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"CNBC's Trading Pit Survivor?"

The new thing is Survivor, CBS's little experiment of dumping a bunch of people on an island and leaving them to fend for themselves with periodic competitions and whatnot. Everyone's talking about it, everyone's watching it, it's a big hit.

Shit, it's something I would do. You can apply for the next season of Survivor right now, if you want. It'll take place in the Outback this time, which seems to me to detract from some of the isolation of being on a deserted island. But who knows? It sounds like fun and of course my family has all these crackpot theories about how WE would do it if we were on the island. No doubt everyone else on the planet is doing the same. It's always easy until you have to do it yourself. Everyone thinks they could win.

But hey, why not capitalize on the theme? I mean, MTV has already been doing its thing with Road Rules and The Real World for over half a decade, plus you have all the spinoffs recently for reality-based programming. And what's with that really gay show about the making of a boyband? You've got to be kidding me. Maybe what we need is some sort of national crisis to weed out this sort of disgusting vulgarity.

What I'd like to see is CNBC's experimental evening lineup of shows. You know they just show that National Geographic crap after the market closes, for people who have just given up trying to find something to watch or who like to see rhinos screwing or cheetahs massacreing wounded baby antelope. Why not fill the void with some market-related reality-based programming?

It would be great. Throw a bunch of eighteen-year-old good-looking kids into a futures/commodities trading pit and tape video footage of their wild adventures. Maria Bartiromo could be there egging them on and guiding them towards their next task, all the while continuing her job as being a Wall Street whore in snappy clothes and wubba wubba market bantering with that shrilly annoying voice she has.

You could have your typical college white guy who listens to his Matchbox 20 and who goes to frat parties, the innocent white girl who's never been out of her hick racist elitist town, the ethnic chick who had a fucked up childhood and now proves her independence by drinking and fucking her life up, the token black guy who always gets thrown off because he's obviously the only complete outcast, and then the responsible guy who gets things done but not without never making his presence prominent on the show.

You slap those funny colored jackets on them, give them a few million dollars, and let them go at it, buying and selling contracts, running around in the trading pits and speculating about how the market will drive the prices of their futures or commodities up or down! Watch the hilarity as one girl trips and breaks her ankle, laugh with them as they all enjoy the handsome rich men in the pit, cry with them as they lose $500k in a day after a bad pork belly move! Bite your nails as the sponsoring trading firm calls them into its office and yells at them for not paying attention to their job! Watch the torrid details of the confessional booth tapes as they reveal what it's like to trade money while not knowing what you're doing! Think of the bloody ratings!

Later on in the season, one of the girls gets pregnant by one of the guys and they skim some money off the top of their trades in order to pay for supporting the child! Gasp in horror as one of them is removed in order to be thrust into a mafia-supported boiler room operation in which they spend all day calling prospective buyers of scam pink sheet issues! Oh oh oh...and guess which one's the SEC insider who's logging their every move?

Over six months you'll get to see every minute of the worst trading firm ever put on the floor and see how they bond together while doing so. Janie becomes addicted to trading and has to be peeled away from her computer! Skeetch decides to sell off the artwork in their house in order to pay a margin call! Oh, the hilarity! It's must-see TV!

It's these kinds of ideas that saturate a TV viewing audience. And what would NBC want more right now than to saturate TV with reality-based programming to the point that people will stop watching CBS? So come on guys, get to it! Surely you can find some scam firm to help you sponsor the show. How about Merrill Lynch or Salomon? I'm sure they'd love to take some time off unloading shares into their own stock upgrades in order to get some fresh blood whoring for them down in the pits!

The saddest part of all this shit? I would probably watch it. I've been watching The Real World and Road Rules for ages. And as you might know, I've made a Soapbox plea to be on the shows, but to no avail. Don't ask me why. I guess it spurs some sort of curiosity inside of me. Or as some might call it, a fascination with the abomination.

And does all this make me a bad person? I know I'd win if they put me on. I know it!

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