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Can certain realities be represented?

Lark

Active member
Joined
Jun 21, 2009
Messages
29,610
I've lately been listening to a great philosophy biography on CD while commuting to work, it deals with how Hegel, Marx and a bunch of other German philosophers at that time were thinking about the objective distance between the ideal or concept and reality. The audiobook focuses upon jurisprudence, law, civil society and state, mainly as this was all the focus at the time, many of the more contemporary concerns had not materialized at that time.

Anyway, it got me thinking, is it possible to represent certain realities? For instance, a lot of film, TV serials, productions of all sort, depict diversity, any group of friends will usually have people with different ethnicities as a staple, different creeds, different politics and this is before considering other minority-majority issues such as sexual orientation or identity politics.

I wonder about this as it is presented usually as unexceptional, a norm, it is bound to be affecting if people subscribe to these medias and their implicit expectations but then do not find it anywhere in their lived day to day reality. I'm not talking about whether or not an individual accepts, endorses and values what the broadcasters do, that's a fair point too but not the one I'm thinking about here. Presume no value conflict for a moment and instead consider the distance between the ideal and the reality instead and its consequences thereafter. To what extent do you think ideals have been substituted for real life in most of the media people consume? What do you think are the main consequences of it? Does it increase disillusionment, alienation and depression?

Finally, this is noticeable in terms of ethnic mix, sexual orientation and some of the other pop political or cultural points but what about social class? I have known and seen how a lot of individuals with absolutely no means what so ever, often very little comprehension of means per se, are the biggest subscribers to TV programming which depicts shocking affluence as routine, passe and typical. These can be shows which depict a lifestyle, like Cribs, but often it is simply a sort of back drop to other drama or life stories. The flip side of this is the few "gritty, realist" productions which I think can be an exaggeration of a different kind too. What do you think are the consequences of this "distance"?
 

Doctor Cringelord

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
19,708
Let me think on this and give a more in depth response later. I was just thinking the other day about how a lot of sitcoms portray super affluent people, you could almost call them First World Problems set to laugh tracks. Even the ones that supposedly portray “real working class people” seem to trivialize issues a bit, I guess because people like resolution and closure in fictional media, and “real life” rarely provides any real sense of closure to anyone
 

Lark

Active member
Joined
Jun 21, 2009
Messages
29,610
Let me think on this and give a more in depth response later. I was just thinking the other day about how a lot of sitcoms portray super affluent people, you could almost call them First World Problems set to laugh tracks. Even the ones that supposedly portray “real working class people” seem to trivialize issues a bit, I guess because people like resolution and closure in fictional media, and “real life” rarely provides any real sense of closure to anyone

I agree with that, just with reference to the race issue, the only time I think I saw someone actually call it out was The Boondocks cartoon or comics when the one character says to the other about their white neighbours that white people are not as fun and hilarious in real life as they are on TV (this is of course a flipping of Chuck D and other's observations about black people on screen that in order to make it big they had to appear clowning around and in as unthreatening a format as possible).

I have read one time that sitcoms are just "money with a laughter track" and I guess it was meaning what you're describing.
 
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