Humiliation, Live!

While not understanding the TV in Europe for the most part and better timeframe of three weeks, one thing became very apparent, we get off on humilation in the US.
I think this is why so much British TV is so funny. For the bulk of it, people tend to be making fun of themselves in a joke instead of picking on others. That off the cuff self mockery is more endearing than picking on someone because they have trouble walking or a speech impediment.
What really made this stick out more than anything was sometimes clicking on MTV. While not indicative of all US television, they do seem to show what the young folks here consider acceptable on TV and what will be cosidered mainstream in a few years. Shows like Dismissed, RoomRaiders, Pimp My Ride, and just about everything really go a long way to make people feel bad. It was tough to watch them really which is fine, since I don’t have cable and usually steer clear of them during my 20 minute TV stint at the gym.
Why is this the case with American television? One thing comes to mind and that is consumerism. If you feel good about yourself, you don’t buy as much. I personally know this to be the case and most of my friends admit it as well. If you’re feeling down, what do you do? Go shopping? Sure, why not. Maybe next time you should build a bird house.
On that note, I don’t know how this particular chicken and egg scenario came about. That is to say, I don’t know which came first of course. But, one thing is true in that they seem to co-exist nicely with each other while we all form a very depressed and susceptible consumer mass willing to swallow up anything.