Friday, February 11, 2005

Reality TV Star Not a Self-Centered Jerk

It's hard to turn on a TV these days without having your eyeballs assaulted with Reality TV. By the second episode of Survivor, many people felt that Reality TV was a craze that had outlasted its welcome. Sadly though, the TV executives who choose the program schedule were of a different mind. Apparently some people (or a few dozen million) out there enjoy this garbage. But, much like viewers' unquenchable thirst for game shows in the 1950's, interest in Reality TV will eventually fade from its current "rabid sea lion" proportions, but it will likely never disappear. For now, the American television viewing public must endure a seemingly endless onslaught of mind-numbing "reality" programs.

Most of these programs, by their very design, bring out the absolute worst in the "contestants" who are lured into participating. Scheming, back-stabbing, gossiping, and outright emotional assault are all common tactics among Reality TV contestants. In a sad way, the ill-natured egofest we are treated to through Reality TV really is a slice of reality: the reality that most people seem to be interested only in themselves, and can hardly care less about those around them.

Given the above general description of Reality TV, it has been shockingly revealed that one contestant of a current program, The Apprentice, is in fact not a self-centered, egocentric jerk. We sat down at an undisclosed time in the past for an email interview with one Mr. Alex Thomason, expecting the worst, and were so surprised with the result that we nearly soiled our britches.

Alex ThomasonHaving had some second-hand interactions with Mr. Thomason in the past, and given this reporter's view of Reality TV, it was assumed that Alex would be yet another self-centered jerk. On the contrary, Alex is selflessly involved with his undergraduate alma mater, SPU, "because I'm convinced that everyone else had a good time but me, so it was actually a great school." This in spite of the fact that he admittedly "hated" his time spent there. In addition, he stated that if given the chance to defend his country, he would "do it in a heart beat."

Not only did Alex surprise us with his selflessness, he also failed to act on numerous opportunities to berate others in a recent message-board riot incited against him on a local political blog, Sound Politics. Instead, he handled the situation with startling grace and poise.

The more we spoke with Alex, the less he seemed like a Reality TV contestant. In fact, through the course of our interview, he admitted that he does not consider himself to be "a reality show guy." We were reluctantly forced to agree. It is always disappointing when ones stereotypes are shattered, and Mr. Thomason shattered our perception of Reality TV contestants (as well as himself personally) like a curbside car window in downtown Vancouver, BC.

Good luck to you, Alex. May you be the exception to the rule that "nice guys finish last."

Categories: Local, Culture, Serious


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