Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Rules Is Rules

So Keith got kicked off of "Project Runway" for breaking the rules.

According to a phone poll, 11% of the viewers thought he shouldn't have been booted.

People, they're called RULES. He egregiously broke them. What seems to be the problem here? Who are you, you 11%? Can you spot a pathological narcissist when you see one?

You must be all the parents who thought that when I said your kid had a research paper due on Thursday at the beginning of class, I really meant that the paper was due at the end of hockey season, because I couldn't possibly have known that the team would do so well.

You must be the bride and groom who insist on having a 2-year old flower girl when I explicitly state in my materials that I won't work with children under the age of 5.

You must be the driver who zooms past the yield sign on the way to the highway and cuts me off, and gives me the finger when I honk at you. Hey, if a traffic law is inconvenient, it's optional. I understand.

You must be the mother who comes into the store licking ice cream cones with her filthy, chocolate-covered child, swinging in past the sign that says, "No food or drink" while Johnny or Jilly runs through the place leaving fudge on everything. Aren't children so beautifully irrepresible?

You must be the guy standing on the T platform smoking under the sign that says "No Smoking," and tossing his smoldering butt on the platform, because the world is just one big ashtray to you.

Hey, you're special. The rules don't apply to you. Because, you know, this whole world is so fockin' UPTIGHT and REPRESSED, and you're a free spirit. Just like Keith said. "It's a tough competition here, and there's always going to be a scapegoat."
You're all victims. I understand.

Maybe in that alternative universe you all live in, Keith can design your little scapegoat wardrobes. Meanwhile, the rest of us will bid that smirking little prince auf wiedersehn with great relish.


Blogger Chalicechick said...

What rule did he break?


Blogger PeaceBang said...

He had fashion how-to books in his room. Also, he left the production and went off on his own for a few hours and used the internet. All verboten.

Blogger reverendmother said...

Big fat AMEN from me on this one.

Blogger Chalicechick said...

OK, he broke the rules. He gets kicked, fair enough.

But IMHO it's sort of cruel to, in a contest partially testing creativity, have what feels like arbitrary rules against looking for inspiration if you get stuck. (Which is exactly when I would want to do some research if I were on such a show. And I'm sure it's exactly what real fashion designers do when they get stuck.)

On America's Next Top Model, there was a 20 year old girl from Arkansas with a heavy southern accent. Over and over the judges said "You've got to work on that accent" assuming that this kid could just go home and do the job of a dialect coach on her own. Every week, they seemed genuinely shocked that she wasn't making much progress. (Naturally, the girl with the heavy foreign accent was praised as sounding exotic.)

I'm not in Keith's 11 percent, but I would have been in hers, even though the judges kept telling her what to do and weren't getting results.

I think the votes you saw for Keith, at least some of them, might be jury nullification. Not so much America saying "we love Keith the rules don't apply to him" but more like "we realize someone researching something does not make for good television, but if real creative people do it all the time, probably not letting the contestants do it is stupid."

That said, it sounds like Keith made an asshat of himself over it, so I doubt that's a big loss.


Blogger Quotidian Grace said...

What reverendmother said.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

CC, you big brainy free-thinking gal, you just gave me a perfect specimen of the kind of musing that can give a "conservative" like myself the hives. The producers in this situation make the rules. Period. The contestants follow them. Period.
This isn't about whether or not you or I feel the rules are stupid, which is exactly what Keith said ("I always break the rules a little bit, because I think I'm right," quoth he).

It's about respecting that someone else is occasionally in charge (especially on a reality TV show, for heaven's sake -- this isn't government policy or church doctrine where the integrity of the radical freedom of the human soul is at stake), and not feeling entitled to question the rules themselves every single time someone dates impose any.

A game is a game. A competition is a competition. There is no gray area for us to interpret when it comes to rules imposed under these circumstances.

