5/15/2005

Personal Diary

Don't let the title mislead you, this is not going to be a confessional. But have you noticed how many blogs are just that. Where did this spilling your guts to complete strangers come from? How about we come up with a name for it. The Oprah Syndrome!! Find yourself a large audience and blat out your sob story. Feel the love and sympathy be orchestrated for you by a benevolent host(as long as you fit the theme of week: reunited mothers with their daughters lost in tropical storms off the coast of Maui) That's what everybody has come to expect. We all have an audience. Or even worse we all need an audience. It's fascinating that as our one on one communication skills have deteriorated, our public confessional ability has improved. Is it the lack of emotional commitment required that makes getting up in a studio audience of strangers, and an potential audience of millions seemingly so easy for countless bewildered and put upon people? Maybe it's the "fifteen minutes of fame" that so they find so appealing. Whatever it is there seems to be an insatiable appetite for this type of television from the relative sophistication of Oprah to the white trash circus act of Jerry Springer. No longer satisfied with the mass media coverage of so called celebrities and their foibles we have now begun to feed upon ourselves. Willing victims bring their lives up on stage to be dissected in the forum of television. Instead of an emperor passing thumbs up or down judgment we are treated to the even further spectacle of a smug interviewer posing the ever provocative "Audience what do you think?" Then the hapless fool, who had to have known what they were getting themselves in for, gets to here the accumulated wisdom of the couch potato philosopher. Accompanying chorus of Right Ons, Nos, rain down on the stage to the point where I half expect to hear Praise the Lord so much like a revival meeting has it begun to sound. Damn, that's what they are. It just hit me as I was writing, they are revival meetings. Public confessionals orchestrated by a charismatic leader, the audience singing out inspirational phrases, and the atonnee welcomed back into the embrace of their loving society. These shows allow people to "witness" their beliefs and morals. To stand up and be counted in front of their fellows and pass judgment on those who dare deviate, or to offer guidance to the lost. They are in a hallowed space after all, the place where there beliefs and thoughts are shaped and orchestrated, a T.V. Studio. Is it any wonder that these shows are just an extendtion of what we watch and call fiction. They may not look as glamorous as the soap actors they watch in the afternoon, but goddamn it their lives are just as important and are governed by the same laws. So in this new court of Solomon they air their petty grievances, complain about the emptiness they feel, and are reunited with somebody they abandoned thirty years ago. I started off with the intent of wondering why people used their blogs as a personal journal, when they know that others are very well able to read them, and I think I answered that in a very roundabout way. But you know what? I've just found something else I don't understand. I don't think I want to either. cheers gypsyman

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