299: #TheBriefcase: Is CBS’s ‘The Briefcase’ ‘altruism porn’?

the briefcase

Below is the text to the attached podcast

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Maybe you’ve seen the new reality show called: ‘The Briefcase’. The show begins by presenting 2 different families with a briefcase containing a large sum of money and a potentially life-altering decision: they can keep all of the money for themselves, or give all or part of it to another family in a similar situation as they are. So here‘s this television series that is provoking quite a bit of anger and controversy and even an online petition, is circulating to have the show removed from broadcasting for, exploiting people and their life situations.

The thing about ALL reality tv is that while it seeks to please the viewer, it regularly emphasizes or sensationalizes aspects of a nonsexual subject to stimulate a compulsive interest from the viewing audience. That is the nature of All reality television. So is CBS’s new reality series ‘The Briefcase’ ‘altruism porn‘? Maybe so. And let’s not forget that behind every reality television series is a CEO and / or a celebrity who is making an obscene amount of money off of it.

What’s smart about ‘The Briefcase’ is that it’s striking up conversations about real life situations that need real life solutions. Too bad that reality tv also plays off of the desperation and vulnerability of people’s life situations for ratings or whatever else that might be you know, but the fact remains: People ARE struggling and they Are suffering!

I can relate to feelings of desperation and weakness and vulnerability, as most of us can who have experienced similar situations and emotions, all the while working our ass off trying to survive within a messed up monetary system.

Since being diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago, I stress about money more than ever. It’s part of the mind-set that I’ve been directing myself to change, to stop stressing over the absurd amount of money we’re having to spend so I can get well is challenging, and it takes practice.

Most of us know what happens within our mind when we’re stressing over money, or the lack of. We experience desperation, weakness, and vulnerability, and we tend to become irritable and anxious. So, is it really surprising that people are willing to be exploited on national television if it means they could win, a large sum of money? No! It’s not surprising and honestly, I’d consider being on the show too if given the opportunity. Why?

Well, I wouldn’t really want to, but it’s a point of desperation really, because besides the already obscene amount of money my partner and I spend monthly, on the things I must have, just over a month ago, I came across something that when ingested, it reduces my pain by 85 to 90 %!

This has been an amazing thing for me as a cancer patient to discover. When you can reduce a patient’s physical pain level / symptoms by that much, what that means is, you’ve also just increased their overall daily quality of life. And now, understand how, that my friend, is, Everything.

To suddenly after months and months of chronic pain, to now be almost pain free is amazing, but then the thought comes up: how in the world am I going to be able to continue to afford this wonderful thing that stops my pain with little to no side affects? Going without it means the pain will return, and that scares me.

I am however learning to direct myself to stop and I breathe when that thought and panic comes up within me. I’m learning how to focus on my breath and, take it, a moment at a time, and just get what I can, afford, when I can. The pain itself is not like any pain I’ve ever experienced. At it’s worst, the pain feels like someone just cracked open my upper back / chest wall. That’s the only way to describe it and it’s important to understand why it’s so painful at the moment.

What cancer does is deteriorates / feeds off of one’s muscles, so it’ll take time for the pain to completely go away. Recovery and improving one’s muscle strength is a very sloooow process. So strengthening my upper back muscles will take time and gentleness and it would be great, to have the money to buy what I need to keep me comfortable while, I’m getting well, but realistically, that won’t always be possible.

So it is for selfish reasons, that I don’t see ‘The Briefcase’ as exploiting people any more than our current monetary system already exploits the young and the old and the ill. In fact, every ‘system’ that we have in place, whether it be the healthcare system or the educational system, just to name a few, none of them are “Systems-of-Care”, like they should be, for, “All the People”. Instead what we have are “systems” that offer no real solutions, that, we can say are equally supportive and available for everyone.
At this point in my life my words are pretty much all I have that I am committed to, to use to somehow stand-up for the Cancer Patient because I am one. And I understand how important it is that the cancer patient be given whatever they require to be comfortable and to get well with. And it should be affordable and easily attainable for Everyone!

However, the ‘Reality’ is, within our current money system, many, many, many people are suffering in unimaginable ways. In my own small way I can relate to what it feels like to panic when you need money for treatment and for whatever reason you can’t afford it.

As a cancer patient, you wanna know what’s exploitive and offensive? The fact that we have in place a healthcare system where even when a cancer patient is terminal – meaning they’re expected to die soon — the cancer industry will herd them into yet another screening, another mammogram, another biopsy and more lab tests, all of which do nothing except to generate more profit before the patient dies.

So weighing that information up next to ‘The Briefcase’, my perspective: These types of shows will continue to be on the rise as long as poverty, hunger, war and homelessness exist because these are consequences that have manifested because of the unequal systems of abuse, that we continue to accept and allow to exist within our world.

Is the Briefcase the lesser of the evils to watch as far as ‘entertainment’ goes? Maybe. It’s all in your perspective, but, like it or not, let’s not lose perspective. ‘The Briefcase’ gives us a peak into the struggles of others, and presents an opportunity for us to see what we’re all accepting and allowing our fellow human beings to endure. So now we see, now we know, so what are we going to do to correct it?

Will we realize how the solution that will give us a chance as a Humanity to recover, and together, walk out of the manifested consequences of a failed monetary system, will require us to do, umm, to Give, Give as we’d like to Receive.

Regardless of our opinion about ‘The Briefcase’, the fact remains, people are struggling to make ends meet and the majority of us live paycheck to paycheck. It’s like all we’re doing is trying to survive, instead of discovering, the Joy in Living.

I mean, it’s important to be able to See the Problem, to Bring a Solution, and then to allow the Reward to unfold as it will in ways we’ve never seen before. So let’s be gentle and supportive of Each Other. Let’s seriously consider how and what we’re supporting within this world, like what kind of entertainment do we support? Do we support charities? And with whatever we do support, have we thoroughly investigated the profit margins and the CEO’s salaries for example?

Investigate where you give your words, your voice, your money and your support a way.

Investigate: The Solution. Investigate LIG.

Investigate:  The Proposal

For Context: Outrage Watch: Is CBS’s ‘The Briefcase’ ‘altruism porn’?

Four cancer charities scammed $187 million in donations, much of it intended for kids with cancer

One thought on “299: #TheBriefcase: Is CBS’s ‘The Briefcase’ ‘altruism porn’?

  1. Pingback: day 676: Turning Poverty into TV Entertainment: #TheBriefcase. | Inspired by desteni – a Yogi's Journey to Life

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