I don’t do reality shows. They’re fake.
That being said, Tired of Being Youngest dragged the Norwegian Artist and me to the couch to watch MasterChef, with Gordon Ramsey and his two sidekicks, both of whom look, and act, like bouncers in a casino.
“This man is amazing,” TBY, who is halfway through her culinary program, proclaims. Believe me, darling, he knows it.
Me? I’m thinking, “I don’t want my precious child on this program, ever, in front of this overweeningly arrogant trio of . . . of . . .
unkind, far-too-impressed-with-themselves, tinky-doodles.
This is, after all, a family friendly blog.
Like all reality shows, MasterChef operates on the same principle: take a group of ordinary people, put them in a situation over their head, play upon their insecurities, encourage each of them to treat one another badly, verbally and emotionally abuse them, tantalize them now and then with the remote possibility of your approval, and rip them apart in front of the camera.
The judges reign supreme.
In one scene, Joe Bastianich, one of the tinky-doodles, spits out what’s in his mouth, tosses the dish in the garbage, and announces,
“You’re wasting my time.”
How odd. I’m pretty sure he’s paid well for the time he spends on this show.
Okay, okay, so I don’t have to watch this stuff. There are other ways to bond with Tired of Being Youngest. The problem is, too many people, not just TBY, watch shows like this, and the more of it they watch, the more they internalize what it propounds as being normal — berating people, putting them on the spot, encouraging others to put them down (“Who do you think will be the next person out?”), verbally haranguing them and expecting them to answer, politely, “Yes, Chef; No, Chef.”
It reminds me of a scene I observed in a real courtroom, in which the judge orally assaulted the plaintiffs, who had no choice but to answer, “Yes, Your Honor; No, Your Honor.” Believe me, the term “Your Honor” was definitely misapplied.
Being a judge is a serious responsibility, and while it’s a heady experience to control who gets to wear the apron or who pays an exorbitant fine or who gets their children taken away and where, it’s pretty easy to let that heady experience go to one’s head.
Is God that way?
Mercifully, no. While too often human judges play God, God in reality doesn’t imitate human judges.
It’s popular, within contemporary society, to denigrate God as being unfair because of all the suffering in the world, but if you want to be fair about the whole thing, it’s wise to look at who is actually causing the suffering. Who is lying, stealing, embezzling, conniving, hurting — pretty much for the sake of achieving power and/or money? Not God. He’s All Powerful, and He owns everything anyway.
Years ago, when Eldest Supreme was 7, she wanted to play Monopoly. Fifteen minutes into the game, it became obvious that she was going to go down before me and the Norwegian Artist. In one of those telepathic parenting moments, we came up with a new way of playing the game:
“Let’s see how long we can keep EVERYONE in this game!” we announced. Through loans, gifts, and forgiveness, we kept at it for two hours, and we didn’t flatten our child’s joy. We all won.
So that doesn’t make a good reality show. I get it. The tinky-doodles don’t come out on top, and we don’t all laugh — uncomfortably — at their barbs.
But the people with the power — the parents in this case — chose to use that power for good: to encourage, to teach, to be merciful with someone who was smaller and less experienced than they. We didn’t need to put our child down so that we could build ourselves up.
I am so glad that, when time ends and we stand before the Ultimate Judge, we will not be on MasterChef.
The artwork in this article is by my Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson. Find Steve’s artwork in the following formats at the following links:
- Original Paintings at Steve Henderson Fine Art
- Signed Limited Edition Prints at Steve Henderson Fine Art
- Inspirational Posters at Steve Henderson Fine Art
- Open Edition Licensed Prints at Great Big Canvas
- Open Edition Licensed Prints at Light in the Box
- Posters at Amazon.com, AllPosters.com, Art.com, and Sagebrush Licensed Fine Art
Manufacturers and retailers, license Steve’s art through Art Licensing.
Do you know why I’m so passionate about ordinary people? Because I’m one of them. As a homemaker, I raised four children on the Norwegian Artist’s modest salary, and I know what it feels like to make ends meet. We own our home, our car, our land, and our business, and we did it without living like weird people. Like us, you can Live Happily on Less, making your resources stretch to fit your life and your lifestyle. Available at Amazon.com in both paperback and digital format.