Monday, August 16, 2010

The most satisfying burger, Which sitcom star makes the most salary, and Where have all the good men gone?

This is only a short list of the run of the mill horse manure that I read every time I open up my Internet browser. Is this really the sort of trivia that we as Americans need to know?

I've never been a huge believer in the theory that television is dumbing down the country and that everyone, especially the ones that don't have cable, is perpetually spiralling down a brainless abyss.

Headlines are either about a horrific and tragic event, or about a new ice-cream flavor that is making waves at a local college. If this is what we are used to reading every day, or worse yet are actually reading every one of these Internet only, "front page" headlines, then there is something horribly wrong happening to society collectively. As Barbara Kruger once urged, we are going to be left with the attention spans of kittens. Worse yet, we might stop having attention spans for anything that is actually worthwhile or healthy. George Carlin urged that the owners of this country don't want a population of critical thinkers.

I'd appreciate headlines that affected us directly.


  1. It's depressing and horrible. For example, on Yahoo, the top 10 "trending" items:

    1. Five Guys Burgers
    2. Zsa Zsa Gabor
    3. Alzheimer’s Trea…
    4. David Hasselhoff
    5. Financial Aid
    6. Michael Douglas
    7. Harry Potter and…
    8. Mustang Boss 302
    9. Tila Tequila
    10. Health Insurance

    Really, America? Really?

    Technology, the internet, and high definition digital television are all certainly dumbing down the world and destroying people's attention spans.

    When I am in Austin, Texas, I am distracted by my laptop, the web, my cell phone, cars, traffic, noise, noise, noise, and the day is done before I can do anything truly productive for a great length of time.

    When I go out to Terlingua, in the middle of nowhere in the West Texas desert, all the distractions are gone, and the days seem to last forever, and I accomplish so much. Out there I've written, played music, and made movies more in a span of a month than I do here in a span of a year.

    In this modern world, people want everything bite-sized, to-go, heavily packaged, fast and cheap.

    The media is not capable of delivering substantial, intelligent news because it wouldn't appeal to the masses, and the only way to make huge profits is to feed off the ignorant majority.

  2. I agree. And I have a theory: ADHD is increasing and will be a prevalent illness of the future, but the root is taking place in this generation (surrounded by enormous technological advances with speed-of-light communication) with sensorial overstimulation. Form (pathology) follows function (hyperstimuli)... Thus, the brain and emotions can't keep up. Evolution is taking place in a "not-so-positive" manner. If Darwin still lived, he'd postulate the "survival of the fittest" again. We have to adapt and find ways to cope, as in UMG's exodus to Terlingua!!!