1. #1
    Scarab Lord Milchshake's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Pro Wrestling and Scripted Media Have Made Polarization Worse

    Interesting thoughts on how Scripted Reality has dominated mass media over the past 20 years. Living vicariously through reality TV or You Tube guzzling seems to have people more prone to be being polarized, and more unhappy in general.

    • The most obvious example is reality television, which to greater and lesser degrees involves what has been labeled “scripted reality.” Scripted reality in its pure form involves presenting a completely scripted drama to its audience as if it were a documentary. By contrast, hybrid forms of reality television combine scripted with unscripted elements. For example in a “competitive” cooking show, certain competitors may be favored or disfavored by the judges on the basis of what the audience is intentionally misled to believe are irrelevant factors, such as the extent to which the competitors are audience favorites, create dramatic tension in the competition, etc.
    • A particularly interesting form of scripted reality is professional wrestling — a massively popular pseudo-sport, in which what is presented as athletic competition is actually, as Andre the Giant once put it, an Aristotelian mimesis masquerading as something else.
    • The mental state of the pro wrestling audience is a weird (to an outsider at least) mixture of the psychology of sports fans with that found in a theater: a kind of doubled or meta suspension of disbelief, in which the audience both believes and does not believe what it is witnessing is “real” outside the confines of the mimetic script.
    • Politics and in particular political journalism have been infected by these various hybrid performance genres. Political conflict has long been reported as if it were a traditional athletic contest, in which the entire significance of the event is reduced to its competitive outcome (aka horse race coverage), or conversely as if it were a mimetic performance, judged in essentially aesthetic terms (aka theater criticism).
    • But the contemporary American political climate is marked by an increasing psychological hybridization, in which the mental states associated with reality television and scripted reality — that is, genres in which it what is “real” is presented in a deceptive and/or ambiguous way to the audience — become increasingly commonplace. (ETA: Nick never Nick in comments: “Another thing that should be included here is the blurring of comedy and news. The Daily Show and its numerous spin-offs and imitators have changed news consumption into something very different from what it used to be — they combine shows like Kids in the Hall with Walter Cronkite; and they have an amplifier in Facebook and Twitter.”)
    • Exhibit A of all this is of course the career of celebrities-as-politicians. Men whose supposed competitive successes in the quasi-sport of Who Wants to Be a Plutocrat were actually pure scripted reality, as opposed to what used to be known as reality simpliciter. Indeed their political careers resembles nothing so much as the classic trajectory of of the dramatically fascinating yet morally repulsive heavy in a crime melodrama or the “heel” of in a long-running wrestling character script.
    • To them, politics has come to be treated as some sort of particularly baroque reality television show by both a large portion of the audience, and by the journalist-critics who help create and maintain that culture. It’s a culture in which the catharsis offered by schadenfreude becomes the prime aesthetic-political value, and which kidding on the square — joking but also meaning it — becomes as epidemic as it is on a pro wrestling internet discussion forum, gaming forum, or 4chan.

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  3. #3
    The Undying Doctor Amadeus's Avatar
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    Like CMT or something

    Stone Cold Steve Austins Broken Skull Ranch or something or other doesn't seem that bad, but no I disagree with the OP, people have always really hated one another, peel back the layers and it's always been there.

    I mean personally I have always hated the people I hate like from day once, prophecy or something LOL!

    But no TV nor anything else made ME that way. Most people in general are pretty awful human beings, so it's not all that strange for people to hate one another either. If the random person could be decent though, I think the world will do what it always does.

    I think what blows most peoples minds is that everyone else is just as fake as they are.
    "Intellect alone is useless in a fight...you can't even break a rule, how can you be expected to break bone" Khan Singh

  4. #4
    That last bit is likely always to be true in systems that prop up classism and/or inequality.

    A lot of political notions have been rooted in one class of people's dislike of another.

    Seth Rollins or Minoru Suzuki don't have much to do with tribalism and classism.

  5. #5
    The Beast "Brock Lesner" is with WWE wrestling since 2003. Brock Lesner went to UFC fights in 2013 and was UFC champion for 2 years. WWE wrestlers can fight outside the WWE arenas.

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