First of all I know I am not the only who did not think this Onion article was much of a parody.
Experts predict that the penultimate catastrophe will occur at approximately 7:15 p.m. Thursday night, when the social networking tool Twitter will be used to communicate a series of ideas so banal they will instantaneously negate the three centuries of the Renaissance.
I was watching a movie on a station where a cultural commentator comes on at commercial breaks and imparts pith of one kind or another, and wanting to appear cool said that information now travelled “at twitspeed”, and I thought. “so wrong and so right!”
Activated the tweets on some fairly intelligent source and it came across something like one intelligent person stuck surrounded by about fifty morons. A while before that I was interested in seeing District 9, and one of the film blogs I keep up with had the question “what did everyone think about it” and most of the responses were like “can’t wait to see it”, or “I really want to see that”, or “I’m seeing that tomorrow”. In other words, I have nothing to say but that is no reason to keep it to myself. Yep, we are just the crown of creation, aren’t we?
(Not sure where this me too business all comes from. Not long ago, I was in a university class where the professor gave some marks for class participation which resulted in people who looked smart enough as long as they remained sitting, feeling compelled to stand up one after another to repeat whatever had just been said.)
Put that together with a time when television despite its obvious aesthetic successes (mostly on pay channels) seems dominated by “adults talking to children” shows, shows that have a large audience ahhhh factor (that sound you hear when anyone shows up with a baby). The only good shows with children or young teens tend to be those from their point of views, and are best watched when you are the same age. (There are exceptions but I didn’t spend all my time growing up just to regress.) Come to think of it, most of television could be classified under “are you smarter than a fifth grader?” because if you are this just might not appeal to you.
Even some of the supposedly adult oriented shows like Hell’s Kitchen are, like almost every reality show, filmed as though the audience has no memory whatsoever, having to repeat everything after the commercial to get you back up to speed.
I could end this with a paeon to all those shows I have raved about before but 1. I already did rave about them and 2. they are the exception in a medium that has managed to surpass every prediction of its banality and stupidity. Which is why you will still find me sailing out to Seinfeld island every now and then, where babies tend not too be aaahed but poked from a distance with a stick and where more intelligence is carried in a look, or the silence between two lines, than a full season of Two and a Half Men.
More and more I am thinking this is a mass opiate, a cunning plot to keep our minds off the dismal state of the nation, of making sure we don’t notice either the self serving machinations or the lack of imagination of our “leaders” by enrapturing part of the population with predigested pablum and enraging the others to the point of obsession with the same.