Friday, October 9, 2009

A Pitiful Sight

In the dying days of vaudeville, when live variety show performers could barely hold their own against the new medium of film, vaudevillians found a precarious niche in "combination shows" with silent movies. The arrival and ubiquity of the "talkies" rendered their best efforts obsolete. From that time forward, pairing live acts with films could only call attention to the inferiority of the older medium. The better vaudeville performers adapted by going into films. The rest faded away.

I'm reminded of this historical transition every time I see television news reporters trying to do interesting stories about the Internet. Take this Fox News piece on peopleofwalmart.com, for example. It's a couple of boring, middle-aged suits yukking it up as they ineptly describe a brilliantly funny product created and distributed in a superior medium. More embarrassing than their lame commentary is the poor quality of the web site images they show the audience. Like the vaudeville/film combination, this serves only to reveal the shortcomings of the older form.

Who will be making or watching this antiquated, irritating junk when the Baby Boomers die out?

1 comment:

  1. As one who avoids TV, I didn't react to the Fox review, but to the site itself. Thus, I took a completely different tack on things.

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