Have Things Gotten So Bad?

So I’ve been watching a good deal of TV recently due in part to two major factors:

  • NFL Playoffs
  • Ongoing snow and single-digit temperatures

As a result, I’ve started to notice that some things are really starting to bug me. It appears that pop culture (TV, music, etc.), technology and even international relations have started to become slightly bored with themselves. Bored in the sense that these entities are now coming up with some of the most outrageous and/or ridiculous ideas I’ve seen in a long time. So I ask myself, “have things gotten so bad that this is really the way it is now?”

Below I’ve listed out some of these items that exemplify the ridiculousness I’m calling attention too. They may seem silly, but I think you’ll agree with me on some level.

The “Have Things Gotten So Bad?” List of January, 2007

1) Commercials as Entertainment – Our good friend from Saturday Night Live, possibly the funniest Weekend Update host to grace the satirical program, has now succumbed to truly low levels. While I do appreciate his role (and really funny character on Showtime’s Weeds), it appears Mr. Nealon must need a new car as he’s signed on for yet another year of the ridiculously STUPID “World’s Funniest Commercials.” While the idea was novel at first, the luster is gone. This should have been a one-hit-wonder at best…instead TBS has continued to show us a program of allegedly funny commercials, while showing us commercials who sponsor this program featuring commercials.


Folks, it doesn’t get much worse. Are we THAT bored that we feel the need to watch this kind of crap? The ads they show aren’t even that funny. More importantly, WHY are we encouraging TBS to continue reairing commercials?!?! This is what TiVo was invented for…to NOT watch commercials. Sorry Kevin, this is just horrible…and I hope that’s NOT “news to you.”

2) Apple Gets Lazy – The iPod craze has come and gone. I know that it completely revolutionized the music industry, changed the way road-trips were made liveable and gave us all flashy new gizmos to strut to work with, but I truly believe the iPod era is coming to an end.


Why do I believe such a blasphemous theory? It’s quite simple. Apple has completely run out of ideas. This couldn’t be more evident than the most recent version of the iPod Shuffle. The original idea for the Shuffle was already exhbiting signs of Apple’s “laboratory boredom,” but I stomached the idea for the sake of those who wanted an iPod to run with or who really didn’t need 20+ GBs of music at all times. But now Apple has created a Shuffle that is 1.07 in. x 1.62 in. This is just stupid! The new version is pictured below in its ludicrously small new form.


A small time ago, I watched a funny YouTube video made in reaction to the creation of the iPod Shuffle. It’s a mock ad for the “iPod Flea.” I recommend you all take a look at this. It’s pretty funny and prophetically alludes to my entire point here. Apple, let’s get to work. I know you’re better than this and trust me…we get it…the whole iPod thing. We get it. Get back to work and try to revolutionize something else…say wallets or lamps (as an aside, I am aware of the new Swiss Army Knife-iPod-Computer-TV-Microwave-Blender Apple just announced, but I chose to focus on their relentless pursuit of milking the iPod dry).

3) Tabloids Will Be Tabloids, But C’mon – I’m the first to admit that I can be a sucker for tabloids. Seeing “what the stars do,” what the current scandals are and all the drama that unfolds within each US Weekly is enough to bide my time at least until it’s my turn to pay for my groceries.

However, it seems as though tabloids and Hollywood gossip are really just getting out of control (yes, I do think it’s possible). Whether it’s Britney Spears sans underwear, Tomkat’s most recent bizzare photo or who know’s what with Paris…there’s always something. While those issues are silly and mindless (figuratively and literally), at least they’re not ROSIE and TRUMP. Honestly, these have got to be two of the most annoying and uninteresting people to ever walk the planet. How in the world did these two actually end up going to war is beyond me. Some flaky Miss U.S.A. gets drunk and all of the sudden, GALLUP is doing a poll about the “war” between Donald and Rosie, claiming Americans dislike Rosie more than the wig…WHAT? You’ve got to be kidding me!

Come on, people…we have better things to do with our time than worry about what Rosie and Trump are saying to each other, especially if it stems from an issue of little to no worth.

4) Shotgun Internet King! – A debate that was sure to take place sometime is finally arising. Diplomagtic arguments discussions within the United Nations have begun over who will be overseeing the Internet in the future. I suppose this is a legitimate question, but I find myself wondering, “what happened to the good old days?” Now we have Net Neutrality, Congressional involvement, UN intervention (err…excuse me, oversight) and scores of other interested parties sticking their noses in the race for Internet control.


The Internet was once deemed “The New Wild West”…yet now its being conquered by the manifest destiny daydreams of bureaucrats, ISPs and the highest bidder. Let the Internet be what it should be…free to roam and be wild. Some security measures are necessary, but beyond that…let’s leave it be. Let crap continue to be posted, let savvy Internet real estate sharks continue to make their mony and let Google continue to blow our minds.



Yes it’s true…some of the above are so superficial and inconsequential that maybe I didn’t need to worry myself with them. But I happen to think that when society becomes SO obsessed with some of these issues due in large part to self-absorption and boredom, someone needs to take a moment to blow the whistle on the whistleblowers, the blowhards and (in most some cases) flat-out idiots.



~ by eastcoastboy on January 14, 2007.

3 Responses to “Have Things Gotten So Bad?”

  1. In reply to #4. I was reading Lawrence Lessig’s Code 2.0 (http://codev2.cc/) and he brought up some interesting arguments for why the internet does indeed need to go down the road of control. He noted, that the activities taking place on the internet have changed. People are now really creating important entities and lives online that require their investment of time and money. And therefore, like opening a shop or a newspaper in the real world that requires the same time and money, the difference isn’t so clean cut anymore. And we all have experienced this through buying things online, creating online forums, writing blogs, etc…

    So to Lessig, saying that we should leave the internet like the good old days, like the crazy wild west, would be similar to saying that we should never have left the 1800s in reality. He goes on to add that regulating the internet will bring benefit and actually be more easily regulated because it is based on Code. In life, with laws and regulation, we still have choices on whether to obey. But online, and with code, there won’t be that room for choice. Illegal actions will pretty much not be possible (yes hackers sometimes but not to the masses). So it is important in his philosophy, to regulate the internet, but regulate it intelligently because it will be more perfect.

  2. Wow. At first it sounded like a good idea, but the more you went on about this Lessig character, the more he sounded like some evil purist. As I said in my post, I do acknowledge the need for some controls and security measures to be put in place, but nothing quite like the involvement of the UN.

    It also sounds like Lessig is recommending “regulations” that are without argument. That is, “make these changes…that way the people can’t even fight back if they want to.” Changing things based on code seems to be kind of like changing the laws of physics…only online. Perhaps I didn’t understand you well enough, or you didn’t convey the point in the best way possible, but I think that the more we allow sweeping changes to take place online, the more we’ll find ourselves regretting the loss of the way things used to be. The “good old days” will be gone.

  3. HMMMMMMM? I say, keep the UN away from anything important.

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