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December 02, 2006
Why we interrupt so much
Peggy Noonan laments that the cable TV culture is rewards serial interrupters. This is true, and I've been puzzling over it since I read her article this morning. Here's what I've come up with:
Conflict: Ever since lions lunched on gladiators, and probably long before, humans have enjoyed conflict.
Choice: If we don't get the conflict we like on news shows, we can turn to a fight on reality TV, or a mother screaming at her daughter on a talk show for dressing like prostitute.
Brands: If networks can turn their news people into battling brands, ratings go up. Look at Lou Dobbs.
Time: If they're not interrupted, windbag politicians will blabber on forever. To get them to say something interesting in the alloted 90 seconds, interruptions are crucial.
So, how can viewers get news without being bored to tears or watching a partisan shout-fest? When the Romans tired of blood, they turned to the circus. If news has to entertain, comedy's a natural. No wonder Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are so popular.
Negative merging and conflict
Negative merging is a powerful force in the personality. It is the core of suffering, the basis and the fuel of all emotional conflicts, of all negative object relations. It is in the deepest core of the unconscious, in the merged representations, manifesting in the more superficial layers of the personality as the various conflicts and distortions specific to the later stages of ego development. (The Pearl Beyond Price, pg 249)
Posted by: John Harper at December 2, 2006 03:07 PM
If they're not interrupted, windbag politicians will blabber on forever. To get them to say something interesting in the alloted 90 seconds, interruptions are crucial.
yeah, but they still don't answer the question or say anything interesting or useful. It's just an exercise in ignoring the question that was asked.
Posted by: Ken at December 3, 2006 08:27 AM
Yesssss! "Negative Merging" I knew that was the problem!!! Damn I'm good.
Posted by: Rory at December 4, 2006 10:47 PM