Sunday, February 17, 2013

'Balls to Aspiration, it's a Tossers' Mirage'

British humourist and social commentator Charlie Brooker's style of commentary has been called satirical pessimism. Rather accurately, we think.

Here he aims his rapier wit at the ubiquitous modern curse of aspirational TV. You know, sitcoms, dramas and reality TV depicting near-perfect humans doing near-perfect things, all designed to make us feel inadequate and buy products we don't need to assuage that inadequacy.

He then satirises the subsequent cult of sneering sarcasm that has become our generation's only defence against this barrage of unrealistic perfection.

The real solution seems obvious. Scrap the aspirational TV! All it's doing is making us all either despise it, or go out and spend our money on products and services we don't need that won't make us feel any better, because true satisfaction comes from our relationships. 

Perhaps from honouring one's social responsibilities to one's fellow humans. Perhaps from love. Probably not from exercise supplements, cosmetic surgery, dieting, home improvement, cars, clothes, tattoos or visiting particular nightclubs.

Philosopher Victor Frankl said that "The salvation of love is through love, and in love". He also questioned the idea that the quest for personal happiness is the point of life. Allied to that is the value system that puts liberty, freedom as the ultimate goal for human society. 

Frankl proposes that Responsibility should be allied to Freedom as goals and values that give true meaning to life. The apathy, boredom and emptiness that is often symptomatic of contemporay existence, Frankl suggests, are alleviated when our life has the noble purpose of work, or uplifting our fellow man.

But we're paraphrasing here. Go look him up. Charlie Brooker too. That is some cutting wit right there!

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