“As with Fear Factor nearly two decades ago, it’s worth asking—L.M. Sacasas, The Convivial Society, No. 20. July 27, 2019.
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.”
I’ve been subscribing to a lot of newsletters lately. The Convivial Society, after reading only one issue, seems worth a mention.