Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Why Are Shows on Cooking and Design So Popular?
The answer is simple. Existence in the United States is bereft of what one would call "the finer things in life." Many people can't afford to eat anywhere other than the horrible McDonald's or Taco Bell and buy their clothes anywhere other than Walmart. If you are lucky enough to belong to the dwindling middle class, then maybe you can afford to visit The Olive Garden every other week and wear the horrible concoctions sold at Gap. Buying exclusively fresh produce and meats is likely to bankrupt pretty much any family with a regular income.
What's curious, though, is that this is not entirely a class thing. Throughout my Ivy League experiences, I met many very wealthy people. And still, they mostly ate junk and wore rubbish. Granted, their junk and rubbish were expensive but the fact that they paid a lot for it changed nothing.
At a first glance, this explanation seems to make sense. Cooking from scratch, assembling outfits. Who's got the time for all that stuff? But if yout think about it, isn't there something really disturbing about not having time for such things? Almost since the day they are born, people in this country are told that they have to be productive at all costs all the time. Engaging in things that are not directly related to productivity is seen as frivolous and dispensable. People have neither time nor energy to savor and enjoy the finer things in life. Having time to themselves makes them feel so guilty that they hang out at work long after it's perfectly OK to go home, invent useless activities at work, sign up for endless duties that leave them exhausted at the end of the day.
As a result, they are left with jeans, hamburgers, television, and very little less. Besides work, work, work, of course.