Falcon's Lesson: Hoax or Not, It's All "for the Show"

By Steve Bryant
|  Tuesday, Oct 20, 2009  |  Updated 12:28 PM EDT
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Falcon's Lesson: Hoax or Not, It's All "for the Show"

AP

Falcon Heene with the press behind him.

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"You guys said we did it for the show."

Falcon's post-puke oopsy led the shiny-badged po po to suspect something was amiss with the goodship Jiffy Pop.

But what hasn't been discussed is what those words mean.

Not "mean" in the aroo-it's-a-clue-Shaggy, got the cops a-wonderin', was-it-professor-GED-in-the-garage-with-the-handycam sense.

Rather, the ontological "mean." In the Truman Showapaloozian, panopticonically boob tubed, every-moment's-sellable sense.

IOW, Falcon's unwitting insight is that everything, production contract or not, is for the show. A show. Any show. Everything is a show. I think Baudrillard said that. Or maybe Jim Carrey.

 

What a way to be raised. Some dads use a belt to whip their kids. Richard Heene uses a videocamera.

He's doing it because he loves you, Falcon. And he wants the viewing public to love you, too.

But that's the modern American value system, isn't it. From reality shows to Yelp reviews. Everything for the approval of others. As if shamanic, silvermaned Bob Barker were suggesting in his smooth-as-cheroot voice, "just ask the studio audience."


From the POV of anyone who understands modern media, there's no losing in an attempt to fake something like this. If it's a hoax and the hoax succeeds, Falcon gets instant Jessica McClure status (or maybe Bart Simpson status). If you attempt a hoax and it fails, the family gets prolonged A360 status.

If charges are filed -- let's hope charges are filed! GOD the pageviews! -- the conspiracist stays in the spotlight. Appears on talk shows. Inevitably, they all get cast on more reality shows, which seems to be their only source of income to begin with.

Sounds a lot like another infamous D-list gaffing-stock: Blagojevich.

Illinois' former governor (and current Daily Show staple) is awaiting his trial on corruption charges, but that hasn't stopped his family from milking the fame cow -- Patti on one reality show, Rod on another, and a book about the unbearable lightness of being infamous.

 

It's a genius play, really. Stay in the news, stay paid. Fame is its own perpetual motion machine. In the future, everybody will continue being famous for another 15 minutes.

Blago knows that. Richard Heene knows that. Now Falcon knows that, too.

Hoax or not, it's all for the show.

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