I'm depressed. I'm depressed at how pathetic people are and how the will to believe in something "cool" often derails intellectual debate (even within one's own head). Lately we've been flooded with new cool music, tv programming and movies, often marketed as reality. Unfortunately nearly everything marketed as so, is not. In fact, it's usually not even based in reality. Viral campaigns almost exclusively survive on the concept of it being real, in the moment and making the viewer feel as if he/she "discovered something". So our current generations perception of reality is completely skewed.
Television: Oh, there are so many instances on television it's hard to pinpoint one network as being the worst but i'll try... MTV, remember when you were witty, sarcastic and creative? Remember when your programming was legendary and your name actually stood for Music Television (they have recently dropped the music television from their branding)? Now we're being fed this false reality of Jersey Shore, My Life As Liz and nearly almost every other program on the channel. Let me hit you with some fun info!
(Referring to the fake show My Life As Liz) - Of course MTV doesn't claim that's it real and why would they? Giving viewers the illusion that is in indeed real creates more "credibility"; in and entertainment in the viewers mind. MTV has claimed that all the shows are scripted to a point (except for the Real World Series and the True Life series).
Only two of the 50 reality shows are not scripted. What's more disturbing is not this fact, but how many people believe Liz is just a cute nerd who hates the popular girls at her school. Not only is the acting embarrassingly bad but the plots are completely predictable and reek of "old man perception of highschool". TV is not alone in it's false reality marketing... not by a long shot.
Movies: Fortunately movies are almost always assumed fake so a few have to push the concept further with poor filming and dialogue to really sell it! Usually in the Found Footage genre, there have been several sinners in fake reality movies starting with items like Cannibal Holocaust and more recently with Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity, The Poughkeepsie Tapes and Incident in Lake County. Almost all these films experienced minor success virally and we're planned to do so. These seemingly underground movies have even gone so far as to omit credits in it's attempt to deceive the viewer. Some good advice, if it's on your local big screen- a lot of people had to fund and produce this, it's not real.
Internet: Now the biggest sinner of them all, but also the hardest to detect. The internet has hundreds of REAL viral breakouts (mostly on youtube) but every now and then there are complete fakes. The latest is this:
At first glance it's the coolest thing ever! Ironic rap, "interweb" lingo, and Napoleon Dynamite-esque persona's (out of touch and in their own reality). I've been shown this video several times already from eager friends showing the newest fad. I usually don't take issue with these trends and usually even laugh with everyone, but fake/planned/marketed viral video is not fun for me. If you can't tell, this group is completely a farce...
The original group "Max Normal TV" was a hailed as the Ali G of South Africa and not only have his tattoos been proven fake but the production and major label kind of bring up the question, who's behind this? Also the director of the in the moment video you saw before happens to be a major director for the likes of Coca Cola and other major brands. It's all playing into the idea of fake reality, viral marketing and "you saw it first" mentality. Die Antwoord are currently in talks for a major tour (with major cash)- the plan worked! So congrats, the club will be packed with eager naive hipsters believing they are part of the joke while in reality the joker is laughing at them.
As ironic Next Gen reality star Flava Flav once said (in his original and meaningful group Public Enemy), "Don't believe the hype". Start questioning what you believe in (media wise)- Question who you give your money to. Question what makes up your identity. They know their lifespan is short when using a gimmick, but they will milk you for everything you got before you can put it in the guilty pleasure (out of embarrassment) section of your brain.