Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rock of Love Bus: *shudder*: Any Teachable Moments?

My daughter and I are half way through our dvr'd recording of the first episode of the third episode of Rock of Love: entitled, Rock of Love Bus (cause its set on a bus, actually more than one bus). I have blogged before about my discussions of the show with my students--since it was the most watched cable show at the time. We learned a lot from our discussions. Really.

This season its tough to watch. My daughter and I had to take a break without getting much meaning or humor from it. Our only observation so far is that of the 20 selected contestants we are unable to identify one that does not have breast implants. Which is interesting since the previous two seasons "winners" both were the only women without them. They have been labeled by the press as the most "sensible". Don't ask me.....maybe my students will be able to sort it out when they return.

In the meantime we can go for the easy Teachable Moment...its an example for a discussion of cultural relativism? (she said lamely). Compare it to the Maya as discussed in this month's Archaeology magazine:

Beauty was a way to display social, if not moral, value among the Maya. The wealth they invested and pain they endured to create bodies that reflected their social beliefs make our modern-day obsession with beauty seem less excessive.

Sorry, no. Gotta argue that having seen half of the first episode, we could give the Maya a run for their money. Although, I must agree it is definitely displaying "social, if not moral, value.". Okay, okay. I'll lose the judgement and get back to careful analysis....as soon as I recover.
Oh, I forgot to mention: My daughter and I are working on the theory that this particular selection of contestants may have shifted the balance of power in the series. It would appear that Bret is now the biggest 'ho of the bunch. Roll on.


larry c wilson said...

While I realize that ugly, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, that woman is scary.

beer234 said...

There is value to shows like Rock Of Love Bus it should show young boys and girls how NOT to act. Most of those girls provided great examples of how you don't want to be around people and the public and especially those you want to impress. There is as much to be learned in how NOT to act as how to act.

ryan a said...

"Sorry, no. Gotta argue that having seen half of the first episode, we could give the Maya a run for their money."

Agreed. Sometimes I wonder what the limits of body modification (plastic surgery, etc) will be, considering the ever evolving technological possibilities.

Scary, in some ways, to think about.

What's also interesting are the social (political, economic) motives behind the decision to change one's body via surgery.

Pamthropologist said...

Welcome to the train wreck discussion.

Yes, the producers have chosen "scary" and given up any illusion (and it was always an illusion) of adhering to their own myth.

Yes, by breaking the rules or watching the enactment of the breaking of the rules, we do learn what the rules are. Almost all reality television turns out to be a morality play writ large with us as the judge. That is why it is such a fertile ground for student discussion, as Ryan says.

Thinking of the humanity(ie, what drives their decisions) behind the individual participants is very, very sad.

It is more comfortable to focus on the social dynamic. After two seasons of portraying Bret as a sensitive, caring soul searching for the "right one", I am really interested in how this one is going to turn out and what the potential judgements will be about not only "femaleness" but also "maleness".