The Rise of the Modern Freak Show.

Freak Show 1

There is what I find a disturbing trend on the TV nowadays and that is what I call the modern freak show. There are programmes about people who have terrible crippling disabilities and diseases and the cameras are delving into every aspect of their lives.

I know that some good might come of this in helping publicise rare medical conditions and perhaps encouraging research into these disabilities and if it helps people in the future then it can’t be all bad.

But personally I never watch these shows because it would make me uncomfortable. There’s an element of schadenfreude about this sort of thing. It reminds me of the old Victorian freak shows where they would charge admission to look at badly deformed and disabled people.

Obviously the programme makers have permission to do these programmes or they wouldn’t be broadcast but I just find this whole sort of thing extremely unpleasant. Am I wrong? What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “The Rise of the Modern Freak Show.

  1. All disabled people are freaks and weirdos or proper subjects for prurience, pity and disgust.
    The same applies to many people who are _not_yet_ disabled: all of us are likely to end up visually impaired/hearing impaired/mobility impaired or mentally challenged in some way or other by the time we’re 75 or 80 – so all the people who are interested in the disabled as different are just denying the inevitable that will come to them eventually.

  2. Agree, and I skep them too…and it isn’t just the disabled; the lifestyle freak-shows are a parallel set, and just as disturbing. We are, it seems, turning into a strange species that lives vicariously through our TV screens, the more alien and over the top, the better.

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