Twenty years ago, a person who professed a belief that his letters were having an impact on the color of Cliff Huxtable’s sweaters would have been a prime candidate for institutionalization, a delusion of reference par excellence. Today we take such ideation in stride: “Everyone knows producer X reads the Show Z message boards, he even logs in sometimes under an alias!” Therefore, the Show Z community has an impact on the program. As delusions go, this one is particularly sad, like the psychotic alone at a window in the day room who thinks he controls the weather. From Freud onward, theorists have attempted to account for how the psychotic translate internal affect into fantasies of external control, how libidinal energies become literalized as a type of ray that can influence a love object from afar. The entire point of the trolling media God fantasy—even if one knows, deep down, it’s really only an intern assigned to update all the ancillary content—is to flatter and thus further entangle viewers in fantasies of their own creative agency. Not only do the media speak to me, they want to hear from me! That show matters to me, so I must matter to it!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Join The Conversation On Your Favorite Show?
Jeffrey Sconce on the increasing "audience interaction" pitch the networks are making: