I remember when the first Survivor show was released and I refused to watch it. But I read the reviews. And I and my fellow over-thinkers fretted. This didn't seem like a good sign. There was something barbaric about it, something that pushed the neoliberal dogma a bit further down our collective throats.

Along with a few other signs of the times (back then) like radio shock jocks... we could feel the goalposts moving. Behaviour that once would not have been tolerated became "funny," then rather quickly "mainstream," and then the goalposts had to be pushed a bit further to get ratings, and... race to the bottom.

So there I was in 2000, sitting around with fellow lefty feminist types and saying, "This is so weird, it's like Roman games on prime time TV, WTH? Where are we going here?"

Well, we were going to a place where Donald Trump could get into the White House (and then attempt a dumb-and-dumber coup to stay in it after narrowly losing the next election). We were going to a place where armed White Power terrorists would demonstrate in front of municipal buildings because they didn't want to take basic public health precautions during a friggin' pandemic. We were going to a place where American security forces would put kids in cages, where official accredited spokespersons would get up in front of rolling cameras and talk about "alternative facts", where any kind of public health system is viewed as a communist plot, and where millions of people now apparently believe that their political opponents kidnap children and drink their blood... We were going to an America that we could barely recognise, and we kinda knew it but kinda didn't quite believe it...

Back in 2000, between eyerolls we were actually uneasy and even a little scared about what this new media trend implied. We weren't nearly uneasy or scared enough. It's gonna take a lot of effort to move them goalposts back -- to a level of community support and mutual responsibility that was considered the basic standard of decency and civic life by commie radicals like President Eisenhower...

Retired; ex-software engineer. Paleo-feminist. Sailor. Arduino tinkerer. Enviro. Libertarian Socialist (Anarcho-Syndicalist, kinda). Writer. Altermondialiste.

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