Freudian Slips: Jerry Springer & Audience Participation

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

January 26, 2006

Jerry Springer & Audience Participation

I went to a fight and a Jerry Springer show broke out.”
-Joe Tornatore on the state of television.
A troubling story in the news confirms my perception that the value of the Jerry Springer show can be derived from the mentality of its audience. Shannon Cook, a twenty-five year old Illinois mother, left her children home alone so she and her boyfriend could attend a videotaping of the Jerry Springer show. The aspiring mother abandoned her three toddlers, who are all under the age of four, for five hours. If there is ever a reason to leave your children home alone to fend for themselves, Jerry Springer isn’t it. Her children knew better. They had enough sense to knock on a neighbor’s door for help. The police were called. No Cinderella story here. The mother was arrested when she returned home after midnight.
I can’t say this is behavior unbecoming of the stereotype of Jerry Springer audience members. This show has entertainment value only. Without drawing stereotypes, the Jerry Springer show may be a live indictment of the fall of society. It is tart imitating life. Just by attending the taping, the mother was writing the script for the next show. The mother’s actions are like a warped alternative definition of audience participation. Not to be overlooked, the boyfriend is no role model either.
Shannon Cook pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment. Her explanation for her lack of parental supervision in this regrettable incident lacked insight.
“I didn’t think I’d be gone that long.” explained the guilty party.
Can the court stenographer please read that testimony back for the record? My ears did not deceive me. In this mother's eyes, fault rested with the length of her absence and not the mere absence itself? Talk about rationalizing remorse. She was issued a thirty day jail sentence and her children were placed in foster homes by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
I guarantee you the children didn’t expect their mother would be “gone that long” either. If there is any justice in the world, the children won't be raised to watch the Jerry Springer show at their foster homes. I wouldn’t want to see my mother whooping it up in the aisles while watching a donnybrook of hatred on stage. The day I learn that my mother willingly left me for that would be...heartbreaking. To borrow a television cliché, it would be time for an encouraging word from my sponsors.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Ruth said...

I sat speechless for quite a while after reading this. Thank heavens the children apparently have the brains their mother doesn't and went to the neighbors. "I didn't think I'd be gone that long." She should have her children taken away and her tubes tied. Oh my God...

1:19 PM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

This is America, the sad state where Walmart and mediocrity reigns supreme. A story like this does not shock me, it just proves what a confederacy of dunces we have become.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Ruth,
The story didn't seem to garner much headlines but the more I thought about it...wow.

Pax,
Does that make Jerry Springer first lietenient in the Confederacy?

4:56 PM  
Blogger justrose said...

that is really, really scary.

i wonder how many other times she left them home alone.

7:59 PM  
Blogger Maidink said...

Sad thing is there are many woman like her in this country. It wouldn't shock me if that was the way she was raised. Momma ran to the bar for a few hours and she, as a child, sat in front of the TV. She probably saw nothing wrong in what she did.

No wonder I cry when I read stories about neglected children. I mean, who else will? Certainly not the parents.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Rose,
A story like that has to frighten the bejesus out of a good mother like yourself.

Maid,
so true. hey, did anyone ever tell you that you bear a resemblance to the previous commentator on this post?

9:45 PM  
Blogger rfvgardens said...

WHY??? A very painful thing to read, the questions are easy to formulate...the answers never are easy

8:26 AM  
Blogger honkeie2 said...

Why some ppl should be fixed at birth. Its always the children that suffer for the short cummings of the parents.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

rfvgardens,
such sadness.

Honk,
I am not going to even attempt to grade you on your mispellings. lol.

6:46 PM  

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