Reality TV: Is it Really Reality?

This kind of reality show will never be seen because it is too close to reality.

Reality television started with Real World on MTV. It was first telecast in 1992 and eighteen years later the show is on still on the air with Season 24 starting later this year with the houseguests living in New Orleans.

One thing for sure is that the houseguests are not picked from names in a hat.  Producers want drama and will choose people that are likely to clash during the season.

The producers know it would make for boring television if they chose houseguests who had similar interests and got along well and would sit around talking about the weather all day.

So they choose the most outrageous people they can find for these shows so they can supply the drama that viewers want.

The TLC network has went overboard with reality shows about little people. I like the show Little People in a Big World very much but I am sure the producers go out of their way to provide the most drama possible.

Who wants to tune in a show about a perfectly happy family that never quarrels with each other? Producers realize that and show families like the Kardashians and the Osbournes who are in constant turmoil and those shows provide drama from their everyday lives.

There is a show on MTV now named Jersey Shore which I have never seen but it is reportedly a show about a group of young people living together.

One show made the news when a man hit a girl in the face which may or may not have been shown after it happened since it makes it look like MTV is condoning violence.

The show was so popular that the kids on the show will be paid $10,000 an episode in the upcoming second season and will be moving to Miami.

These kids who were unknowns before the show aired are now making hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Reality television to me reminds me of the quiz show scandals in the past where someone who was popular with the viewers would be fed the answers so the ratings would remain high.

Then there are the mega hits like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars. How do we know who was actually voted off of one of these shows?

Why can’t the viewers know the complete results of this voting?  It would make for very interesting the reading  to know how close the voting was on each elimination show.

The hosts of these shows like to prolong the drama by saying the person leaving today is……and then wait a long time before announcing  who is going home.

We will never know how much of a reality show is actually reality because the producers know to place a stipulation in contracts that anyone in a reality show revealing production secrets could be subject to being removed from the show.


Cracker Jack: 117 Years Later

Cracker Jack is a 117 year old snack that is owned by Frito-Lay today.

Cracker Jack was first introduced by its developer Frederick Rueckheim at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

There was a problem with the treats sticking together in chunks till a process was developed in 1896 that prevented them from sticking together.

Cracker Jack would become even better known when Jack Norworth wrote Take Me Out to the Ballgame in 1908 which includes the line:

Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack, I don’t care if I ever get back.

Norworth would not even see his first baseball game till 32 years later in 1940 even though he wrote the song.

It would be 1912 before prizes would be inserted into the boxes.

Sailor Jack and his dog Bingo first appeared on boxes in 1918.

Cracker Jack was bought by Borden Co. in 1964 after a bidding battle between them and Frito-Lay.  Thirty three years later Borden sold Cracker Jack to Frito-Lay.

I can remember seeing the Shriner’s Circus at Rapides Parish Coliseum and Cracker Jack being sold there.

1966 would see a serious competitor Crunch ‘n Munch come on the scene that was a little similar to Cracker Jack.

The New York Yankees made the mistake of switching from selling Cracker Jack to Crunch ‘n Munch at their games in 2004 but a protest from the fans made them revert back to selling Cracker Jack.

Fiddle Faddle another similar product to Cracker Jack was introduced in 1967 but Cracker Jack is still being sold today 117 years after first being introduced despite increasing competition.

Poppycock is another similar treat but more upscale and expensive since it includes almonds, pecans and cashews in their snacks.

Other similar products to Cracker Jack may be introduced in coming years but kids that grew up on Cracker Jack will always remember the snack with a toy in each box.

Radio Flyer Wagons: Then and Now

Antonio Pasin immigrated from Italy at the age of 16. The family sold a mule to finance his trip to America. He decided in 1927 to build an affordable wagon for kids since he never had one as child. He called it the Radio Flyer because he had an interest in radio and in flying.

He was producing 1,500 toy wagons a day despite the depression. Pasin built a 45 foot statue showing a boy riding a wagon for the 1933 Chicago’s World Fair. The statue drew more interest in the Radio Flyers by selling miniature Radio Flyers for 25 cents under the statue.

The classic Radio Flyer wagon that kids of many generations have enjoyed.

A modern version of the Radio Flyer wagon is shown.

A custom made Radio Flyer wagon built for relaxation.
A low rider version of the Radio Flyer wagon.
A souped up Radio Flyer wagon with room for eight passengers and features a four wheel drive.
A motorized Radio Flyer wagon with padded seat and steering wheel for a wagon that doesn't need to be pushed or pulled..