What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: Super*Junk
I am curious why anybody watches soap operas.
The same question could no doubt be asked about most reality TV shows, romance novels, and other drama-induced forms of so-called entertainment. What draws people to spend their time this way?
While on my mission in Honduras, I encountered many fans of “telenovelas” (the Spanish equivalent of a soap opera). Observing the types of people who were regular watchers of these shows, I came to a conclusion: people who watch soap operas on a regular basis desire to live vicariously through the actors and infuse their life with more drama, passion, and intrigue.
Almost all of the telenovela fans I encountered were women. These women led fairly boring lives which constituted cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, and other menial tasks. Some had drama of their own to worry about, but even these would regularly watch their favorite telenovela (or two or three) during the day.
In our country, you likewise don’t see too many men watching soap operas. One might argue that this is because the men are usually at work during the day, but I’m not even sure that an unemployed couch potato would subject himself to watching a soap opera (though there are probably numerous exceptions to this assumption). Soap operas seem to target themselves to women, saturating the plot lines with romance and passion that naturally appeal to women.
But even so, I’m intrigued whenever I hear of anybody watching a soap opera, regardless of sex, age, or socioeconomic status. There are far better ways of filling one’s time; they are efficient, however, at reducing one’s intellectual capacity and moral bearings.
Much like watching Fox News.