By Gwendolyn Audrey Foster
The tradition of twenty-first century the United States mostly revolves round narcissistic loss of life, violence, and visions of doom. As individuals are bombarded with amoral metanarratives that demonstrate a nearly entire loss of empathy for others on tv, in movies, and on the web, their insatiable urge for food for over the top discomfort and regimen demise displays an embody of an perpetually warring tradition. Foster explores this tradition of the apocalypse, from hoarding and gluttony to visions of the post-apocalyptic international.
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Extra info for Hoarders, Doomsday Preppers, and the Culture of Apocalypse
But Hoarders is specifically designed to escape thinking about reality and replace our problems with the voyeuristic pleasures of feeling temporarily secure; secure in our knowledge that we are not ill, not hyper-consumers, and somehow not responsible for our excessive spending. It is crucial that we feel superior to the out-of-control hoarder who is repeatedly mired in fecal matter to the point that they are metaphorically fecal and they live in toilets. No matter how bad off we are, no matter how bad our credit, our compulsive spending, our fiscal status, above all Hoarders makes the viewer secure in the knowledge that they are most assuredly not fecal matter and not living in toilets.
Recession TV programming works hard at holding onto and affirming long lost American dreams of middle-class existence. It is important to the capitalist mindset to maintain the myth that Americans are ruled by an elected government rather than multinational corporations, and most importantly, the notion that we can spend our way out of the current economic recession, or meet our emotional needs by overindulging ourselves with yet more purchasing. Always ahead of his time, Pasolini described the coprophagia scenes in Salò as a critique of the processed food industry.
Where are the shots of these consumers in a spending haze, their eyes aglow as they take part in the supposed dream of freedom under capitalism; freedom of choice to spend, and being met with perhaps too many choices? Where are the televised sequences of shots of the compulsive spenders in their motorized carts, crowding the aisles of Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, or other retail stores? Odd then, that the consumption aspect of capitalist gluttony (purchasing and shopping) is specifically and purposefully made absent and only the results of over-expenditure visually assault the viewer.