Protesting Gets Real

Protesting Gets Real, Clay Risen,
Flak Magazine
What’s new about a group of young people protesting the problems of
the Real World? This time it’s a TV show. The Real
World,
the MTV reality program that puts seven strangers
together to live and work in front of the camera, has begun its new
season in Chicago’s Wicker Park. While previous locations of the
show have also drawn community protest, this community of local
artists and hipsters has proven a particularly volatile area. The
neighborhood has been teetering on the brink of gentrification,
notes Clay Risen in Flak magazine, and protesters believe the media
storm of a popular television show will push it over the edge. But
Risen wonders why opponents are picking a fight in a neighborhood
already plagued by growing numbers of corporate coffeeshops and
chic restaurants. Could it have something to do with the rage of
anti-globalization protesters in Genoa, Seattle, and elsewhere?
It’s part of the fight ‘to be recognized by a socio-economic system
that no longer cares whether they agree or disagree with it,’ he
writes. ‘They look at the Real World as a symbol of
universal neglect; they know they won’t make a difference, that the
show will go on and they won’t even make it into the final cut, and
that’s what pisses them off…. Today’s protesters find themselves
rendered innocuous, and because of that, they yell even
louder.’
–Lila Kitaeff
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