Saturday, August 8, 2020

Farming Voyeurism - Experiences Over Things


New York Times – "In a Wistful Age, Farmers Find a New Angle: Chore TV"

Though Mr. Gold sells poultry and eggs from his duck farm in Vermont’s northeast corner, most of what he produces as a farmer is, well, entertainment.


Then, twice a week, like clockwork, he posts a short video on YouTube about his exploits as a neophyte farmer, often highlighting failures or pratfalls. Keeping a close eye on analytics, he has boosted his YouTube audiences high enough to provide a steady advertising revenue of around $2,500 to $4,000 a month, about eight times what he earns from selling farm products.


Mr. Gold does wonder, sometimes, about what it means, in the long term, to make his life into a story. When the cat was hit by a car, he found himself reflexively converting the event into a script, and stopped to ask himself who he was becoming.

“It’s like, how much is the experience and how much is the packaging of the experience, and how do you distinguish between the two,” he said. “Because you almost go, ‘I had a duck die, let me think about the first act here, and the second act.’”

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