Monday, December 15, 2008

Oxymoron of the Day

And the Oxymoron of the Day is: Reality Television.

While we all could think of hundreds of examples, no doubt, I learned of an outstanding example yesterday. In a blog entry last January, I mourned the passing of my friend Phyllis. Her story in a nutshell: she and her husband Darrell created and raised a large family together, 24 children, some biological, some adopted. Most of the adopted children were considered special needs because of physical or emotional disabilities. In 1995 tragedy struck, when Darrell died unexpectedly of a heart attack. Phyllis, instantly a single parent, did an amazing job of rearing her children. But several years ago, she developed pronounced weakness in her arms and legs and was eventually diagnosed with ALS. She passed away last January. One of the grown children returned to the family home to care for the disabled and minor children who remained at home.

Yesterday I ran into a member of Phyllis’ church, who told me that the church had applied to the “reality” show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in the family’s behalf. You see, the family lives in a 1970s vintage home, built on 3 levels, which makes it very difficult when they’re caring for 2 young adults with severe physical disabilities in wheelchairs. From this woman’s report, Extreme Makeover gave serious consideration to the application, but in the end, rejected the project. And why was it rejected? Because the family's story didn’t have a “happy ending” and was too “depressing.”

So much for “reality” television…