*end public safety message*
Reality TV Sux
Reality TV. There's entire channels devoted to it now. I guess REAL reality isn't good enough for most people, and they don't feel like they've lived until they watch someone else living on the Idiot Box. For the most part I try to avoid RTV like the plague--I know it's there, so I keep it at a great distance, don't breathe real deep around it, and make sure I don't have any open wounds when it's near.
And don't get me wrong, I'm no saint--there are a few shows I watch which could be considered reality tv. I watch American Chopper when I get the chance and it's not a repeat, and I am not ashamed to admit it. I don't watch for the constant bickering and the foolishness, I watch it to see a group of guys take steel tubing and sheets of metal and turn them into beautiful pieces of motorcycle art. You will not ever see me forking out $70K for one of those ill-handling, poor-riding, insanely noisy pieces of rolling art, but it's a lot of fun to watch them build them up.
I was trying to think of what other RTV shows I watch, but I can't think of any others. Mythbusters doesn't count, I don't think, even though they're trying to bring reality back into focus. I watch that because I'm a huge cynic. And I don't think the occasional foray into House Porn (Home and Garden TV for those of you not up on your Autumnolingo) doesn't count either, because I watch the woodworking shows for tips and things.
Okay, I'll out myself. I watch Inked. But I do so while yelling and screaming profanity at the screen.
If you're not familiar with the show, it's about the first tattoo shop to open in a Las Vegas casino setting. To me that spells trouble right there, but then again, that's me. I am a huge fan of tattoos and tattooing, spent a little time as an apprentice at one of the local shops Back in The Day, and have my share of pigment. What really annoys me about Inked is the people. Now I know tattoo artists aren't usually known for level heads and firm grasps on reality. I think it has something to do with all those rare earth elements, but that's neither here nor there. Tattoo people are usually strange.
What really gets me yelling at the tele is people like their receptionist Quinn and the shop apprentice Dizzle (what kind of F-ed up name is that anyway.) I hung around Blue Moon Tattooing for years, getting tattooed and getting into the good graces of the owner and making friends with the other artist there before I ever thought about asking about apprenticeships. When I finally did, it was under the understanding that I would work there for free in the evenings after class and all weekend (I was still in college at the time,) because I could not afford to pay the shop the flat fee for being taught. This was old school apprenticing, you see. My jobs included those that Dizzle (stupid name) performs on the show--keeping the facility hospital-clean all the time, making sure supplies (gloves, paper towels, etc) were always full, making sure the artist's pigment dispensers were full, and running everything through the autoclave that would fit inside it.
It was a grand time, too. When I answered the phones I even had the husky tattoo-artist voice down--"Grrrrrah...hack....Blue Moon Tattooing..." followed by a long pause that said "No, I'm NOT going to ask if I can help you, bcause you called me and it's your damned dime." It was that sort of a place. We were, in the words of the artist/owner, "selling sizzle, not steak." And boy could he sell some sizzle. I did it all happily, proudly, and to my best ability, because I really more than anything wanted to learn tattooing. Still do, but I can no longer afford the apprenticeship.
So I watch Inked, and see this idiot kid in a huge, professionally run shop, with several very talented artists to learn from, and what's he doing? Spanking drunk girls on the arse and being a putz. I think the show before last was when he finally picked up a machine and was going to give his first tattoo, after a YEAR of apprenticeship, for which he was paid a wage. My sweet stars and garters, I could build a machine from bits and pieces my first month, and was tattooing myself on an Easter Sunday morning in my kitchen after two. It took this git three hundred and sixty-five days to make the owners understand that he was not only phyiscally but mentally and spiritually ready? Damn, that's not dedication to an ancient craft, that's an accountant in a black T-shirt.
And the receptionist? I know she's there for eye candy (ew) and she's got a good personality with the clientelle, but I would think that any kid over 18 who has spent their time in McDonalds knows a few basic cash-handling techniques, like not leaving your keys in the cash drawer and walking out for a smoke, or knows better than to allow your boyfriend to hang out in the shop and in the way EVERY SINGLE DAY. At Blue Moon all the cash-handling was done by the artists (it was their cash, they handled it) but any reception you got was usually me, beause chances were very good I was up in the front either sweeping, mopping, emptying ashtrays or moving the flash books back to where they were supposed to go. As for significant others, I wouldn't let anyone I was dating within a mile of the place, just because it didn't seem right. Hell, I barely told people where I was at at night for that matter.
And then things with my family took a hard turn for the worse and I had to bail. I couldn't spend the time up there I needed to and still be around for my family, and at that point they needed me more than I needed a job that wasn't paying cash money, so it ended. I try not to regret things, and don't regret leaving, but I do miss it, and seriously wonder sometime how things might have been different if I had stayed in there for a few more months, perhaps even long enough to earn my own chair. I know the money would be different--we were the cheapest place in the state at $65 an hour, and the two chairs stayed full from noon until midnight. I know the girlfriend situitation might have gone terribly bad, because the sort of women that hung out in there were not the kind you would want to form any lasting relationships with, and while I wasn't actively dating at the time there's no telling what I might have caught if I wasn't careful.
But the people--you never met a wider range of people, from cops to pushers, from pimps to high school cheerleaders. And all of them wanting you to inflict some sort of pain on them, and willing to pay cash money up front. I ask you, could it get any better? *lol* But, things branched back then, and I haven't been tattooed in several years, not for lack of wanting.
It still doesn't stop me from yelling imprecations at the tele.