Reality Squirrels – self poisoning ventures?

Every few months we get an offer.  Some reality show wants to come and film the communes of Twin Oaks or Acorn.  For a dozen good reasons and twice as many bad ones we always say “no”. Reality TV is notorious for using the film they shoot to tell an entertaining story, rather than an accurate one.

One couple of friends of mine participated in the Wife Swap program.  The show producers decided that part of what they wanted to achieve was a “Wife Swap has lasting positive impacts on these strange players” story line.  So they edited the film dramatically to show that the jobs that they had acquired before the show, were rather the result of the show.  Another friend who dared to be in this format was talking about how he loved the density of collective living.  But this was edited to the slightly preposterous phrase “i love density.”

pigeon house surreal

loving density in the abstract

The communes do not want the lives of their members as disrupted as they certainly would be from this high impact venture.  The disadvantage of commune life being reflected negatively more than compensates for the advantages of the cash or the exposure.  Since we cant control the content, we dont want to risk them doing something terrible with the footage.

So why are we thinking about inviting a reality show to film the early days of Chubby Squirrels? Partly because having an income stream would allow the project to start faster – moving in perhaps as soon as the later half of this year.  Partly because it is somewhat daring and reckless and it might just be fun.  Yasmin teased me that her Hollywood friend that they would love a commune founding tale with a character named Paxus Star in it.

may the force be with us

may the force be with us

And it is certainly not without risks.  It is like taking a  poison of uncertain strength and hoping it turns out okay.  Some wonderful prospective squirrels would not put up with their lives being broadcast and remixed in such away.   Though the significant majority of prospective Chubby Squirrels i have spoken with say that they would be game for this reality adventure.  Further dangers are that some chance the show itself will make the future of the community unworkable by depicting it in such a negative or controversial light.

About 1/3 of the people who i have talked with about getting their message out through their reality TV show experience being more important/effective than the parody that was made of them.  These are much better odds than we get when we start campaigns against reactors.

As always i am curious about my readers thoughts.