Viral Videos and Hyperreality: How Attention is Manufactured On a Massive Scale

Viral videos are a strange cultural phenomenon.

They’re your classic fail compilations, your controversial quotes clipped out of interviews, your Cat Falls in Bath, Disembowels Owner (MUST WATCH!!)s. Or — more interestingly — a document of some tiny, insignificant moment that was never ready to be scrutinized by millions.

Videos go viral by chance: they happen to be picked up in the right place at the right time, someone will get it up on the front page of reddit for a few hours, and it’ll blow up. Millions of views overnight, coverage from every major news outlet on the planet, and some drugged seven-year old babbling nonsense in the back of his dad’s car is suddenly world famous.…   [continue reading]

Hyperreality and Suspended Disbelief in Wrestling

“AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, HE IS BROKEN IN HALF.”

Mankind plummets 16ft into an announce table from the top of a cell, and Jim Ross — genuinely fearing for Mankind’s life — reacts with the same conviction he would if he knew there was no threat at all.

The greatest wrestling personalities are the greatest actors, athletes and public speakers. They’re the ones who create the hyperreality of wrestling, and allow us slip in and out of the state of suspended disbelief.

Despite the WWE’s best efforts in the past, there’s no way you’re still unaware that wrestling is scripted.…   [continue reading]