Unintended consequences of failure porn

Much food for thought.

Liam Thatcher

I’m seven episodes into The Rise and Fall of Mars Hilland my feelings are more mixed than before. Not particularly towards the podcast itself. I have some questions about particular editorial choices in the more recent episodes, but I still feel it’s an important project, generally well-executed, and a valuable though painful listen. But I am increasingly perturbed by the cult following that is developing around it. The drooling anticipation that fills my Twitter timeline ahead of each episode. The cries of “I can’t wait”, or “I need the next episode NOW!” The eager anticipation of what new controversies the next instalment may unveil. The plethora of mocking memes that get shared after each installment.

That’s not normal for religious journalism.

It’s normal for reality TV.

It’s normal for celebrity gossip.

It’s normal for addictions.

And it’s the irony that bugs me. We’re listening to a podcast critiquing celebrity…

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