Thursday, July 16, 2009
But a short one. I've watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition more than a few times, and am as touched by the stories of bad luck, hard times and loss as anybody. But I've always hated the promotional and consumerist aspect of the show, the building of houses that are larger and packed with more goodies than the families who win them could possibly need or use, houses that are more expensive to maintain than some of the families who win them can even afford. I understand that the show is commercial in nature (and is also one giant commercial for the companies whose products are stuffed into the homes) but I've always been struck by the fact that for the cost of the one home they build each show, they could certainly build three or four smaller homes for people who are no less deserving. I think the show is unfortunately symbolic of the American attitude in general; our reliance upon some measure of luck and/or providence to bless a handful of people far beyond what they need as an antidote to poverty, inequality, and misfortune.