We don’t do it a lot these days, but I remember when Instagram started being a thing, there was a lot of back-and-forth having to do with the use of filters, the accusations of hipsterism that came along with them. To some observers, the manufactured nostalgia of a pre-degraded image that gives the illusion of a history or Polaroid or Viewmaster cartridge seems to be emotional cheating. But to the person doing it, it’s a bit more involved and personal. That’s the part that interests me.
Digital images do not—and will not—ever degrade, and so the idea of putting forth an image as a thing-in-itself violates the most confusing, and omnipresent, rule of online life: Every statement made online contains within itself two completely separate levels of meaning. The first is the statement’s object, the thing we are talking about, and the second level is what it says about us. There’s a lot of confusion online about what’s a fact and what’s an opinion, and the reason for that is simple: All online statements are automatically both.
You are talking about a TV show, but you are also talking about yourself. You are making statements that are durable and global, and refer always back to you, and forth to the opinion you are presenting.