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Why Can't We Stop Watching TV?
By Steve Hoenisch
Last updated on Feb. 15, 2006
Copyright 1996-2006 www.Criticism.Com | View in PDF
Table of Contents
1 A Glimpse of Her Stomach
Roland Barthes, writing in The Pleasure of the Text, has an explanation for a befuddling recurrence: Why so many people, including myself, watch so much bad TV even when we know it is awful. Barthes's answer: pleasure. He elaborates thus:
"If I judge a text according to pleasure, I cannot go on to say: this one is good, that bad. No awards, no `critique," for this always implies a tactical aim, a social usage, and frequently an extenuating image-reservoir."
And, more poignantly:
"It is intermittence, as psychoanalysis has so rightly stated, which is erotic: the intermittence [for example] of skin flashing between two articles of clothing (trousers and sweater), between two edges (the open-necked shirt, the glove and the sleeve); it is this flash itself which seduces, or rather: the stage of an appearance-as-disappearance."