I want my MTV — and my TiVo, Palm Pilot, iPod, podcast and, of course, blog. So does America still have any interest in the big, lumbering, predictable media of Hollywood and Manhattan?
From CalendarLive.com via Arts&LettersDaily.com
A moment of silence, please, for the imminent death of the old Mainstream Mass Culture.
Born sometime between the invention of baseball and the 1904 World's Fair, it began experiencing violent headaches and seizures shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, then lapsed into a coma during the launch of MySpace.com.
There will be no survivors, except on select reruns of "Lost." In lieu of flowers, friends may send checks to the "Bring Back Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw Emergency Fund."
There — that wasn't so painful, was it? After all, it's been common knowledge, or at least conventional wisdom, that traditional mainstream mass culture has been clinging to life for decades, like one of Anne Rice's mottled vampires. But 2005 is when a chronic condition may have turned terminal.
This was the year in which Hollywood, despite surging DVD and overseas sales, spent the summer brooding over its blockbuster shortage, and panic swept the newspaper biz as circulation at some large dailies went into free fall. Consumers, on the other hand, couldn't have been more blissed out as they sampled an explosion of information outlets and entertainment options: cutting-edge music they could download off websites into their iPods and take with them to the beach or the mall; customized newcasts delivered straight to their Palm Pilots; TiVo-edited, commercial-free programs plucked from a zillion cable channels.
The old mass culture suddenly looked pokey and quaint. By contrast, the emerging 21st century mass technoculture of podcasting, video blogging, the Google Zeitgeist list and "social networking software" that links people on the basis of shared interest in, say, Puerto Rican reggaeton bands seems democratic, consumer-driven, user-friendly, enlightened, opinionated, streamlined and sexy. Or so nearly everyone believes at the moment.