Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Response to "The Reality Principle"


I watched "The Truman Show" for the first time only a week ago, and one thing I kept thinking throughout is if people actually dedicate their entire lives to reality television. That is, sleep, eat, and live every part of your life while living as a persona with the potential of always being aired on television. "The Truman Show" is clearly an exaggerated example of this happening, and still very different from reality shows today. In the movie, everything in "The Truman Show" was fake, including the town set in a large bubble. The only real thing was Truman. Reality shows today are still somewhat real, though not completely still because although they are not necessarily fed lines, their character development and story is guided by producers. The Truman Show and modern reality television do share one thing, though- the line separating labor and leisure is nearly non-existent. At the same time, that is not much different from most lines of work these days. For example, working at a non-profit that you care deeply about, especially a controversial one, you are expected to represent the company at all times. And when your values are those that your getting paid to fight for, you do end up dedicating your entire life to the cause. Other professions are nearly in that direction as well- doctors, au pairs, big corporate executives. Heck, that is why CEOs and business people get heart-attacks all the time: because every part of their life is weighed down by work!

As a society, we should start diverting from this trend. Our sanity and health depends on it.

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