Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Big Bang Theory

How many of my readers watch The Big Bang Theory?  I do.  I love the show and even though I believe in the creation from Genesis, the wit and banter on this little comedy keep me in stitches.  But, something I recently noticed was the tag card at the end of the show.  It's white and it only flashes on the screen for a brief moment.  If you have your show on DVR or can pause live television, you've seen it.  It's what Chuck Lorre (the producer of this show and a few others) calls a vanity card.  The other night's card caught my attention and I just had to share it:


I have long believed that we as human beings are genetically inclined to elevate and worship those of us we deem to be very beautiful or very talented. We do this because we are somehow comforted by our adoration. It makes us feel good. As children we sleep beneath the images of movie, TV, music and sports stars and dream about the mystery and grandeur of their lives. As adults, the posters come off the wall, only to be replaced by a steady, noxious stream of tabloid culture. But perhaps most enjoyable of all is watching the fall from grace. Nothing beats a good ol' public crucifixion. Especially when it's self-inflicted. My theory for why this is considered entertainment is, again, a genetic one. DNA, even if it's mediocre, wants to ensure its own survival. The existence of superior DNA is viewed as a threat. When beautiful and talented people screw up, we can't help but feel that this somehow improves the chances for our mediocre descendants to eat meat. In other words, evolution my ass. 

I don't know if I could have said that better myself.  We could all banter the merits of whether or not this is actually true, do we really take pleasure is other people's downfall?  But, we all know that sometimes, we do.  It's wrong and it's mean and it happens.  The Germans have a word for this:  schadenfreude - enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others.  Chuck could have just said this word and summed it all up, but then again, there is something eloquent about his final line, "we can't help but feel that this somehow improves the chances for our mediocre descendants to eat meat.  In other words, evolution my ass."

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