Here’s an amazing video from one of our favorite cultural critics, Charlie Brooker, in his excellent BBC2 television series, “How TV Ruined Your Life” (don’t say that it didn’t, it DID!)
In this episode, titled and addressing “Aspiration,” Brooker shows how our lives have been shaped by the excesses we see paraded in front of our eyes, either in idealized television fantasies worlds, or in even more grotesque “reality” TV vehicles for the absurdly rich and famous. Aired in 2011, we can see how this is a process which has only intensified and accelerated in the years since, and shows no sign of stopping in the years to come.
“Before long, behaving like a massive swaggering twat wasn’t just acceptable, it was openly encouraged!”
“Faced with all these unobtainable dreams, little wonder so many people in so many places got themselves wedged so deep in debt. People bought houses and bragged how the value just kept zooming up… it was all a collective delusion, and none of it was real…”
You can watch the entire series on our cultural commons for video, YouTube. Episodes “Fear” and “Love” are incredibly apposite, but all make for good watching. Just make sure you don’t rabbithole down Youtube and end up ruining your life as a replacement for television.. despite the greater control and interaction YouTube offers (much greater than Netflix or hulu), unless you are producing videos, you are merely consuming them. There’s a place for consumption, but we can’t let it dominate our days.
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