“Somebody once said I had a face for radio and a voice for newspapers.” Words and a humorous sentiment from the recently departed, dearly loved, I say “graduated”, Jerry Springer. An awesomely brilliant American broadcaster, journalist, actor, producer, lawyer, and politician. “He was noted as a pioneer in the emergence of ‘trash TV’; his eponymous show was a “commercial smash and certifiable cultural phenomenon” in the 1990s.” Shout-out and major props to Wikipedia, the over-the-top 90’s, bad girls, bad boys, bad clubs, late nights, fast food, loud tunes, and sweet dreams.
This story hails from the era of college days, hair spray, grunge, diabetes, obnoxious fumes, and the dad days of summers. Running around between school and work shifts, dashing here and there, everywhere; I would drive home to grab either a quick snack, books, or my uniform, whatever was vital and necessary for that millisecond (being dramatic and facetious). Had counted down to the tee, every minute to produce sustenance for my father and me. Just enough time to munch lunch and chat about everything before bolting out the door once more. The backdrop at times, I’m embarrassed to say, The Jerry Springer Show!
Actually, I would check-up on my dear pappy who had suffered a stroke. It was a good mid-way before my mom would get home and fix him dinner. We were a “wholesome”, good team and referred to ourselves as the three amigos, better than the stooges! However, I still “feel” ever the stooge! That’s for another day of writing about sewing projects, business law, University economics, endless researching of the third rock from the sun, karaoke, Folsom, country music and fashion, chow-chows, and razzmatazz. There’s more and for everything else, a master card at my expense. I’m still paying the APR!
“Jerry Springer debuted on September 30, 1991. It started as a politically oriented talk show, a longer version of Springer’s commentaries. Guests on the show included Oliver North and Jesse Jackson, and topics included homelessness and gun politics.” All relevant issues, “we’ll” continue to ignore, even still …
“In early 1994, Springer and his new producer, Richard Dominick, revamped the show’s format in order to garner higher ratings. The show became more successful as it became targeted toward tabloid-ish sensationalism. Guests were everyday people confronted on a television stage by a spouse or family member’s adultery, homosexuality, transsexuality, prostitution, hate group membership, or other controversial situations. These confrontations were often promoted by scripted shouting or violence on stage. The show received substantial ratings and much attention (mega attention). By 1998, it was beating The Oprah Winfrey Show in many cities, and was reaching more than 6.7 million viewers.” (Source Wikipedia)
Mostly we laughed at the hilarity of it all, of course, at someone else’s expense. Dad always had a solution for any and every “topic”, and I would say, many times, contrastingly different than mine. This made for lively debates, heated discussions, heartfelt notions, and stomach pains from laughing.
Springing back to this subject; Jerry Springer has to be considered one of the founding “O.G.’s” for reality tv, a sure-fire inspiration. No matter, we waited for the final thought. The cherry on-top the cake. The perfect bow to make a wrap. The poetic message at the end. I was always conflicted about the impact trash television would have. The boundless creation of attention starved people. The demeaning of “self” and family, not to mention, further separation of the sexes. The disintegration of integrity, commitment, loyalty, fairness, and compassion, yet I digress. The entire reason for this next portion of this tale regards “reality” media and “what’s” on the horizon. We must make a lunch or picnic and discuss what’s shooting down the pipeline as we “speak”. Are we going to lose grasp of “reality”?
“After his death, The Guardian said that Springer “changed US television for better and worse”. Despite his controversial career, he had a large fanbase from millennials, as his show gained popularity throughout their childhoods, leading the Los Angeles Times to dub him the “millennials’ babysitter”.
All these moons later, over the hills, and through the ether “things” appear different. Like three times, apparently in your rear-view mirror/side window. Today, it’s about GPT’s and who is doing what, … to take over the world as we “think” we “know” it.
“What is GPT? Generative Pre-trained Transformers, commonly known as GPT, are a family of neural network models that uses the transformer architecture and is a key advancement in artificial intelligence (AI) powering generative AI applications such as ChatGPT. GPT models give applications the ability to create human-like text and content (images, music, and more), and answer questions in a conversational manner. Organizations across industries are using GPT models and generative AI for Q&A bots, text summarization, content generation, and search.”
A program that can essentially do your “homework” for you. It can write stories, business plans, “papers”, memos, and “hold” a conversation. Probably better than I can. I truly hope that last statements, not true!
Jerry Springer flung open the doors and “blew the roof off”, psychology, television, human behavior, “societies” “standards” and lack thereof, injustices, and “all things considered” “entertainment”. Eventually a light bearer in dark and at times twisted history. Turns out, I am my father’s daughter and have the DNA test results to prove it.
The quest continues. Genetics are strong with the “force”, go and check out your ancestry. What a ride-a-long awaiting. I appreciate you taking this back trail down memory lane with me. I must say farewell but would like to leave with a perfect quote; “Take care of yourselves, and each other.”
My final note; “Stay on the brighter side of life … for this post, anyways; “reality” as we know it is based in perception and good choices really help. As one reality morphs into another (i.e., social media and sooner-to-be artificial intelligence) we all must try and remember our roots lie on the physical ground. Our ambitions seem limitless, and efforts are sky bound, the universe at our fingertips. Be kinder to yourselves and others. Always.