W.Va. should get more (bleep) real
IF you are like me, you are already looking forward to the new year and a fresh start — one where you will spend quality time with friends and family, rolling down hills inside a rubber tire, using the back of a dump truck as a swimming pool and swinging around in the bucket of a loader.
Oh, there I have done it again. I have confused you and me with the cast of the upcoming MTV program "Buckwild."
Sen. Joe Manchin is not confused. He does not like this show, a "reality" program about the lives of some young adults here in Kanawha County.
Previews show them engaging in the activities I have described above, plus fighting, kissing, drinking and using language that requires bleeps.
Manchin wrote a sternly worded letter to MTV. I edited some bleeping bleeps into his statement just to translate it into "Buckwild" talk.
"Instead of (bleep) showcasing the beauty of our people and our state, you preyed on young people, coaxed them into displaying (bleep) shameful behavior — and now you are profiting from it. That is just (bleep) wrong."
Not long after that, the senator got p.r. advice from reality show expert Sharon Osborne — wife of Ozzy, cast member of MTV's "The Osbornes" and current panelist on "The Talk."
During an appearance this past week on "CBS This Morning," Sharon said the senator is going off on the rails of a crazy train.
"He doesn't realize the more he says that the bigger the show will be when it premieres. He should just zip it."
I propose a different strategy.
Change the subject.
That is a (bleep) time-tested political tactic.
Why wouldn't it (bleep) work in this instance?
West Virginia has enough exotic locations or abnormal situations to keep people busy and entertained WAY through network sweeps.
Let's get with the head of programming and propose some other West Virginia-themed programs.
"West Virginia School Board" — Panelists publicly shower a celebrity guest with compliments, have two days of bureaucratic meetings with them and — surprise! — fire the celebrity guest at the end of the second day. Panelist who provides the explanation that makes the least sense is the winner.
"West Virginia School Board 2" — Guests vie to become the next state school board president. Board members serve as panelists. They go into many lengthy closed sessions. Each time this occurs, the screen goes blank. Viewers assume the program is on (bleep) hiatus.
"Bring Home the Pork" — This show would follow cast members as they get elected to public office, become entrenched, and use their expanding influence to bring home money for "special projects." The network should set aside a time block for 30 or 40 years to do this show justice. Prizes include stickers, pens and notebooks featuring the cast member's name.
"Extreme Flowbee Makeover" — Contestants vie to provide the best new style using only a Flowbee, the electrically powered vacuum cleaner attachment made for cutting hair and Sen. Manchin's (real) preferred device.
"Top Biscuit Chef" — Cooks compete against each other with ingredients including biscuits, sausage, bacon, cheese, hashbrowns and apple butter. These items may be displayed on the biscuit or as sides. I volunteer to be the judge.
"Slaw or No Slaw" — It's a show about hot dogs and toppings. I haven't worked out the details.
"Pepperoni Roll King" — This is in the time slot following "Top Biscuit Chef" and "Slaw or No Slaw."
"Big Brother: Mystery Hole Edition" — A cast of diverse housemates has to live for a day in this West Virginia tourist trap where up is down and down is up. Bonus bumper stickers are awarded for using teamwork to walk out the Midland Trail.
West Virginia is wild and wonderful enough without MTV camera crews coaxing cast members into character contortions.
All you have to do is (bleep) live here to realize that.