One day, more intelligent minds than mine will mine the rich depths of trashy TV, I'm talking Spike TV levels of awful here, specifically Spike TV's "1000 Ways to Die," which is on now, for the thesis of TV as a method of social control.
I'm watching this shit. It's on RIGHT NOW. "1000 Ways to Die." Some smug, gravelly-voiced asshole is intoning--again, smugly--all the miserable, urban legend-worthy (and probably a majority of them are actual urban legends) tales of accidental death. Stepping in to a giant dryer. Leaning too far while being some kind of peeping tom. Accidentally electrocuting yourself while on death row. Having the absolute gall to be beautiful and miserable and to die in your sleep. Most of these people, the narrator's coming-attractions-worthy voice assures me, aren't exactly what you'd call model citizens. Take voyeur guy. Overhearing, it turns out he caught his neighbor diddling herself, leaned in for a closer peek, and fell to his death. I dunno. He was in a tree or something. I'm trying not to pay attention.
This is what I get for not having Internet at my house. Still. In March.
There's a subtle undercurrent to these Implausible Tales of Mishap. Don't step out. Don't do something stupid, or perceptibly stupid, because you will die and be mocked in your grave. Don't be an asshole because God will electrocute you while you're watching Oprah. Except for all those assholes who never get electrocuted because they're not on death row they're in Congress. Or they own NewsCorp. Above all, be happy with what you have, because if you're not, there are a thousand ways to die.