Out Of (dis)Order

23 10 2011

There’s something I have yet to speak up about which seems to cause a storm of controversy. It’s time to tackle shows like X Factor. Before you think I’m going to haul out a  bit about how poorly they treat those with mental health problems then you’re right. But I’m coming from a different angle.

When people talk about the potential for abuse of those who are vulnerable, they talk about people like Ceri Rees who they allege has a mental health problem. I’m not going to debate this point, I’m going to look how they really do prey on the personality disorders.

People with a personality disorder have feelings too yanno.

Ok, the audition process is lined up with initial auditions, these are people you try to impress first in order to go up in front of the judges who get televised. Standard procedure really as there’s a huge amount of people to get through and only limited amount of time to get everybody seen. What this  means is that everybody you see has already been vetted, everybody on TV has passed approval for the next stage.

Let me put this into perspective here.

Everybody has been judged as to their potential to make good TV regardless of whether they can sing or not.

I have a personality disorder (narcissistic personality disorder which is nowhere near as fun as it sounds) and so I begin to think in terms of what I would believe were I to actually attempt audition.

Motivation to audition is fame and fortune. Very simple. Why this method? Because I believe I can sing. No-one tells me otherwise or those who do are vilified because it doesn’t fit in with the view. Go to audition, pass the initial audition.

Let’s pause here because what does passing this initial audition mean?

Validation of course, inflated ego/sense of self. Ha! Made it passed those losers! Of course I deserve to be here. I’m good.

Moving on, then it’s onto the main stage, in front of those judges, in front of the cameras, in front of the audience. What could go wrong? I sing, I perform, I give it my all, I know I’m good, everyone says so. This. Is. My. Moment. And the judges hate me, they tear me down, the audience are laughing. What the hell?!?!

What’s happened is that the fragile persona construct that has kept me going for many years has been attacked and there’s two ways to go, either the construct collapses and I’m catapulted into extreme depression, or I go on the attack and attack hard.

Back to reality and whilst there’s no chance of me ever auditioning, I do feel concerned about the system which makes fun of people in search of TV ratings. I don’t blame the audience, I don’t blame the judges for tearing people down, it’s what they’re meant to be doing. I blame the production team who single out people who’s only purpose for going further is to give something to ridicule for those who wish to watch it. Is this being responsible? Hell no, it’s a cynical pandering to the marginalizing view of the general public. Would it be so bad if the filtering system actually filtered out the people who can’t perform? Would it be so bad that we see people who are talented and give them a genuine crack at their five minutes of fame?

I’m not saying all those who go onto the main audition simply because they’re terrible have a mental health problem in general or a personality disorder specifically. What I am saying that as these shows continue, they continue to promote a system whereby stigma is what’s necessary to earn a few bucks. Sorry but I’m not comfortable with supporting such a system.

Are you?




One response

23 10 2011

I loathe things like The X Factor, primarily because I find them about as entertaining and interesting as being hit by a train. But I also agree with you that they deliberately exploit people who have ‘issues’ – and that’s ethically repugnant.

I never watched Big Brother, again because I didn’t think I’d find it entertaining. However, initially the concept was quite good: how does such a weird situation impact on the psychology of an ordinary person? However, as it went on, the production people seemed to deliberately choose the most volatile and bizarre people imaginable: not only did that exploit people who don’t conform to social norms, it ruined the validity of the original experiment.

Fucking bullshit.

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