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On Voyeurism

The word derives from French verb voir

Samira´s comment about being a voyeur is interesting and germane. I feel like one here in Mexico so often. Because I am foreign and conspicuous, because I am shy, because I sometimes use a camera, because so much happens here in public, in the streets, in the squares, for all the world to witness, because I fear I am being watched while watching.

Voyeurism may be tolerated or even appreciated if the people viewed are exhibitionists.

The very nature of what we are doing here online, in the blogosphere*, is consciously carried out as a private occupation done conspirationally with the unseen viewer. You write because people are watching and waiting for what you will do next. As with any two way mirror, you know that there are observers, but they are protected. The reader can comment and make her presence known, or remain hidden and stealthy.

The key element behind voyeurism is the occulted nature of the voyeurs themselves

I wasn´t sure at first about dialogue with readers. If I ignore the comments and the entire notion that I am being read I am able write freely even though I write what and how I write I do because I know that they (you) are out there. It´s like being Mark Hunter/Happy Harry in Pump up the Volume. He become a dynamic, carnal, political personality at first because he believes no one is listening.These AngelFire sites just kill me.

Ecouteurism** is a variant of voyeurism that involves listening rather than seeing.

We now have an entire narrative and pictoral account of our lives on display and documented. It stands alone as record of what we do and think and what we think about what we do. We are egotists. But everybody´s doing it. 6.5 million people worldwide*** are journaling on the web. We take turns in various roles. The actor becomes the audience. Switch! The players whisper asides and the public shouts suggestions for the action. Shear Madnes, anyone?All the world´s a stage. It´s like what Foucault says about The Panopticon! [say it like Transformers!]

Voyeurism is something of a clichéd plot device in cinematic fiction, for instance in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Other examples include Fame and Porky’s.

There is a dynamic interplay among oursleves, referencing, communicating. There is no such thing as original content. And everything that happens here is made more and less real in the telling. I almost never do anything because it would be a good entry. But then you ask youself why you would do something boring or ugly or unwatchable. lame. So 20th century. But if I have an experience in Mexico that no one sees or hears about, how will I know it happened?

the word voyeur can define someone who receives enjoyment from witnessing other people’s suffering or misfortune; see schadenfreude.

It must be at least mentioned, that there is a pejorative and sexual connotation of the word voyeur, but that is not at all the subject of today´s address. Many years ago my best friend made me peep at some people in a hotel across from ours in the Place des Voges, but I don´t think they mind that so much over there.

See also:
Glory hole

And with that, I´ll exeunt myself.

* I know that being a blogger and talking about blogging and using the term ¨blogosphere¨ even, especially, calling youself a blogger is tacky and lame – it´s like wearing the band´s tee shirt to their concert.

** Not to be confused with ecotourism

***a totally made up figure

Special thanks to Wikipedia, for the italicized facts. And thanks to Samira for saying Happy Birthday and inspiring this little dissertation.

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