Happy-Go-Lucky Faster


It’s All Theatre

Tabloid press, reality TV, TV talk shows, social networking and, perhaps, increasingly also, modern-day politics have all got something in common – they contain similar ingredients to those found in soap operas. A trademark of soap opera is that the less exemplary elements of human behaviour are exaggerated and dramatised for effect. A hallmark of the tabloid press is the use of emotional and sensational language which draws readers into the drama.

Gossip and the lives of others had always been of interest to people, but tabloids converted sideshows into the main show. This growing preoccupation spread into other mediums, too, and eventually it went well beyond the lives of only the officially rich and famous. Despite, perhaps, a few protestations to the contrary, those designated as celebrities hardly shy away from being in the limelight. As the saying goes: “All publicity is good publicity”, and over time being famous has taken on major significance in modern societies.

By introducing “real-life” elements into the mix, reality TV took the soap opera concept a step further. Selected members of the public could now become famous, too. They would brush shoulders with genuine celebrities and, just like them, have large audiences observe and follow their every move. Taking a cue, perhaps, from soap opera, participants could spice up and dramatise their actions and activities for effect, bringing greater audiences and improved ratings with regard to the shows and themselves.

In these shows, participants were becoming adept at promoting themselves by sometimes being outrageous, controversial or provocative. Audiences were lapping it up and learning from it, too. Reality TV was hugely popular for its novelty value at first but, in due course, the concept influenced and was blended in with various other genres. Some of these shows, at least to a small extent, contain(ed) educational elements such as the celebrity chefs series. A particular type of TV talk show – which came to be known as “Trash TV” – preceded reality TV by a couple of decades already and was based on outrage creation and stirring up animosity amongst participants.

Initially, as with the tabloid genre which slowly spread around the world, not everyone considered the depiction of the lowest common denominator on television as being optimum entertainment. Many viewers actively avoided soap opera, trash TV and reality TV. The majority of professionals preferred to continue reading their broadsheets and magazines. Likewise, discerning television viewers continued to opt for quality TV programmes. On the other hand, more than enough readers and viewers were becoming eager consumers of dramatised and sensationalised entertainment and news media.

That humans have always been intrigued by the weird, the outlandish and the obscure is not in doubt, and an apt analogy would be that the modern-day version of “freak shows” increasingly came to town in some of these shows on a screen and in a newspaper near you. In the press, the tabloid media formula continued to spread and, eventually, even organisations once-known as conservative and well-established news publications adopted the model or blended it in.

Tabloid newspapers had already been using “tabloid headlines” for decades to prompt people to buy the paper. The “tabloid language” used in news content contained special “tabloid vocabulary” (short, emotional and ambiguous key words) to create intrigue which draws readers into the emotional drama. These days, online tabloid-style headlines are referred to as “click-bait”.

Read Further

By Jean-Jacques M

Full article is published at gypsycafe.org

Download Pdf: Full Article (12 Pages)

Copyright © 2016 · All Rights Reserved · Gypsy Café

About Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café

Explorer, Philosopher, Photographer. View all posts by Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café

8 responses to “Happy-Go-Lucky Faster

  • JC

    Great post and very interesting. You talked about dopamine which I’m very familiar with. I have Parkinson’s disease which is the lack of dopamine in my system. It was estimated that at my time of diagnosis in 2012, my system had lost 70 to 80% of its dopamine levels. So I’m the opposite of too much dopamine, I don’t have enough. So I take 2 drugs, one makes dopamine and the other fools the body into thinking it’s dopamine. So I’m constantly monitoring my levels of each drug. Thew worse part in the side effects which get worse as time goes on. The worst of these side effects is severe moments of the body. Anyway, I could go on and on. Great post, I’m in the middle of reading the extended version. Thx. JC

    • Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café

      JC, thank you for your reply. It was very interesting to learn about all the brain chemicals during my research for the article and how some medications contain some of these chemicals. For example how serotonin is used in medication for depression and I saw some reports that oxytocin can help kids with autism. Thank you for filling me in on dopamine use for Parkinson’s disease – I see that it is also used in trauma and for cardiovascular treatments, so dopamine seems to be very versatile. That’s really amazing how you have to take the two “competing” drugs in relation to your dopamine levels, so must be able to gauge your level very well I would imagine. I can imagine that the side effects are bad – will look into it to get an idea. If it were not for the internet, I would probably not have learned about neurotransmitters! Very interesting subject and I intend to learn more about it.
      Thanks for taking the time to read the extended version and for commenting! J.J.

    • Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café

      PS: I have changed the text on this post to reflect the first part of the extended article, so readers who are interested in the brain chemicals part can “read further” at gypsycafe.org.

  • smilecalm

    after this i’m gonna
    chill in a deep freeze
    to slow inner
    chemical reactions 🙂

  • searchingforfernando

    Thank you for this very informative article. I have never had a smartphone and got rid of my boob tube years ago. I think social media is an extremely boring waste of time. However, I found this article very helpful because I have had PTSD for many years. Because of this my body never stops pumping cortisol, to the point where it is harming my body in a big way. I now have high blood pressure due to super-high levels of cortisol. I am slender, exercise daily and eat an extremely healthy vegetarian diet, but because PTSD is behind the cortisol, natural methods for lowering blood pressure do not work. I will never take a pill for this because high blood pressure medication has some of the most dangerous side-effects of any drug. After more than a year of Five Element acupuncture, there has been little help in my condition. What I know worked in the past (getting away from my stressful situation) I have not been able to do for almost six years, and it is taking it’s toll.

    • Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café

      Thank you very much for reading the full article and for your very valuable reply. A very important aspect that I learned about during my research for the article is that all our neurochemicals have natural purposes and have natural functions, but that even with everything in balance, we are still going to experience general highs and lows – and that the natural lows also have purpose. By using technology all the time, we overstimulate the neurochemiclas and the natural balance is affected.

      Some people have for medical or other reasons (by/at birth for example) too much of one or more neorochemicals and in such cases they often need to use prescription medication after having been diagnosed (when/if in doubt we should always consult a physician). Cortisol has a (direct or indirect) function of warning us about danger or threat (either large or small), so it makes sense that if/when we remain within an environment that exposes us to something that threatens us (continuously) – either psychological or physical – that our system would keep on producing cortisol. We are constantly being sent a message.

      From personal experience, having also had stress issues and related symptoms at times in my life, I can confidently say that removing one-self from a stress-inducing environment is without a doubt the best solution – although I also know and understand that this is of course not always possible, or it can take a long time to eventually get there – but most experts would agree (form the books I have read on the subject) that changing one’s environment is a very powerful natural remedy and will go a great way towards healing on a more permanent basis – and bring a return to balance.

      Acupuncture is often a very good alternative for various ailments where medication is not preferable, but if it has not shown positive results over a relatively long time, then perhaps, as you have identified – it comes back to the environmental aspect. I hope you manage to find a solution. Thank you again for reading and for your input and feedback.


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