One of my preoccupations has been the chronically dysfunctional marriages and relationships viewers constantly found in American films and television series. Perhaps it is because it is more titillating for the audience, perhaps it is because that is what normal relationships look like for the folk who work in that industry, but, as I proposed in my review of the film Paranormal Activity some time ago, one cannot help but worry that, over time, viewers increasingly get their clues from the screen rather than from their brains and think that what they see in the cinema theater or their television sets at home is how normal people conduct their relationships with members of the opposite sex.
I was already struck many years ago, while at university, by how rowing couples would regurgitate — without thinking — demeaning one-liners, winding insults, sarcastic remarks, and stumping comebacks lifted directly from a Hollywood production. I satirized this at various points in my novel, where pathological rage, jealousy, paranoia, cynicism, and mean-spirited suspicion lead to strident and very embarrassing verbal and physical confrontations right out in public.
Because that is another phenomenon I have noticed in real life: rowing couples who, like members of a lower species of anthropoid, are unable to control their emotions and vociferously air their dirty laundry in front of perplexed, bemused, and amused pedestrians, air travellers,and restaurant clienteles. Worse still, the advent of the internet and social networking has enabled the aforementioned to give their and others’ dirty laundry a more thorough airing to a global audience on cyberspace. I have come to label these “Bullsh*t Hollywood Relationships.”
When witnessing real-life examples of such relationships, particularly when they appear to come from predominantly White middle-class backgrounds, one cannot help but sympathize with the worst prognostics for American civilization. Admittedly, however, normal, sensible citizens are less likely to post their amorous travails on YouTube, so that platform may only show a self-selecting subset of individuals suffering from various degrees of cognitive atrophy. Yet, the high number of viewings enjoyed by these videos, not to mention the pages and pages of equally enlightened comments, seems to add evidentiary support for Richard Lynn’s thesis in Dysgenics, as well as moral support for his case in the previous tome, Eugenics. The thought of people like these voting in elections is rather disturbing: would you trust the wisdom of their choices? And is it any surprise that politicians are what they are when many of their votes come from such a support base?