The solution to television and other screens of life
People will write me and say, “My solution is not watching screens.” That’s probably not true, because they read my piece on a screen.
Yes, there is a certain mesmerizing effect from a screen. From looking at it. But the problem is also the content coming from it.
People think my articles about wild apeshit TV shows are only satire. Not true. I want to see those shows. On a screen. I want somebody with the wherewithal and the technical skills to produce them. Professionally.
For example, a show where people bet on which city is going to host the most murders in the upcoming week. Chicago or Philly? For instance, a show where contestants predict and defend their choice of the next “calamity.” A fake virus? A meaningless climate lockdown? A major political assassination? Another George Floyd incident with ensuing nationwide riots? All done perfectly in the grinning style of network quiz shows.
DISRUPTION on the screen.
A serious interruption in the conventional flow of REALITY.
Because what’s coming from screens is a moderated and curated and familiar flow, and predictable familiar content.
But instead, viewers get: Hi folks, tonight you people at home are going to vote on which big city DA has released the most violent and dangerous criminal on no bail. Here to describe their work are four prosecutors with amazing track records.
This is on a screen. On a non-censoring platform. Done well. Very well.
Shit hits fan. Professionally presented.
I know television and its current online screen offspring. I grew up in the era when commercial television was coming into being. The late 1940s and early 50s. For more on what that time was like, see this recent essay of mine.
I’ve read enough of the early Dadaists and Surrealists, all the way up to Terry Southern and William Burroughs; and I’ve looked at enough early Surrealists paintings; so I know what these men were driving at. But nobody has put this kind of disruption on screens in a manner that matches pro production values. Nobody.
Nobody has made truly disruptive television that looks like the best commercial network television.
If people did, the power of the screen would undergo a massive stroke.
We need to turn screens against screens.
We need to drive people crazy, when crazy actually means sane.