Monday, February 26, 2007

Keepin' it Real

While Buddhists, and maybe even those who subscribe to a flavor of Buddhism sans anything inconvenient about Buddhism probably give little credence to the standard of keepin’ it real (real, of course, implying the existence of reality), the paradigm is spreading. And why shouldn’t it: being real is probably the easiest principle in the history of principles.

Keepin’ it real has only one corollary: don’t be fake. One may be many things, except fake. A casual perusal of the prime time lineup, especially in the age of reality television, establishes the dominance of keepin’ it real. Titles such as Laguna Beach, The Real World (ahead of its time with “stop being polite, and start being real.” Mutually exclusive. Who knew?), Makin’ tha Band(s), Flavor of Love, and probably even Top Chef almost propel the principle to its absurd conclusion.

Take Makin’ tha Band. In the second season, while Puffy was achieving the impossible, that is, establishing a rap group with less talent than Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, an interesting situation arose. After Da Band rocked a huge crowd of no less than 27 teeny boppers in a mall, one of the rappers made a gawdy public display while donating $100 to charity. The other rappers refused to follow suit, confiding to viewers in their separate interviews that because his motives were fake, they had no responsibility to donate.

But that’s seasons old. While keepin’ it real has long allowed one to avoid social obligations, it is in overcoming social mores that the principle finds its effectiveness. Take, every other episode of Laguna Beach and The Real World, and every single episode of Flavor of Love and its offspring, I Love New York. The typical scenario usually boils down to this:


“Ohmygod, Jason slept with Stephen!”


“No I didn't.”


“Yeah. I’m real.”


“I can’t believe Stephen slept with Jason. I mean, I’m not, like, homophobic or anything, but that’s just gross. And Stephen’s fake.”


“I’m glad I’m not fake. See the hat? Real.”

Lou Gossett, Jr.

"I hope a tsunami destroys the west coast."

This may seem a bit extreme, but outside of the cameo by Lou Gossett this is quoted verbatim. Even without Lou’s wisdom, given today’s norms this scenario is nothing new. So, one may wonder after being inundated with all this wisdom: Gary, what’s the absurd conclusion?

Since nearly a year later society’s last moral still appears to hold water, let’s leave it to the following analogy:

To Catch a Predator Part 96

Chris Hansen: "You came here to have sex with a 13 year old boy."

Pedophile: "No I didn't."

Chris Hansen: "We have detailed internet transcripts."

Pedophile: "Well you know what, Chris? At least I'm not fake."

Chris Hansen: ... (speechless)