Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Life in a goldfish bowl

My flatmate has a new fish tank. He still has the bio-orb, or fishbowl as I like to call it. He claims it’s nothing like a bowl but I differ – what do you think? 

Okay yes, it’s more of an orb than a bowl but still… The goldfish bowl used to belong to Him (or strictly speaking His son) when he was still MyMan. It never had goldfish in it being for more pesky tropical pisces.  MyMan wanted to get rid of it and my flatmate wanted a fish tank – perfect synchronism.

My flatmate has recently upgraded to this new (bigger capacity) tank. It looks really sleek and modern. I like it a lot. Along with populating the tank with fish from the bowl, my flatmate bought a couple of new red platys, white sand and stylish plants.

There has been much activity, not all of it good. One of the new fish died, two young’uns disappeared, new ones were born. I feel like I’ve been a (not-so roving) fish tank reporter posting updates on Twitter. 

However, I neglected reporting duties to go to the cinema a couple of times in the last few days and, in further synchronism, I watched films that I feel draw upon modern day concepts of living in a fish bowl – observed and to some extent manipulated by those who watch.

I saw The Hunger Games on Sunday without having read any of the books. Although I vaguely knew what to expect, I was intrigued and engaged by the film and its story and characters. I recommend you see it no matter how old/young you are.

Then last night I had a free ticket to a preview screening of The Cabin in the Woods. Again there was the Truman Show-esque directing with constant manipulation, surveillance and broadcasting of people’s lives but this time I felt laughter was forced, deliberate clichés became unnatural constraints. I am so glad I hadn’t paid. I may be in a minority as many people are responding very positively to The Cabin in the Woods and its horror laced with humour.

Perhaps it is too close to the manipulations of reality TV for me.  Although you would think that was more the case with The Hunger Games (if you’ve read or seen it) which doesn’t lead to wholescale Armageddon.  I will say no more for fear of being accused of spoilers in both films.

I’m not keen on the increase in so-called reality TV with its programmes that I feel are exploitative of human emotion and failure rather than celebratory despite often purporting to be the latter. I am wary of how much we are watched with CCTV almost everywhere. I don’t want to live my life in a goldfish bowl even though I contribute to this by involvement in social media such as Twitter, Facebook… even this blog. At least there may be someone watching if I die.

"Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night!"

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