Tuesday, February 03, 2009

the postman was right about the wretched stone

of course one of the benefits of watching the super bowl is the commercials. however, one commercial in particular was quite haunting.

initially, this commercial made me think of mike judge’s idiocracy (which is a great satire on what happens to a culture that abandons literacy). in the imaginary future of idiocracy, the number one show on television in the year 2506 is owww, my balls. the fictional sit-com revolves around a single theme: how the protagonist’s testicles are assaulted and abused as he carries out his daily routines. after thinking of judge’s vision, i recalled reading neil postman’s great book, amusing ourselves to death: public discourse in the age of show business. in the book, postman reminds us that television’s entertainment value is a type of huxleyian “soma” which lulls folks into a blissful ignorance which translates into a voluntary relinquishment of their rights to the government. if television is a gateway drug and the internet is crack, what sort of drug is hulu? the future is now. and we need to detoxify ourselves. we’ve medicated ourselves into a state of consciousness from which we might never awake. before it's too late, turn off the visual media and read chris van alsberg's the wretched stone to your kids.


Wolong said...

While I am taking this from a wiki page from an unknown writer, I believe that the ideas of one Kazundo Gouda(the antagonist for the second season of the anime Ghost in the Shell tv series): A character, Kazundo Gouda, postulates that, by exploiting the mechanism of information transmission in society, one could achieve a very efficient and subtle thought control. Indeed, since people tend to modify slightly the information (and forget where it came from) in the processes of consumption (or appropriation), it becomes difficult to sort genuine ideas from modified, implanted ones. He proves to be very successful in the end.

Rae Ann said...

Alec Baldwin is pretty creepy anyway, and in this commercial especially. I kind of hate to admit it, but the truth is that most people really don't think much about what's real and what's not in the media. I always wish to give more credit to the average person, but they sure don't seem to earn it. Good thoughtful post!