she wants a
divorce: Mr. Barnum always maintained that the public doesn't mind being
swindled as long as it is entertained. Why then all the outrage?
The conceit has been that Ms.
Kardashian's television show captures something approximating the
reality of her ludicrous life. The tube pretends to be a telescope even
more powerful than the one attributed to Herschel, a lens that lets us
spy, from a distance, exotic life forms. Here the humanoid on display
was a rapaciously acquisitive creature engaged in elaborate and
expensive mating rituals. Now it turns out that, though rapacious
acquisition was an honest enough expression of the creature's nature,
the mating ritual may not have been in earnest.
People seem to be upset by this revelation. Does it mean they were bamboozled in the first place? Now that's hard to believe.
No, I think people are annoyed because
the burlesque wasn't nearly entertaining enough—they were cheated out
of the spectacle that had been promised. The divorce was a given. But
jumping right to it showed a disregard for the craft of reality TV.
Where were the nightclub screaming matches? Where were the inevitable
infidelities that would have pushed the tawdry plotline along to its
We hope for a better standard of hooey
from our reality performers. We expect their hoaxes to be more
competently executed. In these plastic times of ours, even the fakes are
phony. Is it too much to ask for artistes of con who can come up with bat-men on the moon?
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