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Of reality TV and the tallest man in the world

July 10, 2011

It has been a busy week (which explains the lack of entries. Or am I just tired of this whole blogging thing and am currently in denial? Let’s see). And the best thing about going through a busy week is when you are on leave at the end of said week. Which I am today. So at this moment I’m at home watching a recorded MotoGP race, a cup of coffee in hand. Bliss!

The company’s Board of Directors’ meeting was held last Tuesday. Which thankfully was rather uneventful. Since my department organised the meeting, wouldn’t want anything untoward happening. And having cleared the first BOD meeting was definitely a feather in my cap. As somebody who never did any company secretarial-related matters before, it was definitely a daunting task to organise a BOD meeting attended by high profile personalities. And now that it’s over, I can go on leave and recharge.

Anyway, the other night I saw this show called “Intervention” on the Bio channel on Astro. In the show’s context, intervention is used in the medical sense. The Medical Dictionary defines intervention as “an act performed to prevent harm to a patient or to improve the mental, emotional, or physical function of a patient“. In that particular episode, a lady got married rather too early. Ended up with a messy divorce and lost the custody of her daughter. She sought solace in drugs. As  a result, she became an addict and is a total wreck. As usual, people in this situation are almost always in denial. The family members (individually) confronted her and tried to make her realise what she’s doing is wrong and is causing irreparable damage to herself.

The thing is, the addict not only hurts herself, but the people around her as well. The show contains scenes where the family members would have conversations amongst themselves about the addict and the scenes show the mother and grandmother in tears. I guess the moment came when they realised they couldn’t make a difference anymore. They then engaged an “intervention therapist” who guided them on the methodology and the process of the said intervention. Although the process didn’t go as smooth as the family would’ve liked, the addict finally agreed to go for rehab.

I wonder at the apparent willingness of the family to be filmed during the whole process. Especially the addict’s agreement to be filmed at probably the lowest point of her life. Well, that’s the point of reality TV isn’t it? I do think the family was paid a fair bit to allow the documentation of their collective lives. I think that’s the true definition of reality TV. Not some contest where people compete to be the best singer, chef or whatever. I believe reality TV is about showcasing people’s lives, documenting the trials and tribulations they face. Although I honestly believe there’s been an absolute overload of self-labeling “reality TV” programs nowadays. I used to watch some of them but none had the staying power to interest me into really following them consistently.

Moving on, the other day TV3 invited the tallest guy in the world (a Pakistani dude) to come to their morning chat show program, Malaysia Hari Ini. I really pity the guy. He had problems standing up straight. Probably because of the height, his bone structure may be a bit unstable. What irked me was the way he was treated by the TV3 guys which in my view lacked sensitivity. I know he’s a bit weird being very tall and everything, but that’s hardly a reason to treat him like some sort of freak. Here he was, probably a little bit clueless about the whole thing (and facing a little bit of trouble standing straight), being measured with a measuring tape by one of TV3’s staffers who rather sensitively let out a secret, “nampaknya tali pengukur ini tidak cukup panjang untuk mengukur ketinggian Mr. so and so.” They proceeded to ask him questions like, “since when you starting growing non-stop” or something like that. My God, let the man have some dignity will you? Bad enough he’s having problems with his height. The last thing he needs is you rubbing it in.

In my next entry I’m considering straying from my writing principle. One of my unwritten rules is I will not write about politics. However I am extremely tempted to provide my opinion on the recent street demonstrations. Let’s see.

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