Mediaphilia

Popping over the road, mmm.  Keep doing that.

Why is it, I ask myself, that we are so much more aware of phobias, the irrational fear of something, than philias… the irrational liking of something.  Irrational likes are so much more pleasurable.

We know that claustophobia is a fear of being enclosed (it actually afflicts one or two close relatives), and a Google search will produce 1.7 million results.  Claustrophilia, the pleasure in being in a small space, by comparison, generates a tenth as many results, and led by lurid stories of the ‘spy in the bag’ and photos of people with their kit off.

(When I read that David Mitchell and Victoria Coren would be honeymooning in England and Scotland, I remembered how Ms Coren’s very real fear of flying was made worse when the therapist who had been helping with her phobia subsequently died… in a plane crash).

Does this turn you on? It does me.
But not the tall bits. It’s the bridge and what it allows the people in the buildings to do. Mmmm

ANYWAY, apart from one social anxiety which I won’t go into here*, I don’t have any phobias.  But I do have one irrational philia.  It’s a peculiar rush that settles on me when I think about two related shops (or garages, or offices) on opposite sides of a road.

Imagine, if you will, two branches of a shop on either side of a street.  If they have a connecting bridge, great.  If they have a secret tunnel, even better.  If they don’t have any physical connection, but the people in one building pop over to the other one if they are short of stock, or want to just have a chat, that works too.  And that’s the point – it’s not the design of the bridge, or the look of the tunnel, still less their physical dimensions, but what they allow the two buildings and their occupants to do…

I can’t quite describe the feeling I get… it’s short of a full-blown fetish (ha ha HA… I’m not a bloody weirdo)…so, a frisson?  You know that uncomfortable shudder you can get sometimes?  It’s the opposite of that.  Always pleasurable, settled somewhat vaguely near the loin area, and a little tingly.

They have to be separate buildings by the way – it’s no good if it’s a single structure straddling a road. Where’s the fun in that?

So, why am I telling you all this? Because I sometimes wonder about the way we bandy the word ‘media’ around.  It’s simply the means of connecting two things.  The performer to the audience.  It’s a connecting piece, but it needn’t have any intrinsic value in itself.  (Though it could be worse… a medium, as we know, ‘connects’ the gullible and bereaved not with a dead person but with a fictitious archetype).  There’s way too much time spent thinking about the devices involved – who decided that the engineers who design the kit are the heroes of television?  The heroes in a restaurant are the people who created the food and the customer, not the waiter.

This blog celebrates television, and the audience, because it is fascinated by the relationship between the performers and the ‘performed to‘.  So, it’s about how they rub up alongside each other in a mutually beneficial way, and what is it about the audience that makes a particular programme work.

Oh that’s lovely.

And that’s why I work in media research.

It’s a secret tunnel. Just looking at it makes me tingle

 

 

Talking of buildings: A brilliant campaign. ‘Corner woman’ … the edge of the building provides the connection

 

* OK, my social phobia is quite specific – it is fear of being forced to dance while sober.  I don’t have chorophobia (fear of dancing), or nifaliophobia (fear of being sober), unless they are combined.

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