LAST EDITED ON 02-12-10 AT 02:41 PM (EST)
There was a really brief moment when I almost turned on the set, but it wasn't as if those shelves were going to dust themselves.
For me, HvV has a flaw nearly half of the size of RussHell's nigh-infinite ego: these aren't people I love to hate. They're people I hate. Period. And I'm using 'people' about as loosely as can be done without invoking the World's Least Word-Filled Magazine. Barely-sentient bipeds with the self-control of sugar-rushed toddlers, the self-interest of entire political parties (insert your favorite here), and the lack of caring about anything outside themselves of ibid (and ditto). We could go into the love of destroying everything around them and keep the politico comparison going, but it's been known to induce suicide in laboratory rats, much like any exposure to Courtney of more than three seconds duration.
There's a good place to start: Courtney. It's a better one to finish, or at least finish off. With her and Tyson on the same team, I think we finally have the greatest two-participant challenge in series history set to go, and all we need for it to happen is one death. 'Someone just breathed their last in front of me? I called his wallet before I ever got here!', and go! Stephenie and Rupert would be well-advised to do an organ count: gawds only know what they might have lost just by having her hovering near. Admittedly, it might be a little bit amusing to hear 'break her shoulder!' coming from someone who could fracture every bone in her body under the impact of someone giving her a hard look, but it's also too dejecting when you think about all the people who aren't doing that right now. Anything could happen to someone else in front of Courtney and her near-only thought would be on how to best use it for herself, preferably while making it hurt more. She might save a moment for thinking up something nasty to say about it in confessional, but that's about it.
Which at least separates her from Tyson, who's spending all his time arranging for that horrible thing to happen, immediately followed by stepping into confessional and bragging about how his favorite moment was the one where he came up to give the victim life-saving CPR just so he could get close enough to jam the fatal dirt clod in their throat. He's a functional sociopath, but do you really want to find out what that function is from a distance of six inches? Really, he's not a piece of work: he's just a piece, and a piece of what cannot be discussed within board standards. The best thing you can say about Tyson is that he never truly feels ill will towards other people, but that's mainly because in his solipsist opinion, he's never met one. He's just creating all these little dolls in his imagination, and since they're his dolls, no one should object to his breaking a few. In fact, no one can object: that's the beauty of solipsism. Tyson is judge, jury, and keeps working on the day he can add 'executioner' to his resume. Ironically, he's the only one who can read it, but don't worry: he's already hired himself -- all the pain he can inflict per hour, and guess what? The pay is its own benefit, not to mention its very own entitlement!
As long as we're on entitlement, let's go to RussHell for as long as we can stand it, which according to the latest study on those ill-fated laboratory rats may be as much as two seconds before lethal dosage is reached. The game was created just for him. Every prize ever handed out should be taken back from the false winners and handed to him. Mark Burnett was born just to prepare us for the arrival of the Torch Messiah, and there's another sin we can rack onto the ledger: start a ninth book. But RussHell has it wrong. He may think he was born for this show, but there's another one out there, one on which he truly fits, the airtime he would rule forever, and the name of that show? Jersey Shore.
Think about it.
I can spot up to a hundred RussHells on a normal day. On a bad one, the number will be higher. For a horrorfest, I'll wind up in physical contact with one or more, and kneecaps & knuckles just get really sore after a while. The ego traveling under its own power, refusing to believe the universe could ever do anything which wouldn't benefit it, shielded behind a perpetual bubble of denial which can only be popped for up to one Reunion show at a time? There's nothing special about RussHell: MTV even made sure the world saw there was nothing unique about him. The bully out to get revenge on a world which refused to hand him a jackpot on every lottery ticket, not to mention asking him to buy one first? And the rules don't apply to him, except for that pesky one about actually letting the jury cast their own votes? Call him The Institution, and if he keeps failing at his established rate, we've got about three years before he lands in one. Maximum.
Which seems to lead us into maximum security institutions, but don't worry, we're safe -- Benji already escaped. And he did it by using a secret yoga technique which only he has mastered in the whole history of civilization, mostly because he created it and didn't bother to tell anyone. (That it, he didn't tell them how to do it. Every other handcrafted lie is available in his upcoming book, Stopping The Apocalypse One Dragon At A Time. It's being printed to order, and we expect to reach positive numbers any decade now.) This technique lets him walk through walls. Really it does. And he'll show you, except it's this one particular wall in all of creation at a given time which can only come once, and that? Was while you weren't looking. But as a side effect, it makes the security guards throw you out just to get some peace. Typically when people preach this much self-delusion on television, they've either paid for the infomercial time or they're working on being reelected. All welcome Benji, the delegate from the Perpetual State Of Myopia! Everyone loves him, you know. He got one hundred percent of the vote, which was truly the vote, and he couldn't have written his own name down unless he knew he was qualified for the job. Why, just submitting himself for the ballot meant killing six dragons, nineteen elementals, five demigods, and a squirrel that just happened to be in the way at the time. He can produce the squirrel's body as proof of all the rest. (It listened to his confessionals and died of disbelief.)
Toxic individuals... who does that bring us to? OutFrontGirl gave us the perfect description: the STD that cannot be cured. It's a walking virus vector that mostly spreads through hot tubs and television screens: casting directors are known to be 100% susceptible. Call her Parvati, or Pervati, or The Owner Of The World's Most Appropriate Last Name, but just don't say any of it to her face or she'll think you're flirting with her and once you've done that? The rash never completely goes away. She's the winner of Survivor: Atlanta: the Center For Disease Control had nothing which could take her down. But even so, there must be some willing candidates for her sophisticated affections, right? Those affections are warm. Like pee water. Or like the fever which you wish would kill you, generally around three in the morning when you finally manage to close your ears only to open them six eternities later and discover it's three-oh-one in the morning, which interestingly enough is the exact same rate at which time passes when Parvati is on the screen. What a coincidence!
I could deal with them. I did deal with them -- one at a time. All of them in one place, with no real hopes of total mutual annihilation because the bodies would be brought back just to keep the season going and shuffling zombies would be an arguable microstep up?
This isn't a declaration of final retreat: I didn't make this post just to leave at you. It's just saying this: I do get tired. I have limits. I managed to read the ECST. Barely. Two hours of this, eighty percent of which was RussHell confessionals with the rest shots of people waiting in line to use his space?
There's something refreshing about going in unsure of how much pain you're going to suffer. This time, I knew what I was up against -- and I walked away from it.
One-hour dosages, please. The Surgeon General has declared this series hazardous to my health. But it's really great for my apartment. (Next week? Defrost the freezer!)
Randy? Not even worth a decent paragraph. And he knows it.