Deon Helberg &#9829 Jerry Springer

When it was first broadcast in South Africa I became mildly addicted to the Jerry Springer Show. Shameful, I know, but predictable, given the fact that I’m a total deviant who takes pleasure in wallowing in other people’s misery.

It’s a terrible cliché, but the show’s similarity to a road accident without the road is positively palpable. Like a freak show’s ringmaster, Springer delivered pornographic exploitations of primal human emotion (rage, jealousy, the uncontrollable desire to hurl a chair and/or flash a pair of boobs that resemble Cthulhu’s nutsack ), pimping out the poor to a middle-class audience who leap at any opportunity to feel better about their treadmill lives.

Distancing himself from his own product at the end of each show with a histrionic homily of Reader’s Digestian morality, Springer glibly justified his sadsploitation, sending the tragic trash back to their trailer parks before the next commercial break.

Springer’s success is a consequence of our innate human desire to judge others and find them wanting. It’s fun watching the stupids. Julius Malema, for example, earns more media coverage than all other political leaders combined simply because he is a loud-mouthed, boorish fountain of moron. And during another time, when quotable Malema hilarity would have terrified whites to murder, Eugène TerreBlanche was our reigning retard, adding a light touch to a dire situation and momentarily distracting us from the nefarious trickeries of the reptilian rubber-faced murderer who had somehow slithered his way to the presidency.

The same dynamic applies in the entertainment industry, where a comedian’s success seems to be directly proportional to the level of imbecility which they’re prepared to sink. Mr Bean is still way more popular than Blackadder ever was. The Jackass jackasses have just finished their third movie, but Bill Hicks could barely get a late night TV slot. This species sucks.

In the grey void between entertainment and politics is the news, a form of edutainment which combines education and entertainment to form neither. The story that rose to the top of the pile this week (not so much like cream as like a hot air-filled turd-balloon) is the story of Deon Helberg – rugby player, murder plot survivor and vajayjay-juggler par excellence.

And as stupid as everyone else in this story.

Most of us have read the facts and pronounced judgement from the sanctity of our cubicles, but just to recap: Meathead Helberg (since he’s a South African rugby player, that may very well be his actual nickname) thinks with the wrong head and shags his way into a ménage à trois with his girlfriend’s mother, mental Manda Reyneke, while living with the family. It sounds like a perfect situation, unless they happen to not be a troupe of arse-sniffing baboons.

Cue big surprise – the family find out.  Now does the mother apologise to her daughter, beg her husband to forgive her duplicitous cuckoldry and promise to never see Helberg again? Of course not. If there’s one thing stupid people never do, it’s admit that they’re wrong. So following the logic of a bunny-boiling basket case, she (allegedly) tried to have the Blue Bull killed by Nigerian thugs. LOL! And failed. Double-LOL!

Now if that’s not a story begging for a Jerry Springer show (or a porno movie, come to think of it, which I don’t) nothing is.

The only difference between these morons and Springer’s usual guest-list of booze-poisoned hillbillies is money. I put this down to being white South Africans. I might be wrong, but I suspect that if these emotional retards were born anywhere but here, they’d barely have a puddle to piss in. Except Helberg himself, maybe, thanks to his mad ball-handling skills.

As a rule of thumb, anyone who gets in the media without actually wanting to is an idiot. Notice how often this happens to rugby players? Just saying.

Personally, I find it difficult passing judgement on any of them – not because I’m non-judgemental, but because their behaviour makes it difficult for me to define them as human. They’re just things, props in their own comedy of errors that could only be more entertaining if they’d played out the whole thing in clown suits.

And it would have been awesome if someone had actually died. Come on, you don’t have to like it, but you know it’s true. Death is reality’s way of turning on the houselights and rolling the credits, and I want closure.

My suggestion is we bring back Jerry Springer to emcee, dress Helberg and the whole family up like gladiators and dump them in a wrestling ring to fight to the death. Maybe add a couple of Nigerian gangsters to the mix for good measure.

It’ll be great entertainment for the whole family, and what have we got to lose? Certainly not even an ounce of our humanity.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
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