Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and There Goes American Culture

The other day, the television was tuned to TLC — The Learning Channel — and there was a godforsaken “Best Of” show about “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” playing and, in the five minutes it took me to recover from what I was watching and actually change the channel, I was dismayed to learn just how far we’ve sunk in our cultural values.  How did Honey Boo Boo become a hit?  The reality show isn’t really even about Honey Boo Boo.  The show is about her obnoxious family, and her grotesque mother, who loves to regale us with farts and burps and detailed reports on other bodily functions.

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A Photo Tour of the Cake Boss Queue at Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken

Buddy Valastro, and his family, run Carlo’s bakery in Hoboken at 95 Washington Street.  Buddy is also the star of the television series — “Cake Boss” — on TLC, and that means Carlo’s Bakery is the hottest tourist spot in New Jersey and here is unequivocal proof:

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The Family Tragedy of American Chopper

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.

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TLC and their Little People Fetish

UPDATE:  March 1, 2010.  TLC did it again!  They added yet another “Little” show to their Fetish Agenda:  Our Little Lives.  Now this is getting out of hand!

TLC — The Learning Channel — is a strange place to watch stories about American lives.  TLC is infatuated with dysfunctional large families like “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” the Disgusting Duggars Family in “18 Kids and Counting” and their now litter of 19 children and, finally, “Table for 12.”  We can rightly dismiss TLC’s infatuation with big families because they are trying to recreate the fading revenue magic of the Jon and Kate misanthropy; but why is TLC fetishising on Little People?  How many Dwarf shows does one network need?  The answer appears to be:  Three.  The first, and most famous TLC Dwarf show, is “Little People Big World” starring the wacky Roloff family.

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