Wednesday, May 30, 2018
The Politic on reality TV.
Part of the excitement of reality TV seems oddly existential in nature: reality TV depicts the radicality of human freedom, the raw individual in the face of untamed nature. Martin Heidegger describes this concept as “thrownness” (geworfenheit in German)—the idea that existence is a state of being thrown into the present with all its nagging demands, a sort of alienation that the human being is forced to struggle against. Reality TV “throws” people into situations to see how they decide to act. In this sense, reality TV is cynical and borderline animalistic, like a colosseum or a dog fight.
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