Our columnist Michael A. Stusser is becoming an expert on faking his own on-line profile in order to confuse the NSA, and let wacky mayhem ensue. This summer he created a fake rate reality TV series…
My exaggeration and spin is not only tied to social network profiles. This summer I created a fake reality TV series called “Sunset Chasers.” A play on Storm Chasers, I mocked the sometimes tragic fact that good men often go to ridiculous extremes to follow their passions and get publicity.
The show ran on a fictitious network (first The Weathers Channel, and then, after a sudden cancellation, The Discouvery Network) and featured a Worldwide “team” of chasers (other insane friends submitting videos of their own). I posted episodes on every video site known to man, and then made the first “season” available on BluRay and DVD – with bonus material and deleted scenes. Why anyone would purchase a show that had been solely published on-line for free is beyond me. I can’t tell you how many people could not make heads of tails for my “hit reality series.”
What was I doing? Was it really on the Discovery Channel? Why did I seem so terrified by these “weather systems?” And did the show get renewed for a second season? (It did not. Our sponsor, Exxon, bailed after I called them an “unethical group of evil bastards” in Episode 7.) I did not create the show to throw the NSA off my trail – or even good friends and family. I created the show to highlight the absurdity of people – like me – who are constantly posting pictures of sunsets that they think are more interesting than whatever might be happening in front of their friends and family at that very moment. And if I generated a bit of chaos in the meantime, forcing individuals to take a sharper look at their reality, so much the better.
–Photo: Ali Catterall/Flickr – Look at that sunset. I mean just look at it.