Check out The Snob on NPR's Tell Me More with Michel Martin tomorrow. I'll be on the show chit-chatting about the news of the day in the Beauty Shop segment. But I'll be covering a lot of ground overall this summer as I've temporarily returned to St. Louis to spend some time with the family (my sister is having a baby!) ... and to get some work done. I'm launching a new site, take on a new, larger role with another site (to be announced later this week) and beginning a new book project about African Americans and class. Never mind the bevy of existing projects still floating around.
Right now I'm working a new post for Clutch Magazine about adult bullying this week in the wake of so many reality shows wrapping this month. I've had to deal with my fair share of childhood bullying and, later, bullying from wack job white supremacists in Southern Illinois when I was editor-in-chief of my college newspaper, then I got to expend tons of energy trying to prevent cyberbullying on this very site (and every blog I've ever made) because some folks on the Internet just have nothing better to do. But I mostly think all this reality show bullying is what happens when something fake becomes real, but then is, in turn, still rather fake.
It's easy to get lost in your own hype when the character your try to project melds with the fake world you're asked to live in for the reality show. While I enjoyed Victoria Rowell playing her character of Drucilla on The Young and the Restless, I never thought Rowell WAS Drucilla. But on many reality shows, that's what happens. The people on there fall into types and roles, sometimes due to editing, sometimes due to their own personas and the pressure to create some kind of storyline for themselves. And then, it all unfolds like one of those psychological experiments about how if you have people play out roles of prison guards and prisoners, even if they know its not real initially, they will turn into the characters they were asked to play. It's really fascinating. Kind of like the book "The Wave" that I read as a child in school that explained how easy it is for people to get swept up into things and take on roles -- hence explaining how the Nazis took over Germany.
Not that VH-1's Basketball Wives are Nazis. It's more like an illegally pledging sorority undergrad chapter on a college campus with weak graduate chapter oversight who have begun to believe getting punched in the mouth build character in your pledges. Instead of assault charges.