Extreme is an Understatement: A NYC Musing

So I am typing this in Washington Heights. That’s pretty awesome. Yes, for the next 11 days I am living in NYC and auditioning and all of those fun things. Now the easiest and cheapest way to get from Washington DC to NYC is the Bolt Bus. Now I am a big fan of the Bolt bus because I am not a needy traveler. These people who need a football field’s worth of leg room and to have free bottle service at all times are hysterical. The fact that the Bolt Bus has free Wi-Fi and an outlet for me to charge stuff is great. I’m not going to be needy and request more bandwidth or something like that. This is all the background to the real story. The shortened version is that the guy seated next to me on the bus was a DJ and had all of his DJ equipment in his lap. You know those pictures of people who bring iMac computers to a Starbucks? You see those on the internet and laugh assuming that no one would do that. This was a very similar set-up. Well the important part is, because he was making some “sick beats” (or whatever), I was unable to sleep. In fact I didn’t sleep at all. So I decided to whip out the trusty iPad and started browsing YouTube. It was then that I came across this gem.

The first thing I thought was, ‘this must be a joke’. I mean, this is not a real person’s life. But then with a little digging (thanks free Bolt Bus Wi-Fi) I found out it is. TLC, the same fine folks that brought you Toddlers & Tiaras, Honey Boo Boo, and My Strange Addiction, has done it again. This show, called Extreme Cheapskates, is all about people who spend as little money as possible in life. Yes, I did spend a decent portion of my bus trip watching all of the promotional material for this show. Yes, this same woman also washes all of her clothes while in the shower to reduce her utility bill. Yes, I did audibly laugh at this a few times. I just find this hysterical. Now I try to not completely ridicule the shows on TLC. Like I said in my Honey Boo Boo post, these people are really living their lives this way. So while Honey Boo Boo is absolutely hysterical, the people on My Strange Addiction (and presumably on this new show as well) have real psychological issues. But this raises the real question. Why is it that we love watching shows about other people’s problems? I will laugh at this along with the rest of you however there is a part of me that wonders how this is a realistic reflection of society’s views. How much of the amusement is for entertainment value and how much is simply to make us feel better about ourselves? Regardless of that, I am going to go grab coffee with a friend, meaning I need to change clothes. These clothes were washed in a washing machine and appropriately dried, possibly in separate loads. You know why? Because laundry is part of life, lady.