Maggie Nelson's 'Great To Watch'

1829 Words8 Pages
Lust for Disgust There is not a minute in the day where a news broadcast is not being televised. For twenty-four hours, the same repetitive and monotonous information is delivered by different news anchors. Even though they report nothing new, Americans will still watch for hours upon hours. The large majority of these television broadcasts deliver stressful and generally upsetting news, but in no way, is this a deterrent to the viewer. The American obsession with spectatorship is a phenomenon created by the inaccessibility of timely and relevant knowledge. This oddly leads to an increase in the demand and likeability of terror. In her piece “Great to Watch”, Maggie Nelson explores the origins of this fascination with horror and gives an…show more content…
But ironically, when these regular citizens gain an inch of separation from their peers they immediately become the thing they despise. Nelson qualifies this idea with her inclusion of BlueServo in her essay. This was a venture to crowdsource the “looking for ‘illegals’” (Nelson 302). Initially, BlueServo was a way for citizens to serve their country, but quickly it became an easy way for damaged citizens to live out their sick fantasies. For their whole lives, people of a higher level of influence have told them what to do and when. But with BlueServo and websites like it, now it was their turn to influence other people’s lives. As with any bad habit, it soon becomes not enough, people felt the need to not only capture the criminals but administer their own idea of justice. A member of the Minuteman, an organized union of these surveillance addicted individuals, believed it was his turn to enact his version of justice. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of viewership is a complete misunderstanding of reality and this lead to the murder of two innocent Hispanic people. As with an addiction the more you are told to stop, the more you are drawn in. Because of viewership, Americans have essentially become “chained to their image-displacement machines like lab animals to dispensers of morphine” (Nelson 308). All over America, there is a demand for power…show more content…
The Romans would get their fix with their gladiators and colosseums. Seeing other citizens who possess less social currency do inhumane things to each other, reminds of us the pleasure and social security we enjoy. As time passed this became unacceptable in society and these barbaric practices were outlawed. Recently these practices have reemerged in a new and advanced way. In the twenty-first century, television and the internet have been the apparatuses of choice for unlocking society’s perversion and love for disarray and violence. Technology has made it easier to passively spectate the horror that occurs around the world. More and more Americans become viewers of news networks who display sad story one after another. Most people do not understand or even realize that they enjoy it, but every night they turn to the news. The reason for the viewership is the subliminal need for power. In one way or another we must see or hear about how others are suffering, so we can feel better about our situation. This can turn dangerous as some many feel they are deserving of more, so they go and create their self-righteous version of terror. Because of this powerful businessman and their rent-seeking activities and the abusers of the BlueServo project possess similar motives. But when people are the ones being viewed or spectated, humans attempt to escape reality to focus on irrelevant things. The
Open Document