I was sitting on a Delta jet high over a sea of clouds heading to Atlanta. I often take unread magazines with me. I was reading a copy of Time Magazine, Feb. 22, 2010.
I came to an article, What’s Right With Reality TV. There was a full page picture of folks in “Reality Nation.” Since I am not a fan of the genre I recognized very few faces, but I read all five pages of the articles.
I thought about my blog about Becoming Authentic! I began to think I was either very naive or simply out of touch with authenticity. The writer had a lot to say about authenticity. You package yourself, picking identities, “like a producer…you edit yourself to fit the context” (whichever one of you it happens to be at the time). Each one is “entirely authentic.” Basically, you make it up and it’s all REAL?
I saw the phrase “the realitization of reality” and felt confused. What does that mean? It was defined as “the evolution of once private, or at least obscure, acts into performance.” When I returned to Arizona I looked for the word “realitization” in my Webster’s New World Dictionary. It isn’t in there. Perhaps my “new dictionary” is already out of date.
I also looked up REAL: existing as fact, actual, true not merely pretended, imagined, authentic, genuine and so forth. Sounded OK to me. Back to the Velveteen Rabbit question, “What is real?”
I’m in a profession where, like priests in a confessional, confidentiality is sacred. What’s Right With Reality TV questions the whole idea of privacy. “Now the default setting is publicity, not privacy.” In the words of “Rachel” from some Real program, “Nowadays being anonymous is worse than being poor.” (Her face was probably there in the “Nation.”) I am one who cuts or tears off my mailing address on the magazines I read and leave on the airplane. I am being anonymous! But I don’t think it is worse than being poor.
Also the “viralization of people?” I bet that’s not in the dictionary either. I’ll have to think more about that.