There was a point in my life, ever so briefly, when I actually enjoyed watching ‘talk shows’ like Jerry Springer and Maury. Let’s face it, there’s a little schadenfreude in all of us. Why else would Cops still be on the air?
This morning, though, I saw a promo for Maury‘s ‘Top 10 Most Outrageous Paternity Guests Ever’. Women weeping, falling to the floor; men leaping in triumph or shouting in rage. And vice versa. Sneering, malicious glares, hate-filled posturing and verbal attacks. A woman, finger held inches from a man’s face as she screams, ‘They’re yours, not mine!’
And stuck in the middle, hopefully miles away from the studio, are the children. Kids who don’t know their fathers, or can’t be sure. Kids who aren’t wanted, if the men are any indication. The pride and certainty of these men before the test is only slightly less disheartening than the disappointment – or jubilation – which follows.
The women aren’t much better. Their goal doesn’t seem to be a father for their children, but rather a man to pay the bills.
In the end, all a child learns is that he has a father who didn’t – or doesn’t – want him, or that his father is still out there, somewhere. Because kids don’t have enough uncertainty in their lives.
The men care about their freedom, the women about their bank accounts, and Maury about his ratings. Who’s caring about the kids?
Thank you, yet again, popular media, for teaching us that parenthood is a curse, and children a plague. I’d almost forgotten.