Tokyo Damage Report

politics in the hate-watch era

THE IRONY of MSM giving trump a free platform for months (i.e. how he never had to buy ads because the MSM gave him so much free time out of sheer sarcasm) and then going “aaah he’s winning?”.


I guess in their big, sophisticated, irony-filled Coastal Elite world, it was possible to explain their unlimited Trump-time as ‘hate-watching’ (i.e. ‘we’re just letting people see him for the buffoon he is!’) (but why not also let viewers ‘hate-watch’ Sanders?) . . . . but in middle America it was free publicity.  The MSM’s own ‘ad revenues for our shareholders at all costs’ business model wound up biting them on their ass and electing a dork that their own shareholders can’t stand.


But at least we shareholders got those sweet dividends! I’m picturing a short film about some sharp  investor who  bought so much stocks in MSM companies that she can use those dividends to escape il Donny’s  America and live in Monaco full time.  I mean that’s what the super-rich are already doing, with regards to OTHER ‘externalities’ of their corporate holdings (climate change? No problem! Buy a swiss chalet! Pollution? Only poors drink tap water! Police brutality? Not with my personal security guard team!).


Come to think of it, il Donny’s whole campaign is an externality of a ratings-and-entertainment-driven ‘news’ system.  He’s ‘ENTERTAINMENT POLLUTION’.


Let’s take a broader look at the concepts of ‘hate watching’ and ‘hater management’ and ‘my entire goddamn brand is I’m the person you love to hate’.  It’s bigger than politics – for example, you also get that with Kanyaay and his his Armenian friends. ( if they had been famous in the ‘70s their show would be called The Big Sulker and His Ethnic Family Companions Comedy Variety Hour).


Ever since Geraldo, hate-watching has gotten more sophisticated and ‘balanced’ (i.e. the perfect reality program for a while has been something where people who hate so-and-so are just as likely to tune in as people who love so-and-so, just as likely to water-cooler-anecdote so-and-so’s antics, and most importantly, just as likely to assume that the producers of the show share their own views about so-and-so). As a business model, hate-watching makes perfect sense: you can double your audience size without finding a main character that more people like.  Free money ,baby! 


So it’s no coincidence that Trump came out of that ‘scene’:  in the heavily spin-doctored realm of politics, even the slightest gaffe is a huge deal, but in reality-tv-land,  the ability to make a memorable and offensive gaffe is what separates the wanna-bes from the pros. The funny thing is, he’s a hair away from winning the nomination AND WE’RE ALL STILL JUDGING HIM BY THE MORE LENIENT RULES OF REALITY-TV.


Which leads to the obvious question: in a world that’s pretty much forgotten the difference between ‘good attention’ and ‘bad attention,’  how much of Donny/Kanyaay/???’s crazy is them saying dumb shit they don’t even believe just to keep their internet mentions (or whatever they call it) high?  Are ‘stars’ being motivated to be even more dickish because they need the haters?


And now on to the less-obvious question:. . . is it even POSSIBLE anymore for even the most famous individuals to get the amount of general across-the-board love that a JFK/ Marylin / Zero Mostel type got back in the 60s?


Is the only way to get that kind of recognition today to encourage haters, start a bunch of dumb shit for no reason, and act crazy? could media icons of the ‘good old days’ like Monroe, Joe DiMAggio, etc, pull half the numbers of a Tump or a Kanyay, without ‘doubling their ratings’ by recruiting millions of haters?


Put more apocalyptically, if a certain percentage of entertainers/politicians/media figures double their fame by encouraging hate-watchers, how long until EVERYONE has to do that, just to keep up with the arms race? and if everyone’s doing it, doesn’t that make us all contemptible opportunistic arrogant assholes?


The metric changed!  They don’t measure how loved you are but how much you’re ‘driving traffic’ or ‘trending’ on ‘social media’ – no distinction between Yay! And Boo! Responses.  The only way to rebel is to ignore them.

Ignore them and listen to Slayer.



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1 Comment so far

  1. Yakui IX February 29th, 2016 5:19 pm

    One of my favorite articles on the site (Though I’m not big on most of the political articles, largely due to my philosophical apathy). The phenomenon of ‘no such thing as bad publicity’ has become more relevant than ever, though people seem to be ignoring it. I’ve had a large amount of trouble articulating the point before in discussion, so it’s nice to read something that explains the situation more clearly than I could think about it.

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