Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The new disco

I recall watching a documentary about the 1970's on History Channel or somewhere recently. One of the interesting aspects of that decade was the birth and death of disco music. Disco must have started out as a great dancing, upbeat, positive, new sound to celebrate. The interesting cultural transition happened with the Disco Sucks movement, and the restoration of rock & roll by angry macho white people everywhere. Did disco jump the shark, or did it ever really die? Let's face it.. most big-label music are just bands mimicking the sounds of other recently popular bands. It comes in waves... from disco, to 80's pop, to hair-rock, to grunge, to whatever the hell you call it these days.

All art... whether it be music, news, movies, or fashion are simply bundles of memes replicating across the social-cultural landscape. We just have to hope for sparks of creativity that instigate a new wave of meme mutation & innovation. The disco meme ran it's course eventually.

This brings me to my point: Reality TV is the new disco.

If I could commit "memocide", I might initiate the 'final solution' for reality television. It has become the banality of cable television. It started off to be novel, but is looking like disco in it's final days... re-hashing the same old formulas to the point of desperation, slowly sucking the intelligence from it's audiences by it's lack of substance. I have become devoted to Netflix, the Internet, and a new idea... reading books! That's all due to the fact that 80% of what's on cable television is crap.

Perhaps digital technology is partly to blame for the lack of good programming. They say newspapers are dying, in part due to online blogs/news as a substitute. Similarly, I can see Netflix and DVR systems competing with network programming/advertising enough to force them resort to cheap productions like reality TV. More choices are good. I just am anxiously waiting for a new meme to come along!

Disco sucks! Er, no Reality TV sucks!

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