Commodified Emotions as Entertainment

“As with Fear Factor nearly two decades ago, it’s worth asking
what exactly what is being watched and why? It seemed to me then, and still does, that we are watching human beings whose emotions are extracted and commodified for our entertainment. I would still argue, as I did then, that this is dehumanizing, both for the participant and for the viewer (the consent of either notwithstanding). I’d extend this point not only to reality television, but to each of the myriad ways we are now enabled to watch one another, with or without the consent of the watched. In my view, this calls for the renewal of a new sort of chastened vision, one which would turn away from spectacle of intimate life extracted and commodified.”

—L.M. Sacasas, The Convivial Society, No. 20. July 27, 2019.

I’ve been subscribing to a lot of newsletters lately. The Convivial Society, after reading only one issue, seems worth a mention.

2 thoughts on “Commodified Emotions as Entertainment

  1. I had been hearing this show “Love Island” advertised here and there and immediately thought it was probably like heroin for reality show people. the whole thing of reality TV is fascinating to me a bit like the old fashioned concepts of zoos.
    “Chastened vision” I like that.

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