Kristiva Stack posted this at Radical Unschooling Info and let me share it here:|
I recently came across something that I thought I'd share if the topic ever came up again. The author is researching psychopathy and the different people and businesses where a severe lack of empathy is possibly the reason for their (particular brand of) success. This is part of an interview with a woman who used to be a (very successful) guest booker for multiple reality shows. She explains how her and her colleagues would have to become detached, to the point of making fun of the potential interviewees. Otherwise the job would become too depressing.
Some quotes from the book:
"'My jobs was to call them back, repeatedly, over a matter of weeks, even if they'd changed their minds and decided not to do the show. There had to be a show. You had to keep going'."
"'I'd ask them what medication they were on. They'd give me a list. Then I'd go to a medical website to see what [the medications] were for. And I'd assess if they were too mad to come onto the show or just mad enough.'"
"'And that was Charlotte's secret trick. She said she didn't stop to consider *why* some sorts of madness were better than others: 'I just knew on an innate level who would make good television. We all did. Big Brother, The X Factor, American Idol. Wife Swap. . . Wife Swap is particularly bad because you're monkeying with people's families, with their children. You've got some loop-the-loop stranger yelling at someone's children. The producers spend three weeks with them, pick the bits that are mad enough, ignore the bits that aren't mad enough, and then leave.'"
I thought her comments made a very clear point about the agenda of these reality TV shows. Regardless of how nice they may seem or the connection you may feel you've made with them.
The book is called: The Psychopath Test - Jon Ronson
Kristiva Stack, October 15, 2013