Along with Brazilian soap operas, documentaries pirated from the Discovery Channel, and the boring Round Table talk show, there is another form of television reporting that emulates the saga of “Big Brother.” On our little screen we see citizens filmed by hidden cameras and get a view of the emails in their electronic in-boxes, without any of this having been ordered by a judge. As if we lived in a glass house overseen by the State’s severe eye, even the telephone company records the conversations of its clients and broadcasts them to eleven million shocked viewers.
The final form of this public dissection is to air the declarations of doctors who violate the privacy of what is said in a consultation to reveal the details of a medical case, an act as serious as that of the priest who betrays the secrets of the confessional. Photos of the insides of the homes and even the refrigerators of those who have dared to contravene official opinion emerge, while the paparazzi and political police are fused into a single character very close to a voyeur. It would not surprise me that some dossier – waiting to be brought to light – displays the nude body of a non-conformist, as if being naked were irrefutable proof of his “badness.”
Images taken out of context, edited phrases, and unfavorable angles meant to generate aversion in public opinion, are some of the techniques around which these TV reports are built. In none of them is the “victim” interviewed, which of course prevents the run-of-the-mill viewer from finding out they have critical opinions in common. Unfortunately for the crude producers of this kind of reality show, the technology in the hands of citizens has started to make the walls around our lives transparent as well. Having been so long observed, we now see that there is hole we can look through to the other side of the fence.