Talking About TV: Alone is a Symbol of Our Dystopian Future
posted 18 Aug 2019 by Krister Axel
Mother Nature is nothing if she isn't rugged.

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So I don't want to be too terribly dark about this whole thing, but it is true that there is a universal constant to the way we are willing to suffer for the people that we love. As I was watching the latest episode of this last of the few shows that I still watch (Alone) - I believe it was Donny Dust I am discussing - it's the same issue that almost all of the contestants come up against: There are doctors telling them that they have lost too much weight, and they just don't care. They get so laser-focused on this money that they plan on winning for their family, they are perfectly willing to go to the brink of mortality. And that is terrifying.

There was a story just a few weeks ago in the news of a young man who was rationing his own insulin in order to save up for a honeymoon with his fiancee that never came. That is a classic tragedy of love, hubris, and heroism gone wrong. But it only happens because the fucking drug costs $400 a month. The only reason this stuff even works is because the world is full of people who will never have a real shot at making any amount of significant money - or at least, that's how they feel. But the idea of having access to the same kind of money is really still insignificant in the eyes of the super wealthy. That's the dystopia. On the one side, we have a 1% that over the last three decades has enriched themselves to the tune of 21 trillion dollars. In that same amount of time, the bottom 50% lost over half a trillion. A few hundred thousand dollars could radically improve the quality of life for an entire family, forever. Or, it could buy you a Lamborghini to gift your eighteen-year-old high-school graduate. Guess which happens more often. It's a ridiculous situation, and it can't stand for long.

So the end result, after you throw in the scourge of reality television, which I enjoy immensely, I might add, as well as what is an increasingly difficult job market and distressed economy, is a situation where 10 individuals were happy to ship themselves up to the Arctic, in the freezing cold, for more than two months without their families, because the prize is a life-changing sum of money that they have no other way of having access to. I love watching the show, but after a certain point it feels sad. But maybe that's the point - Mother Nature is nothing if she isn't rugged.

Now I just want them all to come home.

About the Author


Krister Bjornson Axel

Ogdensburg, New York

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.

Recent Awards: 2020 ND (Photo) Honorable Mention, 2020 Accenti Writing Contest Finalist