Americans spent the better (in terms of time; in terms of quality, it was the worst) part of the recently-passed primetime television season watching Courtney, doe-eyed seductress of The Bachelor fame, scheme her way into her intended’s heart (and, presumably, a lengthier reality television career which, by the yardstick of that world, is any career longer the monthly publication cycle of Us Weekly).
Immediately after the show’s finale, Courtney and her bachelor appeared on television to discuss their lives post-taping. They weren’t doing well, and she wept openly on national television, bemoaned something or other, and generally let slip what is obviously a tenuously-balanced and unstable emotional gyroscope of a life.
In 1963, President John Kennedy was shot dead, a fate (by most estimates) worse than falling out with the man you met on The Bachelor. Yet his widow endured, with a reserved and regal stoicism that prompted London’s Evening Standard correspondent Lady Jeanne Campbell to write that she “…had given the American people one thing they have always lacked: majesty.”
When the country gasped for the collective wind knocked out of it in Texas, she taught it to endure, with fortitude and dignity. She put one foot determinedly in front of the other, and Americans followed suit. For that, they loved her. America, ever the promised land of the common man, had chosen itself a princess, and took comfort in her graceful composure.
Clearly, times have changed. Today’s pretty brunettes tear up on worldwide reality television at the drop of a hat (or an ABC-subsidized engagement ring). Rather than exemplars of quiet dignity, they seem unbelievably ignorant of the disdain in which most right-thinking Americans hold them, likely owing to a myopia which prevents seeing beyond that line at which their own fame ends. If Ms. Kennedy gave America majesty, the women of reality television seem bent on regicide.
The entire spectable is repulsive, not just for what it is, but for what it is not.