I'm so glad CBS is going to show us how sacred the institution of heterosexual American marriage is by making it a game show for the teevee.
In a new series tentatively called Arranged Marriage, contestants will have a spouse chosen for them by friends and family, just like in ye olden times or in parts of the Eastern hemisphere. I'll state this a few more ways: Desperate people will go on a TV reality show and have other people choose a permanent spouse for them. Or, people who feel they are experiencing a deficit in their personal, private lives are bringing their personal, private issues on broadcast television and having other people choose the person with whom they will enter a binding legal agreement and their reward will be appearances on morning television and The Soup and in all the supermarket rags. And also a really loud divorce.
Indeed, allowing same-sex couples to enter into a legal marriage with all the same privileges as opposite sex couples is definitely what is threatening the fabric of America's family unit. Not welping a total of 14 children, nor getting wasted and stumbling into the Little White Wedding chapel and getting hitched by accident, nor celebrities getting engaged as a publicity stunt, nor going on television and making an intensely personal decision in front of millions of people who watch these shows religiously and pick everyone apart as if they were manufactured fictional characters -- which they oftentimes are -- and ultimately choosing the spouse/contestant who is more palatable to an audience. Going through a courtship in front of cameras and then having that courtship heavily edited to appear more ratings-friendly and "dramatic"? Definitely not a mockery of marriage. Not at all. But letting the gays marry? Mockery! Slippery slope! Just as bad as incest, bestiality, polygamy!
And while arranged marriages are not necessarily met with disdain and failure in other cultures, they're not exactly conducted circus-style in front of an audience of strangers. Maybe these producers think that making a mockery of marriage in other cultures doesn't count? Not that it's the first time American TV has thrust commercially-driven marriage upon us. Remember Fox's "Married by America"? Or "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire"? Darva Conger? Rick Rockwell? Hey, are your hives back?
You know what I would like to do because I need the money so bad? I would like to sell my right to get married to a same-sex couple, people who truly want to enter into a committed, loving relationship that was nurtured, fought for, I don't know, considered for longer than a regular television season and also not ON television. But can I also please do this on TV? I think it would be a real get -- the girl who wants to sell her legal right to marry on eBay! Because if this is what marriage in America is, a contest, then I'll pass. But I don't want to deny a legitimate marriage to those less cynical couples who still hold out hope and are deeply devoted to each other and can't have the same rights that were inherent to me for the sole reason of being born heterosexual.
(It should be noted that I live-blog Top Chef on Huffington Post Wednesday nights. But cooking competitions are a little different than marriage.)