“A vision of Christ in a half-eaten candy bar? Talk about
my sweet lord! The Immaculate Confection, next on ‘Sick,
Sad World.’”
“What do those Supreme Court judges wear under their
robes? Declassified government polaroids next, on ‘Sick,
Sad World.’”
Through “Sick, Sad World,” the creators of Daria parody the
spectacularization of society through the absurdity of the news
stories; yet, on some level, these narratives hold some truth, even
predictive power (see “9 Times Daria’s ‘Sick, Sad World’ Predicted
Your Newsfeed” on MTV.com). Larry Law explains:
We live in a spectacular society, that is, our whole life is
surrounded by an immense accumulation of spectacles. Things
that were once directly lived are now lived by proxy. Once an
experience is taken out of the real world it becomes a commodity.
As a commodity the spectacular is developed to the detriment
of the real. It becomes a substitute for experience. (Law 2)
“Sick, Sad World” represents the cultural mirror of media
obsession with the display of the absurd in order to conceal the
banality of “the real.” Viewers are meant to internalize the parallels
from “Sick, Sad World” to our own media spectacles and how we
become infatuated and distracted from our mundane surroundings
and powerlessness.
Concluding Thoughts and Navigation Tactics
While technologies of consumerism produced the show
Daria, the characters provide a guide to navigate structures that
over determine reality. It would be easy to criticize Daria’s
misanthropy as a defense mechanism for her complicity in the
cultural hegemony of capitalism and materialism in suburban
Lawndale through her enjoyment of class privilege and a
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