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Televiziunea ca mediu al hiper-realității și al masificării. Câteva observații ale scriitorului Harlan Ellison

Tom Snyder (The Tomorrow Show, 1980): Have you ever watched a public-access cable? It’s absolutely horrendous what goes on on public-access television… But I need hear that they have this great idea, they say: “well the public has a right to have access to television”. So therefore they’ll open up these channels on the cable and the public can then apply for time and they can come on and do television… And what did they come up with? I mean, did you see some of the stuff?! (…)

Harlan Ellison: …but basically all is now is ego-feed. And that’s cool…that’s cool…Listen, I’ve got this theory that dudes like Son of Sam and Manson would not have done the terrible things they did if they’ve been given twenty minutes on The Carson Show. (…) They wanna be looked at: “I’m real; I’m here, I exist, I’m not a <cenzurat>”. You give them five minutes. You sit and talk to them the way you’re talking to me – their reality is substantiated; they don’t have to go out and murder anybody, rape anybody, kill anybody. (…) For people watching the tube, for everybody sitting out there, we are real! We are ‘realer’ than their neighbors next door or the people that bag their groceries at their grocery today. There is a thing about television, there is a reality here that is terrifying. I know a lady that believes that the things in the soap opera actually happen. (…)

It’s a strange medium and it’s a very dangerous medium, because the blurring of the line between reality and fantasy is so omnipresent and there’s another thing that occurred to me: for the first time in the history of the world we have what could be called a universal curriculum, meaning that a kid in Botswana-land and the kid in New Jersey they all have the same impression of male, female, rich, poor, the working class, the rich class, and that sort of means that you really can’t have much individualism, because you’re gonna be called a wacko by everybody around you when you don’t fit that cliché. I think it’s very dangerous. (…) The only thing that moves society forward, that moves the universe forward are the people who are – ah, I have to pick the right word and I don’t know the right word… Nobody can convince me that when Albert Einstein was a young man and formed his theory he was not better than everybody around. I mean, he really was better! He was smarter, quicker and cleverer… but he was weird! (…) But when you’re constantly being pressed down by your peer group in school, in church, in a home (…)

And television I think keeps people bland.

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