Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Other People's Misery

Here's a fascinating readers answer another readers query. A man is asking why his wife likes TV programmes featuring the hard life and times of others so much.

Seriously, WGAD? Except to say, at least the wife finds succour for this need in fiction, rather than fictionalizing the lives of real people.

The responses seem to alight on the way the misery crusade is fulfilling a similar need, based it seems mainly on "I may be [insert failing or shame] but at least I'm not like that". At the risk of seeming priggish, is that really much of a comfort? The looking down on others who are probably no worse than you is kind of telling though and not in a good way.

It does help explain the attraction of the 'obesity' saga.

The general sniffiness about the fiction some deem so utterly beneath them points to something long noted about why people have bought into this crusade. The way a certain mindset has gotten way ahead of it's own psychology. It defines itself as wholly rational at heart-whether that's actually a balanced way for humans to be doesn't seem to occur.

Due to this, it cannot find a way of expressing it's perfectly ordinary irrationality seeking instead to bend it into the appearance of its own precious self definition. Cloaking various bad logic and fantasy in terms it sees as epitomizing rationalism.

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