HGTV: A Running Documentary on (Sponsored) American Narcissism

As the kids say, OMFG!

Spent an hour in my apartment exercise room watching HGTV on the idiot box above the gym machines. It would be impossible to make a better documentary on the profound mental illness of the quasi-privileged sector of the American population at this ripe moment in our imperial history. Every second and every image — the appalling commercials very distinctly included — transmitted by HGTV is both an encouragement and a reflection of the stunning narcissism, vapidity, and ultra-petty acquisitiveness that pervades our greatly flattered and over-counted middle class. If you want to diagnose the cultural train wreck that un-checked corporate capitalism has made in its #1 citadel, this truly is must-see-TV.

This amazing TV channel is also powerful evidence of the inflexibility of our money-first social order. Thanks to Peak Oil and imperial decline, the logic of “home ownership” is now radically different than what middle-classers have been taught for the past 60+ years. Will paying a mortgage on a suburban casita ever again be a smart economic move? Perhaps, but this rote “dream” is now very far from being the no-brainer it’s been.

Nevertheless, just as the car corporations continue to advertise their rolling boondoggles as if it were 1987, so do the realtors, financiers, and house-equippers evidently lack any ability to deal with a future in which long-denied ecological limits are coming home to roost. HGTV trundling its way along the same old road confirms the Ceauşescuan bankruptcy of our played-out overclass. Their well is running very dry indeed…

6 Replies to “HGTV: A Running Documentary on (Sponsored) American Narcissism”

  1. Captive audience at first: Other people were already watching it before I arrived. But, as I said, it proved to be a revelation. It generally comports with the types of conversations I hear during my frequent eavesdroppings at Starbucks, etc., here in my yuppish suburban neighborhood.

    Sometimes, it is lucky to be forced to do something you’d normally avoid like the plague…

  2. Is that you on the photo? Who is the lady then? Surprised to see you there, if I am not mistaken. Well, we’re suffering from the current credit crunch (i.e., planned bankruptcy by the rich who made more money than they expected during the oil crisis), and looks like I have to proclaim Chapter 13 again, unless Lloyds TSB gives me an emergency loan. If they give it to Lehman Brothers, why not to me?

  3. I have watched this channel for around seven years i have found it to be useful for many reasons. One if you have never bought a house or want to buy a house they offer some good advice. Second if you want to sell they offer bits of info of how to sell. Third and most important is not to take it to seriously because as we know that most people who can afford two houses and spend the amount of money they also will be remodeling and decorating to thier taste. As of lately they have shown house that have not sold and how these houses have been forclosed by the bank but with that they also make it sound as if it was these people faults and maybe it was to a point but the reality is we are all just a paycheck away from being homeless and HGTV and a bailout from the government is not going to change that!
    Just Enjoy!

  4. Firefly, your comment reminds me of the importance of being able to think on multiple planes. You are quite right that there’s good advice on HGTV. I was criticizing it on a different plane.

    I hate political correctness, and think it’s futile to try to shop your way to a better future, so I certainly don’t mean to have my slam of HGTV taken as a slam on all who watch it. It is possible to be intelligently contradictory about such things.

    I wonder how many people who watch HGTV are victims of the larger worldview it encourages.

  5. I agree with you it is futile to shop your way to a better future but isnt that what we have done. Most Americans have watched and been taught that buying is the only power that they can exude to have a better life and leaving out the most important factor… people.
    I just watced last night and wow it was exhausting to watch that all happiness and everything is dependent upon the house and its worth and I take it that was your intention of blogging about this in the first place( correct me if I am wrong which is hardly ever). In response to your last statement I am not sure iI would call people victims as I would call them passive participants to the culture of media that perptuates this type of rediculous and unrealistic ideals of more is better at whatever the cost.

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