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A proposal to television 

To the editor,

I had the misfortune of catching an episode of Intervention and it just doesn't seem real.

The participants are either too down and out, or not down and out enough. Moreover, their friends still talk to them. In one episode a girl smoked crack and then chilled out with a companion. People on crack don't chill. They pick at the carpet and run around looking through the blinds for the police. They sit in the corner and worry about what's behind them. Crack is cocaine, no more, no less. A better reality series would be getting those people to recovery houses. Take bets on who would complete the program, who's gonna be clean after a year. Now that's a program I'd watch. A skit on Saturday Night Live showed the futility of Intervention. Chris Farley played "Recovery Boy." In real life he played the same character all the way to a death too similar to John Belushi's.

The producers of Intervention are certainly voyeuristic, but as in porn, people want to see the money shot. Selling Intervention is selling drug culture. I cannot help but think "would it not be appropriate to put the participants' odds of death, insanity or sure at the bottom of the screen?" At least viewers would get to see the numbers.

By Joel Arseneau

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Vol 26, No 24
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