I don’t care to be reminded that there are people out there who know my mind – its needs and desires, its impulses, its stunning insights, its fundamental laziness – better than I know it myself.

I don’t care to be reminded that there are people out there who know my mind – its needs and desires, its impulses, its stunning insights, its fundamental laziness – better than I know it myself.

The scary part is that some of these people seem to spend way too much time studying whatever it is that makes me tick.

Or click, as it turns out.

Yes, the TV people are keen to figure how to attract that most wily and elusive demographic, of which I am a part.

By that, I mean that I’m a male. More women than men watch prime-time TV, which is why we now have “Deadliest Catch, “Pawn Stars” and “Swamp Loggers.” Take the reality show formula, add testosterone and seemingly risky behavior, and men will tune in. Or so the theory goes. I watched exactly one season of “Ice Road Truckers” before it went from extreme to absurd, so maybe I’m not doing this right.

The whole reality show deal is a slippery concept. It implies the things presented are real, even when what they’re selling are highly contrived fantasies. Who purposefully gets stuck on an island with 10 strangers with every incentive to stab you in the back?

They’re real in the Hollywood sense of not having expensive script-writers – always a plus in these tough times – but they are populated with enough colorful characters that meltdowns and confrontations will occur regularly and the producers can readily scope where the story arc is headed. Besides, everyone in America dances in the end zone these days, so make it a competition and you can count on folks boorishly sticking it in the face of their conquered foes, which is always good, cheap TV.

So The Wall Street Journal reports this week that they’re trying really to win me over, and the paper cites one Discovery Channel producer’s key: If the activity is soft enough that he himself could do it, it’s not manly enough for good TV.

The male viewers want to escape from their cubicle farms and to prance in the woods and somehow conjure up a five-course meal, cooked over an open flame, from stuff found washed up on the seashore. Yeah, I could do that. Still, you have to wonder if these viewers, like so many domesticated animals, might think twice about the whole freedom bargain. A warm barn is pretty handy come winter.

I get all that, but some of us really do get outdoors enough to appreciate nature and to get over the alleged appeal of roughing it. Let that other guy cross the Mojave with a canteen and a loin cloth (and a complete camera crew with support vehicles). Give me something I can use.

Show me how to cook. Wait, we have whole channels for that, and they have been taken over by game-show/reality show hybrids populated by high-end chefs using exotic, top-dollar ingredients you won’t find in “The Joy of Cooking.”

OK, show me how to fish. Wait, I already know how to fish badly and am probably no longer teachable. Besides, fishing – like golf – makes for tedious television.

Come to think of it, the last TV show to teach me something meaningful was “The Andy Griffith Show.” Sheriff Taylor was wise and kind. Maybe I’ll just buy the boxed set and rip the infernal cable out of the wall.