Saturday, October 24, 2009

Surreality TV

The Balloon Boy captured everyone's attention, it was a media spectacle and tugged at our heart strings. Then the Ruse was up: the public was mad, the family became a joke, and writers made "hot air" puns and left it at that.
The story should not be left at that, the length the Henne family went to be come known needs to be discussed further and fleshed out. This story is important not because of its drama or even bizarre context, but rather because it is indicative of a greater fame obsessed culture, partly produced by the prominence of reality and famous for nothing celebrities. The Henne family was so obsessed with reality TV that when they themselves became the news that the reality was at the moment a surreality.
Now we hate the family and make jokes about them. They attained fame, whether it was in the manner they intended or not and now they have been consumed, rebuked and tossed away.
Just as in Whorhal's Monroe, the 15 minutes of fame we seek may seem to be surrounded by regal gold, but on closer examination it is always revealed to be cheap metallic spray paint. It this light, it is fittng that the Balloon Family rose to fame on something that silver and glimmering, but ended up being fragile and cheap Mylar.

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