Making it seem real isn't that easy.

Television as a medium invites us to believe that what we see is true, but our experience of watching places whatever we see into a framework of "just another show". We watch to be entertained, and only to a lesser extent to be informed. We hardly care whether what we see is true or not. We've seen mountain climbers reaching a peak - photographed from above. This of course suggests that someone is already there, and has hauled heavy camera equipment with him or her in order to get that wonderful shot of those first steps, but we rarely give that fact much thought. (Still, we really do have a photograph of Neil Armstrong taking his historic first small step.) We marvel at the beauties of nature photography, but apparently well before digital imaging made it easy to exaggerate the truth, doing so was a popular pastime.

In the past few years numerous television shows have sprung up that offer us an opportunity to see real people in real life situations (which for some strange reason usually means that they have to survive or compete). The internet was probably a source of inspiration for these programs (and even tried its hand at it for a while), but television made it more immediate. Seeing people bleed or suffer on television may not necessarily be more convincing, but it's much more captivating than seeing them do so via a low band width web site.

Go to: A life (sort of) lived.