Monday, December 08, 2008

The Voyeur Culture


John Watson, associate professor of journalism at American University in Washington, said, "We like being frightened without being in actual peril."

One needs look no further than the existence of horror flicks to see the phenomenon in action, he said, and the fact that mug shots are of real people make them more appealing than werewolves and masked men with chainsaws.

"These are pictures of monsters who actually exist, and we can look at them from the safety of wherever we are, and they disappear when we close the book," said Watson, an expert on journalism ethics.

Celebrity mug shots have a different allure in that they feed off human schadenfreude; they allow us to say, "Well, this starlet isn't so rich and glamorous now, is she?"

CNN


Armchair surfers, rejoice!
Out there, darkness rests,
And unspeakable evil;
But here, it is warm,
And all is entertainment:
Reality so far away,
The sofa, so close.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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