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Friday, December 08, 2006

The Perversity of the Perverse

It seems to me (while reading "Lolita") that this country has a fascination with kicking people when they are down. In no way would I say that what the narrator has done is justifiable, but at the same time we "pious" ones tend to vilify a bit too fast. Case in point: NBC has a new series on "Dateline" entitled "To Catch a Predator." This is a worthwhile program, and it does a great deal to protect children in the United States. The problem with the program is that since it is televised, and the directors and powers that be need to produce "good television," the entire show has turned into televised lynching. For example, they go to great lengths to depict the alleged predators as the most evil of evil beings. I am in no way supporting what these men have done, but there is a problem when we turn the entire endeavor into "entertainment." And that is what NBC has done. The viewer WANTS to see the people get caught, and they want to see it in all its "gotcha" sort of distorted perversity. How does this tie to "Lolita?" Very simple. We want the narrator, Humbert Humbert, to get caught, to suffer, to pay for the damages he has caused. Our inclination to such sentiments stems perhaps from the deep ingrained idea that we would never--on any account--do something similar. But the truth is deeper than appears. We enjoy vilifying others and watching them be choked and be humiliated and shamed. Their perversity gives way to a more complex one--our own unwillingness to recognize and forgive human fault and folly.

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4 Comments:

At 8:55 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

I always think that we like to see justice in the lives of others. We don't always apply that to ourselves.

 
At 4:48 AM, Blogger Zoe de la Cuadra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:53 AM, Blogger Zoe de la Cuadra said...

There is a very fine line between justice and revenge...and when were acting as spectators is very easy to judged the others. Most of the TV programs try to lift on a higher position our rage to the "others"...so at the end of these shows we are transformed in imaginary punishment executors...

I wonder why, all around the world, the TV and the Mass Media want, an create a frightened and angry audience...

(PD: Sorry, my English is not very good! That´s why I erased the comment. I needed to correct it a little bit! And thank you a lot for your comment. You have a very interesting Blog!)

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Fernando said...

Tu crees que solo en el país donde estás? Creo que es inherente al ser humano patear al que está en el suelo.

 

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