Current media and trends have been a major reason in my decision to pursue media—from the un-differing variations of reality television, to the chaos and repetition of the music industry and beyond. I want to create new media, informative media, think-differently media, media with substance. I want to put the thought back into creating.
Much of everything today feels void of effort and substance. Even with hundreds of channels there is still the complaint of “nothing to watch” coupled with the call for “more information and personal services” as Lewis Lapham points out in his book 30 Satires. In the “chapter” titled “Tower of Babel” Lapham remarks on the persistent complaints of the lack of anything to watch regardless of the increase in channels over the years. Even though there are more “options” becoming available, the programming is becoming dry and dull. He gives a some examples of the development likely to happen with this continued process.
“Medical Cinema Verité. A variation on the theme of courtroom television. Four cameras in an operating room, one overhead. Two or three retired doctors provide commentary in the manner of the retired athletes doing sports broadcasts. They describe the nature of the operation, remark on the surgeon’s technique, guesses at the patient’s chance of survival.
Tours of Inspection. Unedited footage of surveillance cameras posted in banks, office buildings, movie theaters, hotels, parking lots and department stores. The primary audience presumably would consist of conspiracy theorists and latter-day Puritans; the kind of people who believe the nation’s property and morals must always be closely watched. A secondary audience might spawn of the merely curious, gossips hoping to see somebody they know checking into a hotel in Dallas when he or she was supposed to be visiting a relative in St. Louis.
Clouds. Continuous weather reports from distant deserts and seas. The show could serve as the sentence of exile for older personnel whom the networks have declared superfluous: a woman makes a mistake with the news from Washington, and she’s next seen in the Falkland Islands; an anchorman forgets to dye his hair and he goes directly to the Sea of Azov.
Me. The life and times of ordinary individuals presented as works of performance art. Chosen at random, from lists of names or because the producer happened to see the person in an elevator or on the street, the newfound celebrities go about the habitual routine of their daily loves. The camera follows them as they do their laundry or their hair, go to their exercise class, eat breakfast, look into a book or newspaper, swat flies, sharpen a pencil, form an occasional sentence (73-76).
The supposed need for “more information” and programming has translated into a form of voyeurism. This perverse addiction of knowing what others are doing and how they go about life is prevalent in so many areas beside “reality” television. And it’s not even enough to simply follow people around; we want to see situational-reality such as Vh1’s Of-Loves and Tool Academy.