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Reading Jon felt as though I was reading something Kurt Vonnegut, who is one of my most favorite authors. I really enjoyed reading this story and its criticism on commercialism. The story makes celebrities out of young people who choose what is cool , ” TrendSetters” and TasteMakers” are trading cards. These kids are raised up in praise of their decision making. The people in this society worship commercialism. The only way that these child celebrities are able to break out is love. In this sense it is very similar to the novel “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro–which is about a home for children **SPOILER** who have been cloned for the purpose of harvesting their organs. In the book there is a rumor that there is a way to get out of donating if they can prove they are in love. In this story, Jon/Randy and Caitlyn are in love and their overseer Mr. Slippen has a deep connection to the two of them. Mr.Slippen does not want them to continue down the life path they are on. This insistence makes the reader assume that the baby that died of Meningitis was purposefully ignored.
Jon/Randy is supposed to a be wonder kid in terms being a TasteMaker, he is encouraged to stay put and continue his work. To help him deal with his loss of Caitlyn, he becomes hooked on Aurabon which is a medication that it induces happiness. Sanders makes an interesting criticism on commercialism and children. The young people choose what is cool at the loss of their feeling the way the want to, and the adults get hooked on what the young people deem is cool.
I guess I am a TV snob, I am one of those people mentioned in The Reality Principle who “brag about having seen every episode of “Friday Night Lights” will brag, too, that they have never laid eyes on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” I try my best to stay away from all forms of Reality TV, I have a great appreciation for real actors, writers, directors who work on great pieces of TV. Especially today when the TV show landscape is so rich with characters as compared to the movies. TV is not the lower form of art as compared to movies.. but when reality TV is factored they are on equal footing.
Try as I might, I still can’t totally get away from reality TV. The Real World is my ultimate guilty pleasure, I love watching trying to guess who is going to hate eachother, what the house is going to look like, who is going to be paired up with whom, what type of job they will have ( though they rarely have jobs on the show anymore).
It is impossible to fully escape reality television, and its getting more difficult to figure out if the reality being shown on TV is a reflection of actual reality or the reality is being adapted from these TV shows.
When Laguna Beach first aired it was promoted as the “Real Orange County” as compared to the scripted on The OC, but Laguna Beach has had much more visibility and even spawned spinoffs following the characters past high school, The Hills, The City, etc. Yet, the stars of young stars of The OC have not yet again had major success on TV.
It will always be fun to watch the problems of the rich and beautiful unfold on TV–but which ones will prevail?