One of my most highly read Celebrity Semiotic articles — “The Family Tragedy of American Chopper” — dealt with a father’s destruction of his sons on a reality television show. One of those misbegotten sons, Paul, Jr., is going back on television with his tormentor.
Yesterday, The Learning Channel announced the quick cancellation of “American Chopper.” The last episode will air tonight at 9pm Eastern. Over the six-year run of the show, I watched almost every episode — purely for the love of seeing Paul, Jr.’s designs come to life in metal — but the one, universal, totem taken away from the program is the horrible reality of an alcoholic father who is envious of his sons and sabotages them at every turn week after week and year after year. The constant threat of physical violence, coupled with emotional and verbal abuse, makes Paul Teutul, Sr. one of the most despicable men in the history of reality television as he not only strangled, but castrated, his most beloved and most talented son, Paul, Jr.