Episode Information

CMS: Our Inner Voyeur
Aired:
02/03/2010
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In this episode:

What makes the personal lives of those in power so compelling?

 

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49:28 minutes (23.75 MB)
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A few years ago -- my son was 14 or 15 -- we were in the audience of the Upright Citizens Brigade, a comedy improv venue in New York City. Onstage was a spoof called "The Paris Hilton Sex Tape -- with Director's Commentary," which involved imposing the usual pretentious director's commentary about artistic choices and crane shots over, well, the Paris Hilton sex tape. 

They were showing the real sex tape on a screen. And I felt weird watching it -- even for comedic purposes -- with my 14 year old son. When we talked about it later he said, "You mean that was the first time you saw that?" And I realized that one of us had seen the tape before ... and it wasn't me.

We're in an age where what is private or intimate can easily go public, and a surprising number of people seem to want it to. Or as Chion says, we're all both voyeurs and exhbitionists. So it's basically a scheduling issue.

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Listener E-mail from Tanya

I'm 65, and can remember True Confessions and "movie magazines."  They seemed to get lots of attention from precisely those people (teenaged girls, young married and unmarried women) who didn't have a shot at much of a life of their own during the late 40's and 50's.  Neither required that you know the individuals they were purportedly about, and both probably satisfied both prurient curiosity and feelings of moral superiority.

Listener E-mail from Ed

One effect of current technology's ability to quickly disseminate people's exhibitionist tendencies, is people acting more restrained.  The example I am thinking of is that it appears that people at Mardi Gras are not as wild and crazy as in the past since their activities can now be recorded and put on the internet very easily.