Broadcast Obscenity

General Electric, the conglomerate that owns ABC, Disney, and makes nuclear weapons, broadcasts a TV show called Wipeout, which is a little like Super Mario Brothers, except in real life and with supermodels instead of Mario and Luigi.

Where the show involves multiple contestants competing to run an obstacle course, the use of instant replay makes the presence of multiple contestants somewhat redundant; each Wipeout is seen multiple times from multiple angles.   The producers of the show seem to recognize this, and consequently boil each contestant down to an arbitrary bit of “human interest.”  This is done often enough primarily as an expedient towards making a contestant the subject of ridicule on the voiceover.

Although in every way presented in the form of a game, the show consistently relies on deception: the game has no rules other than the laws of physics, and the obstacles on the course are in no way impartial towards individual contestants.

If not for the occasionally dance-like footage of bodies cast in exquisite motion, then perhaps for its form, Wipeout resembles Olympia, Leni Riefenstahl’s 1938 documentary about the Nazi Olympics — especially with respect to the use of rapid edits in the men’s diving portion.

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Transit TV is a company that installs televisions on busses and then sells advertising on those televisions.  I guess if you have to ride the bus to get to work, and are forced to watch these advertisements during that ride, you are, in a sense, part of “a captive audience” just as Transit TV claims.

Transit TV homepage Clipping