Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Today of Yesteryear

I don't watch much television. I long ago began to find it too annoying, too simplistic, too controlling, too repetitive, too loud and obnoxious and everything else we've grown to expect from it. As a consequence, it's been years since I've actually seen one of the insipid morning shows on a major American network. I have a family member who's a complete TV junkie and keeps the idiot-box cranked 24/7 so I was exposed to that pablum every morning through my adolescence and often enough through my early twenties, but for the past several years I've managed to steer clear of that morning narcolepsy.

Recently I've been visiting said relative so I've had the opportunity to re-assess my opinion of morning shows, and I must say there's a marked difference. Oh, they're still insipid overdoses of everything pop, but the focus had shifted from lengthy interviews with heroic waffle-toasting grannies from Podunk and random clans of teenyboppers who have something to say about the latest boy-band to out-and-out plugging of other television shows. Constantly. Most segments were thinly-veiled advertisements, not for politicians, physical products and other social ills as used to be the case until a decade ago, but for movies, websites and most frequently the network's own shows.

I see this as a symptom of existing media's desperation in the face of the internet's dominance, concurrent with Hollywood's trend a few years back toward making movies about making movies. Video's being killed by the internet star, but instead of adapting somewhat and trying to make something of this cultural shift, the entrenched celluloid aristocracy and its various retainers are instead doubling down, clinging futilely to their delusions of grandeur.

Broadcast network morning shows along with every other time slot must be hemorrhaging viewership at a dire rate. You'd think this would be a good opportunity to admit your medium is no longer and never again will be the dominant brainwashing device for the rich, that the lavish lifestyle to which you've grown accustomed is no longer sustainable. Re-brand yourselves according to respectability instead of popularity. Become "morning news" again instead of morning gargle.
Instead, what I'm seeing is air-filler recursively advertising each other, leeches doing a poor Ouroboros impersonation. They used to feed on the public, on effluent Americana. As their available public diminishes, they insist, instead of adapting, on introverting while attempting to maintain the same mass. How does this look like a sustainable business model for anyone?

The kind of self-deluding wonderland that must exist in these people's board-room meetings, hot damn, that'd be a sight to see. Bunch of graying suits nodding to each other and assuring each other "no worries, a-yawp, Nero shall be here shortly with his fiddle."

No comments:

Post a Comment