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Entertainment companies provide public with too much silent static

October 27, 2004

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Listen. Do you hear it? Me neither, and that’s the problem. That empty white noise is the sound of no one having anything to say in mainstream entertainment.

Even in the best of times, creativity in the top grossing/rated works in film, music and television is about as common as water in the desert – but it’s been far too long since we’ve had any torrential downpouring of creativity.

Big-budget blockbuster season has given viewers an overblown series of box-office explosions and left nothing of particular merit, just more sound and thunder signifying nothing. New bands I hear sound too much like old ones too often for my comfort even on my long beloved CD101, to say nothing of the drivel Clear Channel bombards us with. TV is dried and cracked wasteland, with traditional family sitcoms and reality shows sandwiched between 20 versions of “CSI” and “Law and Order.”

Lately the best stuff, for me at least, seems to commenting on how dull and distancing modern life feels – material that doesn’t shout “Look at me!” as much as whispering, “Yeah, things are a bit crap at the moment; I know how you feel.” Films like the brilliant “Shaun of the Dead” and “Garden State.” Death Cab for Cuties’ lonely and spacious album “Transatlantism” also springs to mind.

To some extent it’s a result of me and my own apathy toward things I’ve seen before. I thrive on absorbing the new, and I have little tolerance for anything too derivative or repetitive. I like work that crackles with thought and clearly came from a heart and mind that believes in what they are putting out into the world. I want a meteor shower of ideas, innovation and insight. Stuff that speaks about the now.

It’s not just me and my own ennui. The business side of things encourages blandness, even rewards it. Understandably, companies that produce music and film want to make money, but corporate greed has bleached any individuality from the work in a effort to fatten bank accounts. In an attempt to reach the widest possible audience, they encourage blankness so as to offend no one and say nothing. The truly sad thing is that this works – the public demands so little from its entertainment and just buy whatever slop in put in its trough.

It’s easy to look at pop culture as a trivial thing, but it is actually a gauge of what our society thinks, feels and values at given moment. That’s why I find the silence so unsettling – it says something vaguely disturbing about where we are as a culture. So to any one out there in these arts: If you have anything to say just say it, say something, anything. I’m listening.

James Moore is a senior in journalism. He can be reached for comment and recommendations at Moore.1278@osu.edu.


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Comments (2)

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  1. glen b says:

    With either the willfully blind approval or the willful ignorance of the judiciary the right has killed & stolen several of my pets and routinely shoot energy weaponry at me and my pets. Recent harm to animals include: two kittens from a pregnant stray i took in were killed a few days ago. The remaining two, just 3 weeks old, shake their head as government operatives shoot them with energy weaponry. They shot the eye out or removed the eye of a large really good natured stray at the port, hobbled another cat at the port, shooting it with energy weaponry, and routinely kill and leave dead animals in my path. A few years ago one of them threatened, prophetic, ‘we’ll just kill a cat every so often’, in so many words.

  2. glen b says:

    This has continued despite my calls to the police, the FBI, Congress, and my petitions in court. In the usual case, it appears that the right goes to a judicial crony for a ruling permitting them to harm animals to retaliate against me for my free speech. There’s no serious argument but that they interfered with my personal life and economic options for 3 decades, so their solution to my noting it is to kill animals. Makes perfect sense right? It does if you’re a sociopathic criminal, criminally stupid, and hawkish. Invariably their lies are exposed and the wrongfulness of the harm is clear to everyone, though not until the animals have been maimed or killed. There is really only one solution, and that’s to disempower them politically.
    Typically operating through Puppets–including puppets in the judiciary–the right wing has for decades been committing crimes and trying to classify them to cover them up, a move explicitly forbidden by the Code of Federal Regulations. The right has accomplished its political objectives by presenting a fraction of the evidence to judicial officials who, having seen the pattern dozens of times before, could not help but realize that they were being presented with incomplete and inaccurate information.
    If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth, right? the Democrats’ great accomplishment is producing the political equivalent of a Rodney King video, clearly demonstrating the lies of the right, the right Hilary Clinton correctly identified as a vast conspiracy. Confirm by examining Central District of California Cases, 01-4340, 03-9097, 08-5515, 10-5193, US Tax Court 12000-07L –though I think you want to view my US Tax Court Appeal to the 9th Circuit for a good account of their day to day assaults, a few month time slice indicative of a decade of assault, and 9th Circuit case 11-56043.

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