Who decides which reality?

Issues of authenticity and reality-bending have been on my mind quite a lot recently and, as always, the very fact I’m preoccupied with the topics means that I seem to be finding them mirrored all over the place.

However, news of the fake Big Brother monstrosity in Istanbul couldn’t fail to get the cogs turning again. It sounds like the plot to several horror films I’ve guiltily enjoyed, except luckily no one died. They were victims of plenty though.

The thing that’s really intrigued me is the layers of lies and false realities created by Big Brother-style shows. Such as the faked scenes, the manipulation of intent that can be caused with careful editing and even the fact that people, however genuine they claim to be, are sure to be performing from the second the camera switches on.

In a way, this case seems like an extension of the falsity ‘reality’ TV can foster to me. Reports have appeared claiming that the women were told to behave certain ways for the camera, whether by this point they knew they were captive or whether they performed tasks against their will or not is the question that circles around my mind.

Where does the autonomy come in? Where is the line and how are we to know when human rights are being violated? Is it as soon as someone does something on a programme that may be broadcast that is inappropriate or that they aren’t comfortable with? If so, what about talk shows? They are barely ‘real’ but we are shown people and their situations as though it is their reality. What is reality anyway? The story you tell top yourself or the story other people tell you? My brain hurts.

3 thoughts on “Who decides which reality?

  1. Maybe reality is everything that is left undefined, undescribed and uncaptured.

    I’m also going to say the word ‘unreality’ because I feel as though I should.


  2. ok, that was too profound. you made my brain hurt again. so, I wonder if as soon as we experience something, internalise it and turn it into part of our own personal narratives it becomes unreal?

    also, did you see the spelling mistakes in the tags? I shouldn’t be allowed near a keyboard. 🙂


    • Haha, you’re so cute. You need this proofread.

      Also when I was in uni and we did a lot of stuff about language, erm, I cannae even mind what but Colebrook was heading the lectures so basically my mind was blown from the get-go. But I grew this excellent love-hatred of language where I became extremely uncomfortable with how language can never truly express what we mean. It’s not even that once we put something into words it becomes a fiction, but it becomes an interpretation and passing that on to others just means you’re passing on an interpretation… kind of like reading the translation of a book rather than how it was originally written. It’s a close approximation but it’s not the true story. Which is why sometimes I prefer to communicate with noises… I find them more, er, revealing? than words. Sometimes. But at the same time, you know how I love my words.


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