Sunday, August 27, 2006
An interesting report here
on the denigration of the white working class on television. While I found 'Little Britain' amusing and am not one to jump on the pc bandwagon, it is a worrying trend that so many of those surveyed thought Vicky Pollard to be a realistic depiction of working class youth. And I can't deny the reactionary tones of that show. Neither actor was from a working background yet the targets of their satire tended to be such, apart from a few exceptions. It would be refreshing to see the 'chattering classes' being satirised for a change.
As for 'reality shows' like Big Brother and 'Wife Swap' I've long thought them overdue for the kill. Like the game shows in Stephen King's Richard Bateman novel 'The Running Man' they appear to be the modern equivalent of freak shows, with many of the contestants having mental health problems of some sort. Or simply desperate for money or fame. If it continues such TV will only get worse and more potentially exploitative. The audience appear to be treated as condescendingly as do the participants.
But in a celebrity obsessed consumerist society (a spectacle) fame is everything, even if it is only fifteen minutes of it. Appearance is everything. Reality TV, however distasteful I find it, is a mere product of this, of alienated people aspiring to 'be someone' and taking their gamble. So it would be utopian of me to simply wish it away, or god forbid call for any censorship. I just don't watch it (and to be honest it bores me anyway). But then I don't watch much TV anyway.