Monday, February 3, 2014

Big Brother

The Truman Show reminded me of the television show Big Brother, except Truman didn't sign up for the cameras [which kind of makes the whole thing seem a bit immoral]. So you could say both Big Brother and The Truman Show are reality television. Based on the category title (reality television) I would assume it would "real." And yet, how much of it is actually real and how much of it is actually scripted? In the case of The Truman Show, everything but Truman is scripted. In a sense then, doesn't that make him scripted? His thoughts, his actions, just like the rest of us, are based on surroundings and our relationships. If all aspects of our lives are controlled then we are being controlled. 

"Was nothing real?" -Truman
"You were, Truman." -Christophe

Truman's best friend would suggest that Truman was real, but to what extent? Sure, the emotions he felt were real emotions. However, he did not control his future. The director of the show ultimately controlled his life. Of course, this all changes when he figures out that he is being watched. 

The director said, "We accept the world that we are presented." I think that perhaps this is true until we realize that we are capable of change. Truman accepted his world until he realized that there was more to the world that he had been living in. I think Truman could be liked to a child, we are naive and think that the world is as it is. Then we grow up and realize that we are capable of change. If people always accepted the world for what it was then society would not have changed so drastically over the years. This is most evident in our growth of technology. 

Just a thought: Would you want to live a life like Truman? It seems a good life, in the sense that everything is almost perfect.. 

But I would not want that life. If everything were always perfect would we really appreciate it? I think you have to understand the bad in order to appreciate the good. 

3 comments:

  1. I heard an interview on NPR today (http://www.npr.org/2014/02/04/271416048/are-we-having-fun-yet-new-book-explores-the-paradox-of-parenting) about whether having children makes people happier. The author who was being interviewed persuasively argued that no, kids generally don't improve their parents happiness. She quoted all sorts of scientific studies with which I would not quibble. However, there was a moment where she said that parents had more highs and more lows than people without children. So that is clearly different than happiness...but also maybe more closely aligned with what I would consider to be a fulfilling human life (this is probably also just me trying to convince myself that having a kid was a good idea, ha ha). But it does seem that suffering is somehow connected to the idea of realness, authenticity, humanity... Robots don't cry. In some ways, would Truman be happier if he had some pain to go with his Macocoa?

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  2. I just noticed that you commented on this post and it was almost like it was meant to happen today. I was thinking about a similar concept to the idea that "Robots don't cry." In our class discussion today about "Do Androids Dream of Sheep?" we had mentioned that the androids could be a "perfect human." We had also mentioned that it seemed as though the only character to have "real" emotions was John Isadore, who only just missed passing the IQ test. So could it be said then that those who are classified as intelligent carry less emotions? Maybe that you can either feel or be intelligent but you cannot have both. Rick Deckard, who appears to be intelligent, was appalled by his wife's decision to dial into depression, which she did because she found it odd that intellectually she could hear the silence but didn't experience the feeling that coincides with that silence.

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  3. And then I wonder if ANDROIDS works to re-value the human/emotion/natural end of the binary, as opposed to the android/intellect/culture side... Interesting that Luna is an artist-- and an opera singer, no less. Opera is the most passionate art form I could imagine using in a story, so it's interesting that Dick chose that for one of the first androids that we really get to know. Just curious about whether Dick is shoring up the dichotomy or deconstructing it in this novel...

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