Recently, some friends showed me a Web site that made me laugh harder than I have laughed in a long time. The site wasn't a collection of jokes or funny videos. In fact, it was a site that was meant to be taken very seriously. That site was www.realdoll.com. If you are someone who is easily offended and believes a college newspaper isn't the place to discuss taboo and controversial topics, please don't proceed.
The site sells what they claim to be "the world's most realistic love doll." These dolls are not your ordinary, run of the mill blow-up dolls. These dolls are full size, high quality silicone creations made to look and feel like the "real thing." The dolls are complete with vaginal, anal and oral cavities. For a mere $6,499 you can own one of these fantastic love dolls for yourself.
What made me laugh so hard was the fact that this was a concept I never heard of before in my life, combined with the ridiculous images of the dolls. The dolls looked like cheap porn stars, and eerily reminded me of my trip to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in London. The first thought that occurred to me was "Who in their right mind would buy one of these?"
Then I realized that many people have probably purchased a RealDoll(tm). The site appeared to be legitimate and claims that it services a variety of customers. With over fifteen models of dolls, including a male version, the company that manufactures RealDoll(tm) is undoubtedly successful.
The people who order products are most likely "normal" people; ones you would see walking down the street, including very successful people who are adored by many. The testimonials on the site include comments like, "I just got my Real Doll this morning. I think I'm in love! THANK YOU!"
Maybe it's just because I'm a little na///ve, but sometimes I forget what abnormal people Americans are. We are part of a group who would buy Britney Spears' chewed gum off of eBay for $14,000. On a day to day basis, we are surrounded by the weird and disgusting. Howard Stern makes millions of dollars simply bathing in controversy, where the topics on his show almost always include sex. The FCC is doing it's best to censor everything it can, but we are exposed to many of these bizarre antics just from living our day-to-day lives.
I think we are trying a little too hard to get attention these days, and I wouldn't describe America as the "classiest" of countries. We've reached a point of excess, and I'm petitioning for simpler times. Officially, our country is run by white, upper to middle class males. Our leaders aren't typical compared to the rest of the population. So why are we pretending to be something we're not? We can't live too much longer with our skeletons trapped in the closet. Other countries aren't exactly oblivious to our behavior. Many foreigners believe Las Vegas is representative of everywhere in America.
What I'm asking for is a time when shock value will no longer dictate why we behave the way we do. I'd like for people to live simply doing what they love to do. Then, if we are still accused of being inappropriate, it will be because we want to be, not because that's what gets the most attention.
Megan Schulz is a sophomore technical journalism major. Her column runs every Tuesday in the Collegian.