On Flirtatious Hollowness in Pop Culture

This guy I know from college is on MTV’s The Real World, so I’ve been watching the show.

The show touches on a bunch of subjects: there’s plot lines on homophobia, hooking up with random people in clubs while drunk, looking pretty and coming out as gay. If you think about the show (which I unfortunately do), the show is incomprehensible. There are a bunch of disjointed stories and superficial snapshots of people that ultimately don’t amount to anything as a whole. It’s not just that this “reality” TV reflects the chaotic nature of the world; the show does have plot lines and is compiled to suggest that there could be meaning in what it is saying. But there isn’t any.

I’m certainly analyzing the show more than one should. But I think this show points to a larger phenomenon that occurs in crappy cultural pieces.  These pieces have no unified aesthetic, no underlying message and no emotional authenticity.  Instead they touch on topics that peak one’s interest and quickly move on or contradict themselves before making a statement.

These pieces are created to make money.  And in order to successfully make money, people have found that they should touch on controversial or hot topics.  But they don’t actually want to say anything meaningful about these topics because that could jeopardize profitability.

I certainly don’t mean to shit on all of popular culture.  It’s just that things like the Real World suck. And they especially suck because of the pernicious way in which they flirt with being meaningful.

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