The Onion has a pretty funny satirical column written in the voice of Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson. This piece, titled, “You Do, Of Course, Realize That This Is Going To End Very, Very Badly,” points to the fact that when people (like, um, me) watch and delight in the stupidity and skeeziness of these people, we are really laughing at a human disaster in the making. Fake “Honey Boo Boo” writes, in part:
Of course people understand implicitly that I am going to one day in the near future develop serious health problems not limited to massive weight gain, type II diabetes, and likely drug addiction as a result of emotional maladjustment and years of unrestricted access to dangerous substances provided by television producers and sponsors. You’d kind of have to be a willfully clueless idiot not to realize that, after all. That’s something anyone who’s watched even one second of my show, particularly any moment that involves me or my family eating or speaking, would realize.
So, assuming you all understand this, then that means you are all totally okay with gleefully laughing at me and my family, even when there is a pretty darn good chance that an act of horrific violence may very well lurk in my not-too-distant future. An act of violence that, say, 10 or 15 years from now will make people who once watched my show say, “Oh my God, that’s awful. What a sad and fu–ed up little life she had. Well, that’s what happens when someone is given that much attention and exposure at such an early age. It warps their mind and makes it impossible for them to develop into normal adults.”
Those are words you will speak one day. And you’re okay with that, right? You should probably be okay with that if you want to keep watching my show.
This is why my wife made me stop watching “Jerry Springer” after we married. “Saying you’re watching it ironically doesn’t make it okay,” she said back then. “You shouldn’t take pleasure in watching people degrade themselves in public.”
I hate it when she’s right.