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My love for The Bachelor is kinda like my taste in men: I love trash. Both these preferences could be described as atrocities that you can only bear witness to in abject horror with one eye covered by a pillow; both solicit the obvious question, “what’s the fucking point?” I realise that The Bachelor epitomises everything I hate, by actively pitting women against each other, just as I realise that sleeping with someone on account of their man-bun alone is the worst possible vetting system. Yet, here I am, with a weakness for pretentious hipsters, avidly watching a Kronk look alike stumble his way through dating 19 of New Zealand’s finest.
A gaggle of women getting cucked one by one until finally one of them is Stockholm Syndromed into getting engaged? Hell yeah. Or, in the case of The Bachelor NZ, until the inevitably sweet but simple Bachelor mumbles “aw yeah, you’re ok,” while making limited eye contact. The cucking though, naturally, is the best part. The Bachelor actively creates its own reality among the women. It’s seemingly Black Mirror-esque: isolating a group of women in a house and severely restricting the information that they receive from the outside world for weeks at a time. These women are manipulated to a greater or lesser extent, culminating in over the top reactions (that are good for attracting viewers, that is). “I’m not this needy bitch in real life,” sobbed one of the ostentatiously needy girls in the teaser for episode three of The Bachelor NZ; and you know what? I wholeheartedly believe her. They’re living in an environment with an ambiguous sense of reality, only receiving information from Casanova himself and the morally dubious producers. It’s manipulation in the extreme. But you know why I’m sweet as with watching 19 women get manipulated for ratings? They fucking signed up for it.
Let’s Get Philosophical Briefly But Keep In Mind I Know Nothing and Life Is Meaningless: not only does the environment encourage this group of women to question their own reality, but it also encourages viewers to question it as well. Not to wank on along a post-modernist tangent, but “reality” shows like The Bachelor manipulate reality to capitalise on the viewers’ assumption that reality is knowable. We watch because we are mesmerised (see: Nothing is Real! Life Is Meaningless!): what is real, and what are you being manipulated to think is real? The performativity (h/t Judith Butler) inherent in these shows simultaneously creates an alternate reality and denies the existence of said reality; the convincing delivery of mistruths, and the subsequent acceptance of these, somewhat serves to consummate The Bachelor’s reality as the reality.
What do The Bachelor, WWE, and Donald Trump have in common? They all playing u, bruh. I wake up in the morning and check the news with the same horrified fascination with which I watch The Bachelor: Trump is manipulating the American public similarly to how The Bachelor manipulates its viewers. By lying or misrepresenting something with so much conviction, oblivious or indifferent to the fact that he would inevitably be confronted with accuracies, Trump is somewhat consummating his word as fact. “Fake News” sounds like a term my sociopathic ex might use to justify his numerous relationships with other partners; “Alternative Facts” is a term being used to normalise the fact that Trump is systematically creating his own reality in which his word goes unquestioned. (Next Time: 10 Reasons Donald Trump And My Ex Should Grab A Beer).
I don’t really know what I’m trying to say here, Life’s A Stage or something, Fuck Donald Trump. Give us The Bachelorette NZ already. If anyone sees me eyefucking a guy with a man-bun, spray me with cold water or something.
Love you, xoxo