Monday, March 05, 2007

Media as Opiate: Internet Television, Satellite Television, IPTV...

So, here's why it won't work. People like to be told what to watch. People think, occasionally, jeeze, I'd love to see an episode of the Simpsons right now. But the waiting, the channel hopping, the yearning, is all part of the experience. How many people have massive DVD collections, but never watch them? Or have taped movies on VHS or DVD burners or whatever, but won't watch them? They are the same people who will get excited about the fact that the Godfather's on tonight, and sit in and watch it (and the ads), and get popcorn and make an event out of it, even though they have a recording with ads on VHS, an original copy of the movie on VHS, and the box set of the trilogy on DVD. The fact is that people like to be told what to watch. They like how the programming directs, and affirms their lives. The cyclical nature - see on TV, do in real life, watch on TV and smile smugly. Smugness. That's what it's all about. And, like goldfish, how quickly we forget. We see the Devil wears Prada previews on TV. We save up and buy the Prada bag (well, my wife does). Then we watch the movie when it makes it to air, and we feel smug - this movie is telling people to go out and buy what I already own.

Sheep. Stupid, woolly, opiated sheep. Happy Monday.

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