Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Voyeurism of America

In 1985, Joe Theismann suffered a career ending injury on Monday Night Football.  The injury was not replayed again and again and again.  It was shown once on live tv and they did not hover over it.  They obviously talked about it, of course, but that was it.

In 2013, Kevin Ware, a student athlete at the University of Louisville, suffered a very similar leg injury in their Elite Eight game against Duke University.  This was replayed constantly and it's only a couple hours old as of this writing.

In this country we (collective we) watch things that disgust us. We watch it with a kind of horrific wonder.  Whether it's reality shows (especially TLC's slate of them) or YouTube vids, we consume this stuff.  This stuff would not be consistently popular and shown if people did not watch them.  So the problem is not quite the media's fault but our own.

Yes the media could decide not to air something, and in all honesty I wish they would but they're in a race for the bottom in their zero-sum game of reducing the intelligence quotient in this country.  Everyone in the news media, or sports media, or sports entertainment media (No not the WWE. I mean ESPN) knows that if they do not show it, someone will.  And if no one did (which would be a miracle) it would still end up on the internet and some blog somewhere would get it.

Because we as a people consume this stuff as if it was made out of delicious high-fructose corn syrup.  We love to watch things that horrify us, that disgust us.  If it creates a visceral reaction in us we seek it out.

And if our current media is rushing to the bottom in trying to shovel this that we guiltily crave down our gullets?  What will be shown 10 years from now? 20?  Where are we going as a people?  Frankly it fucking disgusts me.

(Yes I realize part of this reads as "Things were better in my day"  I'm old, deal)

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