Friday, April 6, 2012

New Hampshire’s First-in-the-Nation Reality Show


HUNGER GAMES: photo taken at OWS event, NYC 12/17/11 by J. Stimmell
A version of the essay that follows was published in the Concord Monitor 4/6/12


I just saw The Hunger Games, the film version of Suzanne Collins' bestseller about a survival-of-the-fittest reality show that sends all its teen contestants home, save the victor, in body bags. 

Hopefully, Republican House Speaker Bill O’Brien and his sidekick, Majority Leader D. J. Bettencourt, are already too busy dismantling N.H. to have time to see this movie. Because if they did, they might discover that making our state into a real, survival-of-the-fittest reality series could be the crowning achievement of their radical agenda.

Our state motto provides the perfect title for our first in the nation, survival-of-the-fittest reality show: what could be more perfect than “Live Free or Die.” Best yet, since NH is always desperately searching for new ways to raise revenue – as long as it is not fair and equitable, or worse yet, taxing the rich – these real life reality shows could be broadcast live for big bucks.  Fox TV would pay a premium for first-rate, purulent shows like this. 

Rush Limbaugh, as usual, is way ahead of the pack: he has already talked about how only woman who seek wanton sex need birth control pills and, if the public must pay for these pills, than the public should get something back in return – like watching these woman having sex. Endless episodes could be done on this subject alone. It would be a big money winner and must-see for many males.

I can already hear Speaker O’Brian’s response to the nattering objections of prudish goody-goodys: “Porn in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

Another episode could deal with abortion. If we were to adopt the law already proposed in Virginia requiring women who want an abortion to first submit to a trans-vaginal digital ultrasound, we could televise the procedure live. And use the money raised, of course, to devise even more ingenious ways to prevent woman from controlling their own bodies.

And what about the sick and disabled? As it is now, NH has slipped to about last in providing services and support for the disabled. Under the present system, without a broad-based tax, we just don’t have the money to adequately help every disabled child and adult in need.  

A better way might be to ration care based on survival of the fittest. Under this plan, Special Olympics would take on a whole new meaning. The disabled would compete on the playing field against those with similar impairments, and those that won would get premium, gold-plated services.   The rest, not so much. That’s the way our free market system is supposed to work, isn’t it? 

It’s like the 1% of us who are economic winners with our income skyrocketing each year against the 99% of the rest of us who have been stuck in a trough for the last 20 years. But don’t even think about raising taxes on the rich!

They are so many better ways of raising revenue.

For instance, how about bringing back capital punishment and making it a public event? That would be the ultimate reality show and, at the same time, a killer moneymaker:  we could not only charge the public to attend but make it a pay-for-TV event. While we are at it, why restrict the fun to just capital crimes? Perhaps any felon would do.

And, when you think about it, death by hanging is so boring. Why not pit two death row inmates against each other – no holds barred like the gladiators of old – in a fight to the death.  Unfortunately, we don’t have a coliseum but we do have the Verizon Arena.

At the end of the show, one felon would be dead, no longer a cost to the tax payer, while the other would be pardoned by the governor to a standing ovation before moving on– most likely in the sick society we find ourselves in – to a bright future as either a celebrity or a politician.
XXX (652 words)

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