Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dave Pollard: Can We Handle Real Reality on TV?

(Dave raises some important questions and then seemingly sweeps them aside, evoking an angry reply from me... seems he might have a different meaning than I interpreted... if so I would like to hear it. Found at Wood's Lot--thanks for posting about my social movement research.)

Could We Handle Real Reality on TV?
by Dave Pollard
How To Save the World

What is our responsibility, to the young, the naive, those who cannot see beneath the veneer of respectability and calm that allows us to deny what is really going on all around us? What do they need more: To know the real truth, so that they can learn to cope with it and act on it, or to be protected from knowledge so terrible that it can render us senseless, numb, paralyzed, without hope? If our parents and elders told us awful truths, would that destroy our trust in them, our ability to see them as role models, as exemplars of our moral compass, or would it cause that trust to deepen, a conspiracy of transparency and honesty without bounds? Would it weaken us or make us stronger, sensitize and mobilize us, or demobilize and disengage us?


What would happen if, instead of the fraudulent, manipulative, humiliating, scripted crap that passes for 'reality TV', the networks were to broadcast some real reality: A hidden camera in a crackhouse, an animal laboratory, a prison, the bedroom of an abused spouse or child, a factory farm, a village in Darfur, a forced labour camp in China, a nursing home for the poor, a back alley or underpass in any poor part of any city in the world. What would we see, what truths would we learn, and how would it change the way we see the world? Would it change our definition of what it means to be a 'survivor'? Would it change our definition of courage? Would it rise us from our complacency, or instead drive us to use the channel changer to flee the horror it revealed?

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