If the 11% voted for Keith because they thought the rule was stupid, that's every bit as narcissistic and dangerous as all the other examples I outlined in my post. It's just another way of saying, "I'm superior than those who make the rules,and therefore they don't apply to me or those I've decided to support."

I am one of the rare UUs who actually believes that there is a right and a wrong far more often than the vast majority of us would agree there is.

Blogger Chalicechick said...

Shrug. I was with you on it being reasonable to kick him, and again, that he was an asshat about it makes it easier to be that way.

I was just saying I could sort of feel for the people who thought the rule was bogus.

IMHO, I don't think I know better than the producers (who made the rules) how to do what they want to do. It's just that we're dealing with multiple objectives here.

The contestants want to:
A. Win the game
B. Get into their chosen field by looking employable and talented on TV.

The producers want to:
C. Get good ratings.

I want to:
D. be entertained, but I am often most entertained when I'm learning something.
E. See people produce the coolest possible results.

I am sure that having rules like "You're not allowed to do research because that looks boring on TV" serves objective C beautifully much the same way keeping the living space full of alcohol does.

But objective C isn't my objective. Letting people research serves every objective BUT C.

I may be optimistic in assuming that's what he was using the net for. But that sounds like the reason to keep books around.

((I am one of the rare UUs who actually believes that there is a right and a wrong far more often than the vast majority of us would agree there is. ))

I do think there is often a "right" and "wrong."

But I don't think violations of reality show rules are a particularly useful place to draw these lines.


Blogger PeaceBang said...

Oh, but I do. This has been mighty instructive, and a great insight into why so many of our decision-making councils go on so long.

The reason no how-to books were allowed is that when you're judging creativity, you want to judge creativity, not research ability.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

And when you're judging knowledge of the craft, you're judging knowledge of the craft, not research ability.

Blogger boomer said...

love ya PB, love the lord, and love all you gots to say...

but as I was waiting for the west coast broadcast of P'runway...I'd wished there was a "spoiler alert" before I'd seen the first phrase when I logged on to read your daily musings...

Blogger PeaceBang said...


Blogger Chalicechick said...

Of course, research is useless if you don’t have those two things already. Even if you let me research, I couldn’t last ten minutes on that show because I don’t know anything about fashion design and my creativity doesn’t extend much to clothes. (Said the girl in flared jeans, a brown sweater set and loafers)

To me, it’s not saying so much about the state of UUism's meetings as it is a fundamental thing about reality shows that has always bugged me. On “The Apprentice,” Trump clearly isn’t looking for an Apprentice. All the time he gets kids just out of school with lots of fire who make mistakes but seem to learn a lot from the process and obviously grow and mature a great deal while they are on the show. Season after season, he lets them stay until right before the final four and then cuts them and hires some thirtysomething who is sort of boring who has already had a bunch of success in business who clerly won't rock the boat and doesn’t have much in the way of new ideas. I’ve been watching this show for several years and I’ve never seen a REAL apprentice come in higher than fifth.

These shows never seem to be looking for the person they say they are looking for. I guess the “doing what a fashion designer would likely do is against the rules in our fashion design contest” seems about on par with the “we’ll tell you we want leaders, but if you step up and your team loses, you’re gone” and “we want creativity, but if your creativity looks funny to us, you’re gone” attitude that other reality shows have that I've seen.

Blogger Oversoul said...

“A game is a game. A competition is a competition. There is no gray area for us to interpret when it comes to rules imposed under these circumstances.”

Yeah, I have to agree. Although I only saw the first episode, Keith was my personal favorite but this is a game, whose measurements for winning must be kept or else the whole thing is moot (OK, maybe I just wanted to use moot today).

Blogger Chalicechick said...

Again, I don't argue with Keith's booting.


Blogger Scott said...

What boomer said. I wish that this hadn't been spoiled way up front. All freshly TiVo'd and set to watch tonight...

Blogger Girl said...

Wow...Project Runway fans AND America's Next Top Model fans.

I think I may want to live here...can I have a puppy?


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