While reading the “mess” of seemingly-random narratives in Atrocity Exhibition, I was niggled by some sort of psychological conflict happening within the text but couldn’t pinpoint it. Moreover, I became depressed. It’s funny, though. Seeing–well, reading–the bizarre, debauched scenes made me realize just how sheltered I really am in relation to the world around me. It’s like (as a classmate pointed out in lecture today) waking up from a nightmare but realizing that nightmare still persists.
Professor Pulizzi pointed out that one of the running themes of Atrocity Exhibition is the perverse fascination with celebrities. Travis/Talbert/Talbot’s freakish obsession with recreating the assassination of JFK shows a twisted side of celebrity culture. Celebrity figures seem to be “gods” whom the masses worship, but ironically they are victims because of such “worship”. The famous person does not have real power because his/her rise or fall is dictated by the common people through continuous consumption of media like billboards, magazines, and the computer screen. Suddenly I think of the Kardashians (or, as my fellow Yahoo-ers like to say, “Kartrashians”). A netizen reads the latest scandal involving Kim and thinks, “Ha! What a loser!” With just that thought, they gain the advantage. In other words, the one who watches on the sidelines has power.