In the later part of Roman decadence the vomitorium was introduced. When historians in 2100 want to point to a marker of American cultural decadence in the late empire period, they will no doubt cite the reality program, Hurl. As the New York Times wrote, “it revels in “hurl cams,” close-ups of young players power-gobbling tubs of macaroni and cheese, and instant replays of the losers puking.”
The line from “Leave it to Beaver” to “Hurl” is not a straight one, but we can see which direction it’s flowing. The lately departed, but much loved Texas philosopher, Rick Roderick once said,
Everything that was once lived–has moved away into a representation or an image.
The very notion that given the ultimate act of public humiliation–hurling, they should have people lining up to be contestants is beyond frightening for what it says about the state of our popular culture.
Bruce Springsteen called it right–“The Theater of Humiliation”.