The Loneliest Jukebox

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

LiQuids In

A "few particularly priggish pedants" (p.18). That's what sociologist Zygmunt Bauman calls those who, like me, think Reality TV shows are sometimes less than real. Actually his new book Liquid Fear contains some good insights into Big Brother etc., which I'll quote at length:

"... 'real' is what they show. And what they show is the inevitability of exclusion, and the fight again being excluded, are what that reality boils down to (p.18).

When confronted with a photographically/electronically contrived image, nothing seems to stand between us and reality; nothing that may arrest or divert the eye ... The knowledge which 'reality TV' spells out would otherwise be diffuse, sliced into bits and pieces and notoriously difficult to collate and make sense of (p.19).


That world, as 'Reality TV' has vividly shown and convincingly proved, is all about 'who sends whom to refuse tip'; or, rather, who'll do it first, while there is still time to do to the others what they would dearly wish, given the chance, to do to you - and before they manage to act on their wishes" (p.25).

Okay, so Bauman blots his copy by making the example hang on hapless Craig Coates, and claims 'there is no way to repeal evictions altogether' (p.25) - exactly what they did to smuggle Princess Nikki Graheme back into the house the following year. But to an extent, it's hard to disagree with the idea that society gets the reality TV it deserves.


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