This blog post begins with a confession: I love reality television, like really love it —in fact, I might be addicted. As is often the case with graduate students, when I like something, it is for the selfish reason that it reminds me of my project. That’s right! Reality television makes me think about my research on contemporary liberal Protestants. Specifically, it reminds me of the ways that Evangelical Protestant conversion rhetorics are mirrored in non-evangelical environments.
I am looking forward to Friday night.
Perhaps I should backtrack; I own a television. That’s right – a television. What’s worse, I have actually been known to watch it at times. Worse still, I have been known to enjoy it. What might be a series of casual admissions for most becomes a loaded one in the eyes of certain academics. I’m a shallow populist. Not only do I not work all the time (which, it would seem, is how often I should be working) but I fritter away my time with mindless drivel. And make no mistake – much of it is mindless drivel. There will be no argument that television content is the best it has ever been here. If I hear of one more show about doctors/nurses/various other forms of hospital staff, or if I see any more permutations of the letter ‘C’, ‘S’ and ‘I’ in a television show title, I will run my eyes through a meat grinder.