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Thursday, July 14, 2005

I Draw The Line Here

Advertising has devoured our culture whole. We now exist in the Post-Culture era. This is THE massive failure of western civilization, and of the American people specifically. Remember folks, Americans gave the world Jazz and Film Noir. Broadway, Hollywood, Motown and The Library of Congress are all located in America.

And it is over. Good bye. Done. We've jumped the shark. And, frankly, I blame the advertisers.

In addition to turning the youth of the nation into mindless, overweight, sugar-sucking zombies whose primary value to our civilization is their willingness to nag their parents into purchasing items or chemicals for them that no parent would want their child near (let alone ingesting as food. Hello McDonalds and Disney, I'm looking in your general direction), advertising has sucked all that is good and fun out of the collected musical, printed and visual art that formed the fabric of my youth and informs who I am and what I value today. Every time Led Zeppelin's "Rock And Roll" is played over a Cadillac rolling down the road (Jimmy Page, you are my idol … Go fuck yourself!) or a famous film image is recycled to sell a kitchen cleaner, my heart grows a little darker and a little colder.

Episode III, Batman Begins and Spielberg's War Of The Worlds, well all having some amount of quality and ingenuity (Batman the most of the three), all exist as products. They are not intended to be art. That's fine. I never expected every move I saw (especially during the summer) to be intellectually nutritious. However, I did expect ONE movie released in the last year to be of value artistically. Even independent films today are shit. Someone, tell me what the last 5 star movie you saw was. You know, something on par with the best of the early 90s or the 1970s.

And now, the final indignity. The worst of the worst. A glimpse of the future: During Baseball's All-Star game Dumb and Dumber, er, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, did a fucking commercial for Chevy disguised as commentary. This is the future. Two announcers, without a thought of what this act would do to their credibility, lied directly to their audience for a cash payment from a deep-pocketed industrial giant.

I would argue that this could spill over to news coverage (after all, sports coverage, while totally meaningless, is still supposed to be fact based and ethical), except that news coverage has long since gone to the corporate shills. Please remember that NBC is GE, CBS is Viacom, ABC is Disney, CNN is AOL-Time Warner, and Fox is Rupert Murdoch. (I move we henceforth refer to all news organizations by their corporate master's name as opposed to the smokescreen name provided by the organizations themselves. Could you take seriously the Disney Evening News with Peter Jennings? No? So why trust ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings? It's the same fucking thing.

I can only hope that from this sickening wasteland of the meaningless arises some form of art that has heart, guts, brains and social impact. Am I dreaming?

You make the call.