Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Idiot Culture

Carl Bernstein recently went on the record to complain about the "triumph of idiot culture," saying that much of today's news has deteriorated into gossip, sensationalism, and manufactured controversy. Good journalism, Bernstein said, "should challenge people, not just mindlessly amuse them."

I usually try to avoid writing about the vacuous pop culture of today, choosing instead to focus on the slightly less vacuous pop culture of the '60s and '70s. But even though I don't spend a lot of my time thinking about the misadventures of Lindsay, Brit-Brit, and others of their ilk, I must say I was amused by Alison Jackson's naughty PhotoShop fun seen above and here.

The WGA Strike

The writers' strike is going to mean a lot of really bad television in the weeks to come. More shite reality shows and other unscripted trash to keep the Lowest Common Denominator anesthetized. No Daily Show or Colbert Report. It's ugly and it's going to get uglier.

Brian K. Vaughn, one of the writer-producers of Lost, explained the whys and wherefores thusly:

"Because writers believe we deserve a fair share of the revenue generated by the stuff we helped to create, crazy as that sounds. But basically, writers are looking to negotiate modest residuals and protections for use of our TV shows and movies on the internet, where most of us will likely be getting the majority of our entertainment from in the not-too-distant future. We're are also asking for a share of about 8 cents -- that's eight stinkin' pennies -- for every DVD of our work sold, as opposed to the criminally insane 4 cents we receive today..."

"I got to hear firsthand how hard the Writers Guild worked to negotiate a fair deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, but after more than three months of talks, the AMPTP still hasn't come close to even meeting the WGA halfway on its most important proposals. It sucks."

Yeah it does, but I've got a lot of reading to catch up on, anyway.