Interesting thread, though I'm not sure it was Reality TV that did all the breaking. I think the 1980s-90s removal of all social safety catches on capitalism pushed us to 'everyone competes'
<<Been pushing around some concepts about current culture today in my head, centered around reality television breaking our society. Notions of nuance, de-escalation, humility, and common service have been completely turned around by reality “TV” in favor of engineered conflict. >>
And I'm still not over my angry that it was the so-called *left*, as much as the right, that completely bought into the 'competition and individualism are good for the soul, y'all, cooperation just makes you weak and soft' mantra.
I know anger isn't helpful and so I want to be over it. But I'm not, yet.
But the OP's thesis that Reality TV is fundamentally bad for us, that it artificially creates conflict and makes conflict fun... that I agree with. It's why I avoid the genre wherever possible. I just hate seeing people fight each other when they could work together.
I am still completely gobsmacked each time I think about Ayn Rand and realise, again, that there was a dedicated, organised movement in American culture since the 1950s to literally *call empathy and altruism evil*. To make people less loving. And that very high ranking politicians, businesspeople.... and religious leaders, who know and teach better... bought into it.
That stuns me. Still does. Every time.
How. How did that happen? How did we let these people, this ideology, run our society?
While I used to be very baffled by leftist types who associated libertarianism with fascism, the older I get (and so the more relevant history becomes to me), the more I realise that the Rand / Reagan / Thatcher / libertarian / Austrian Economics nexus share a lot of the 'aesthetics' of classical 30s fascism.
Specifically, the feeling that 'life is unending brutal struggle' and that we need to stay 'hard' and 'manly' or Civilisation Collapses. A fear of social 'softness'.
I agree. And it didn't happen by chance. A Republican government, complaint Democrats, a major war... and 'somehow, magically' a flood of games and TV and movies pushing pro-war, xenophobic, anti-immigrant/refugee sentiment. It just happened! Yeah, media 'magically' aligning with government whims isn't actually magic.
I think it's why I started losing interest in videogames around 2003? Cos that was the last batch before the big Bush propaganda swing pushed Grunty Guys.
There's so many games which are deeply subversive to the prevailing statist authoritarian narrative, for instance the Fallout games, the Bioshock games, Half-Life 2...
"The city is a creepy homage to everything evil in the idea of American Exceptionalism, from the murderous Motorized Patriot, an animatronic-like machine-gun wielding George Washington robot, to the public stoning of an interracial couple with baseballs.
@natecull @FerdiZ So, totally weird self-discovery. When I was first tracking down orrigins of economic theology / free-market bullshit, and misrepresentations of Adam Smith, I ran across a title, "The Invisible Hand'' (1965), from a publisher I'd never heard of, Regnery.
Turns out the current generation has been a huge ssupporter of the neofascist movement and Milo Y., etc.
Mark Ames has some excellent exposes on libertarianism, rascism, fascism, nazism, etc.
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