Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Amazing Race

Last night I watched the end of the last episode of the Amazing Race. I'd seen parts of a couple of episodes from various seasons, never really getting into the show. It was kind of exciting to watch the last few teams race to the finish line, I guess. But more than that, what kept me watching for about 45 minutes last night (yes, I watched for a while...I never said I was proud of myself) was not too unlike turning and looking at a car wreck on the side of the road as you drive past. All I can say is that I think this show sheds some light on "why they hate us". I'm not saying "they" hate us because of this show, or even because of shows like it. What I am saying is that this show, or more specifically the actions of the participants, is a symptom of at least one of the reasons why "they hate us."

The show, for you blessed souls you have never stooped to watch it (indeed, you are a better person than I) is one big race around the world for the teams of two. Each team must collect clues, which tells them where in the world they must go to get the next clue or challenge. Ultimately, they race around the world, with teams being eliminated at various points for being the last to arrive at specific destinations. The winning team gets 1 million dollars.

Heres the problem: The show has released Americans onto the world, who are doing anything to get to their next destination as fast as they can. This means that teams are rude, insulting, demeaning, etc. to people all over the world, berating the likes of cab drivers for not going fast enough. Taking cabs from one end of a city to the other and back again and not having enough money to pay the fare (then begging the driver to let it slide - essentially trying to cheat the driver out of his/her due money so the contestants can get their 1 million dollars!). Disrespecting the people who work at ticket counters at airports the world over for not holding a plane an extra 15 minutes so the can gain an advantage over the other teams, etc., etc. So essentially what we have are Americans running all over the world, being obnoxious and completely self absorbed with their desire to win 1 million dollars, completely ignoring the fact that many of the people they are counting on to help them will probably never see anywhere close to a million bucks their whole life, and all the while they are being rude and insulting to these people. One team last night, nearing the finish line, didn't have enough money to cover their cab fare at the end of the race. To their credit (a little anyway), the team didn't run the last bit of the race to the finish line until they had panhandled enough cash to pay the driver. But, while they were doing this, the driver was left in limbo, having driven this couple all over the city and now he was sitting wondering if he would get his due payment. Imagine how he was feeling, after driving these people all over and then having them say, "i'm sorry, we don't have enough money to cover the fare." But the did manage to beg enough in the end to cover the fare. Of course, this meant begging $10's and $20's off other people (again people who will most likely never see anywhere close to a million bucks). Egocentrism at it's worst. Taking money from others in order to win money for yourself.

And that is the mindset that, I think, leads "them" to hate us. We are completely self-absorbed. We trample on those who allow us to live our self-absorbed life-style without a thought. Our interests are more important than being decent and respectful to others.



Blogger liam said...

I completely agree. it is amazing the egocentric view our country takes. we are the only country in the world that regularly remind sthe world that we are "the greatest nation on earth". in the word of lewis black
"this has to be annoying. I know this because if you had a guy at work who everyday came into work and yelled 'I'm the greatest f**ker here' he'd be dead in a week."

2:15 PM, May 11, 2005  
Blogger metafiz said...

sweet. lewis black is awesome.

2:44 PM, May 11, 2005  
Blogger 'neice said...

In defense of the winners...had you watched the show fropm the beginning you would have known that was a total fluke for them to be like that. Had they not been last in another leg they would have had $$...but because they were last in a non-elimination round and all their $$ was taken and they had to beg the rest of the trip.

But, that being said, I have said time and time again this show proves why others hate our country! Not that all teams are like that...but there are always a few teams where you sit there and think, "...and people question WHY the rest o the world hates us? These people are why!"

12:21 AM, May 13, 2005  
Blogger metafiz said...


yeah, i gathered that they had their money taken as part of the show for being in last. And the competitive part of me applauds them for overcoming it...BUT, the fact still remains that the show was set up to have contestants USE the kindness of strangers and other people's money to win $1 million for themselves. And that's the problem.

10:45 AM, May 13, 2005  
Blogger 'neice said...

Ah...understand a little better now. This was the second time this had happened to them. The first time was fairly early on and other tams gave them xtra $$ and clothes...but it happened to other teams.

I also really like these two (they worked for Enron and World Com...'doh!) and am glad they are using the $$ to pay for either IVF or adoption.

2:03 PM, May 13, 2005  

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