Sunday, October 18, 2009

Can we talk about Balloon Boy for a second?

On Thursday (evening, Doha time) I, like the rest of you, was caught up in the real life drama of balloon boy. We watched enraptured, at what we all thought was a six year-old boy floating through the sky at a fantastic speed.We felt assured when we learned his name was Falcon, certain that everything was going to be all right. We listened to weather reports with an urgency never felt before. Our hearts raced when MSNBC cut away as the balloon descended to the moment of impact. It was scary and thrilling real-time entertainment too good to make up.

But we all spoke and tweeted and set our Facebook statuses too soon.

After landing, we quickly learned there was no one in the balloon. Then we found out the family was on Wife Swap and the boys record songs with filthy lyrics in their spare time. Then we learned Falcon was hiding in the attic, heard his parents yelling and didn’t come out because “they were doing it for the show.” THEN we found out his parents were shopping around Jon and Kate style reality shows to major networks. Now the father will likely face criminal charges for being a lying sack of famewhore.

This family played us for a bunch of fools. What the hell. I’m furious but shouldn't be surprised. If reality television has taught me anything, it’s that people are awful. This balloon boy mess is like the baby who fell in the well in the ‘80s, except it’s the new millennium, meaning the baby isn’t in the well and its parents faked the whole thing and I hate everyone.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so jaded. Let’s play the Pollyanna game here. Some people may be awful, but let’s not focus on the balloon boy family, that utter waste of space. Let’s focus on the innocent two hours we all experienced together, glued to the television and Interwebs. Those two hours when we let the unseen balloon boy into our hearts, no questions asked. Those glorious two hours when the world rallied around the safe landing of a makeshift hovercraft. We were one.

Turns out, we still can care for something. And maybe it takes a couple of dirty, rotten, lying parents to remind us of this very fact. 

Positivity is all around!


  1. ...for being a lying sack of famewhore.

    I'm not sure I've read it put any better. Richard Heene is ridiculous.


Ramble on...