I’ve had it with these high tech Amish
You try and stick up for somebody and look what happens?
A brief recap: Late in August of the heady year 2013, while the world sat raptured by Robin Thicke suing Marvin Gaye’s estate over the rights to the song “Blurred Lines” (I’m sure we all remember where we were), and Christian Slater, Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Elayne Boosler all celebrated their birthdays with what I can only assume was one massive party, I had taken to the Internet to write a log of my experiences, a blog, if you will, about the current glut of reality programming featuring the Amish.
“Amish Mafia” on the Discovery Channel garnered the most attention since its debut in December of 2012. Combining creative re-enactments with stock footage of barns this reality program claims to cover the exploits of a rag-tag group of Amish that beat people up, get drunk and drive automobiles. You know, just like in “Witness.”
Also the show is patently fake; but that’s never been too much of a hurdle for reality TV.
But “Amish Mafia” is hardly the worse offender. That title even eludes the DIY Network’s “Ice Goes Amish,” which follows former reality show contestant and co-star of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze” Vanilla Ice as he lives among the Amish and learns their antiquated methods of building a wooden porch using only wood and nails!
This is opposed to modern carpenters who create most wooden porches by using a combination of alien DNA and robots.
To find the title holder of Worst Amish-Themed Reality Show one would have to look to the originators of the concept, The Learning Channel.
TLC did not merely make a cheap reality show about a misunderstood religious minority when they premiered “Breaking Amish” in September of 2012; they had crafted the Amish-sploitation Oresteia.
“Breaking Amish” followed five young Anabaptists as they experienced life in New York City, which mostly revolved around vodka.
But a story of such scope and depth could not be contained within a single season, or even a single city, as the second act of the story, now called “Breaking Amish: Brave New World” moved the cast to Florida, to live among an ex-Amish community.
Then came “Breaking Amish: Los Angeles,” which I believe starred David Caruso, and finally the mournful denouement “Return to Amish.”
Caught in the wake of this powerful surge of garbage television, I wrote on behalf of the beleaguered Amish, themselves unwilling to write into a newspaper, calling for an end to such drek and a return to America’s normal relationship with the Amish, wherein we ignore them, they ignore us, and everybody is happy.
And just how do these allegedly old world Amish thank me? By unleashing their hidden horde of secret technology, once known only to them and currently clogging my airwaves.
Have you heard of the Amish magic wood polish? Apparently the secret, Amish recipe for making wood stay fresher, longer was leaked from the Amish equivalent of the NSA and is now available at a store near you!
Or what of the magic Amish Heat Surge Fireplace? According to the ads these fireplaces are hand crafted by the Amish, then sold to you to cut your heating bills in half!
Oh, sure, the Amish SAY they reject modern technology as ostentatious and sinful but now they’re going to sell me an electric heater made by what I’m assuming is the only Amish sect in all of China?
And what of the Amish Magic Marble Towel Holder? The Amish use their secret ancient technology to take a large piece of wood and turn it into a smaller piece of wood that resembles a bird, cactus, or even a frog! Where did these Amish even SEE a cactus? Isn’t it too hot to wear all black in the desert?
If you think hyperbole is leading me to keep saying these Amish products are “magic” go ahead and Google “Amish” and “magic;” you’ll see the proof just like I did when I misspelled “mafia.”
So thanks a lot, Amish. I stick my neck out there and tell my dozen(s?) of readers to steer clear of these ludicrous TV shows and in turn you walk further into the realm of the “English” with electric heaters and miracle polishes and towel holders? Have you no shame?
My only condolence is that I know the Amish will not read this, for they do not read newspapers, or watch TV, or get online. Which is why I can say anything I want about the Amish; I could sell a product with their name on it that they did not make, I could mock their beliefs and social structures without a hint of cultural context, I could even concoct a whole television show conceived entirely in lies with the sole purpose of exploiting American curiosity with them, all without the fear of legal repercussion because the Amish don’t sue.
I could do all of those things, but do you really think anybody is THAT soulless?
Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.