Thursday, August 10, 2006

It ain't me, babe

After seeing a news story about Travis Barker and Shanna Moakler splitting up, and reflecting on having seen stories on Best Week Ever about other celebrity couples who broke up after having had reality shows document the halcyon days of their love (you know who I'm talking about--or read about it here and here), it seems easy to make some glib joke about how reality shows have replaced tattooing your partner's name on your body as the best predictor of the relationship not surviving. Come on: That's not particularly clever. Even I can't pretend it is.

There's no point in asking when celebrities will learn. They won't. They're celebrities, and clearly they didn't get to be that way by exercising good judgment. No one in the media gives a crap about people who do sensible things, so allowing a camera crew to follow your love life, as imprudent as they may be for the love life, is merely a logical path to maintaining your celebrity.

It would be quaint to claim I find solace in knowing that, by virtue of being completely off-the-grid (so to speak), I am of no interest to the producers of reality shows, and by inference, my romantic relationship is on solid ground. But let's not forget: Plenty of couples break up without TV to blame, so I can't even feel good about being a nobody as an indicator of success in love. (I take my girlfriend continuing to love me as an indicator of that, since I don't have the speculation of the gossip mags to tell me how things are going with us.)

I will claim some tiny amount of relief in the knowledge that I didn't watch the reality shows in question (not because I'm too good for that nonsense, but because I just didn't find them to be all that interesting when I checked out a few minutes of each--that probably explains why I'm not the sort the producers seek). Thus, I did not contribute to death of these marriages by supporting the shows that did them in. My hands (and my remote) are clean. (Watching "Best Week Ever" lampoon these shows has no connection. Just so we're clear.)

Just because I won't make the obvious joke about it doesn't mean the shows aren't responsible. One is unfortunate. Two is coincidence. But with three celebrity couples who were on reality shows getting divorced, we have scientific proof.

As with any rule, there is an exception: Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are still together, probably because their show, to the best I can tell (having not really watched it), was never about them being all lovey-dovey. (Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed, are you taking notes?)

Don't tout your love on TV, whether you're a celebrity or just a gullible civilian who might end up on such a show. If you value it at all, just say... nothing to anyone with a camera.

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