False catharsis in HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’
Why do we repeat the lie that we “lead the world?”
Catharsis is a term in dramatic art that describes the “emotional cleansing” sometimes depicted in a play, movie, television show, or song as occurring for one or more of its characters/artists, as well as the same phenomenon as part of the audience’s experience. It has been described as a “purification” or a “purging” of such emotions.
A ‘false’ catharsis is the purging of negative emotions in a manner that does not create any real change in the source of these negative emotions.
This is very much like treating the symptoms while leaving the illness intact.