Big Brother has started again in Australia and, despite our better judgement, we are all looking in on it and checking out the new housemates.
Once again, it is a celebration of the lowest common denominator - a selection of the most vapid and unpleasant people.
Why do we want to waste time in observing them showing off in front of the cameras, playing drama queen, brandishing ignorance as if it is an achievement, proving how the English language is now completely rooted because they have no goddamn idea of pronouns or tense...?
I suspect it is because we love to have people to hate.
Two days into BB and I want to get half the housemates out of the house. I squirm with loathing and contempt. I want them to suffer. I want them brought down to size.
Perhaps I really want the makers of BB to suffer, too - since they have gradually manipulated a good concept and turned it into trash TV, pandering to a lewd, sub-brain demographic which has never read a newspaper let alone a book.
The producers have made an art form of finding people of that very ilk and promise them celebrity based on exposure of those very qualities. They seek the low, they exploit the low - and the rewards are high.
On so many levels, it is deeply demoralising. A hateful reflection on the values and aspirations of our society.
It certainly brings out the very worst in me.
And still I turn it on.