Pre-segue: I've had many musical revelations. A rather important one would have to be when I heard the Eels and their song 'Tiger In My Tank' on the radio. Great Caesar's Salad, I had never heard anything like that song before. Glorious.
Anyhow, my update today is a little more somber. I have noticed that people don't really pay attention to anything anymore. I don't really blame them. It's been said that ignorance is bliss and it's kinda hard to argue against that. On top of that, people have the right to live their lives any way they want to and if they choose a life of complete ignorance, then fine, good luck with that.
Of course, living life with your eyes closed could get you nice and fucked. Proper fucked if you know what I mean. You're probably better off living a life of celibacy, that way you're guaranteed not to get screwed over. Again, it's not my place to say how you could or should live life.
Although, as pointed out so eloquently in The Trial, people are members of society and not in fact, victims. This means that when we go before whatever deity created this shithole we call Earth (I think it might be Baal, I'm not sure) you won't be able to plead ignorance. And if there isn't some sort of deity controlling the whole shebang, well, then your actions or inactions are just as responsible for the state that this world is in as is every single other person out there.
As it stands, beyond writing these words, I'm not really going to do anything about anything anytime soon. Of the two, apathy seems to be the more seriouser crime. Of course, this mindless attack on grammar and spelling is running a close second. Let's move on, I know you have brownies to make.
What does piss me off is when people, while paying as much inattention as possible, try to profit by referencing things that they obviously don't understand or haven't made an attempt to understand.
If I could, as an example, direct your attention to the Eels once again. What happened was that a car manufacturer decided that he wanted to use the Eels song 'Mr. E's Beautiful Blues' in an ad for his car.
What we have here is people essentially attempting to use the popularity of a song to sell a product. Essentially, there is nothing, essentially, wrong with that. Essentially.
What Mr. E pointed out to the car manufacturer was that the first verse was about pollution and thus not really suitable for a car commercial.
If I were getting paid to find songs to advertise my product, I'm pretty sure that I would check to see if the lyrics aren't what, essentially, amounts to a criticism of the very product I am trying to sell.
E then stated that it was then that he realised that people were no longer paying attention to anything and I find it hard to disagree with him.
For another musical example I point to the Rage Against The Machine song 'No Shelter'.
The song is about how entertainment is used to keep people distracted and how national culture is gradually eroded and is being replaced by popular culture.
Throughout the song Zack De La Rocha references several different movies and pretty much states how inane or devoid of substance they inherently are. One of the movies that he references is Godzilla ("and Godzilla pure muthafuckin filler").
What makes this astounding is that the song ended up on the Godzilla soundtrack. This means that the band was approached to write or give up a song for the soundtrack. The band not only chose a song that attacked the movie and the popular culture that spawned it but they chose a song that directly referenced the movie, negatively, in the lyrics.
I can't say whether the producers of the soundtrack are aware that the song 'zings' them but I suspect that they don't care "cause hey, Rage Against The Vaccine, or whatever, are cool and we'll move lots of units".
It doesn't end there, however. I remember, when soon after Jurassic Park screened, a million idiot scientists decided that it would be grand to attempt to clone dinosaurs. Obviously they had seen the movie (that which gave birth to their inspiration), and yet it was quite obvious that they hadn't paid any attention to it in the least.
If they had, I'm sure that the main theme of the movie, the attempt to control nature, would have made them stop and think about the consequences of their actions. But perhaps they thought that *they* could and would be able to control whatever monstrosity they were attempting to create.
However, this was again one of the many themes that this movie touched on. One of the main criticisms was directed towards the hubris like arrogance that scientists seem to bathe in.
It's like watching Frankenstein and then deciding that it would be spanky to create a monster.
Having said that, I guess can't be too hard on the scientists given that they are ignoring what the television is telling them.
However, what makes the whole thing worse is that, when these scientists made a breakthrough, the news would have a report about it. They would always start the report with something like 'Jurassic Park might be closer than you think!'
Did they not realise? We don't actually want a Jurassic Park, because if we had a Jurassic Park, what we would essentially have is a whole bunch of dinosaurs roaming around eating a whole bunch of now dead people.
Now, I realise that in reality, it's probably not gonna turn out the way that the movie said it would but at least have the decency to not reference the movie when it is, at it's core, a criticism of everything that the scientists are trying to achieve. It's not that fucking hard, people.
The worst (best?) example that I can think of comes from our very own Australian shores. When channel 10 decided to go with the show Big Brother they began to promote the bejeezers out of it.
To that end they dolled up Gretel Killeen good and proper and whored her out to anyone who would interview her or, in fact, anyone who got sucked in by the Big Brother phenomenon.
Note: Gretel Killeen would have to be the unfunniest person on Australian television next to Rove.
When asked what the concept behind Big Brother was she would always reply "Well, you've heard of the book 1984 and idea that Big Brother is watching you, well we've decided to make that a reality" or words to that effect.
I don't know if you've ever read Orwell's 1984 or seen one of the many screen adaptations, but the world that they describe is a horrible nightmare. It's a world where individual thought and anti-government ideas are illegal and indeed often punishable by death. It's a world where your actions are constantly monitored (this is where the brain doctors got the idea for the Big Brother show (I don't know who created it (but you have a lot to answer (for)))). It's a world where any form of sedition is met with re-education. It's a world where language is co-opted and simplified to disrupt complex thought and ideas. It's a world where the past is rewritten so as to suit those who control the present.
Jesus Christ, it's a world where 'individuality has been subordinated to the will of the state'.
I cannot imagine why anyone would want to recreate such a world.
Despite all of this, the producers have not only called the show Big Brother and, by their admission, are recreating that dystopia, they are also attempting to sell it as such.
I don't care whether the show Big Brother exists or whether people are willing to be filmed around the clock. What does concern me is when a piece of literature is co-opted and when ideas found within that literature are referenced without any consideration to what they were initially about. All this does is leave the book, any book, stripped of all meaning.
Now I realise that the producers of the show (much like the dino-happy scientists) aren't actually going to create a world that is faithful to Orwell's 1984 and I realise that the show is all a little bit of harmless fun (well, save for all the tube whores who are going to have to watch the show) but at least have the decency to not make any references to a book that is an attack on the essence of what you are attempting to do.
As far as both Jurassic Park and Big Brother are concerned it seems wrong to put a cheerful spin on what is, in reality, a horrible concept, especially when the intention is to sell a product.
Listen: This article isn't about what the TV producers are doing or what the scientists are doing or what anyone is doing or anything like that. What it's about is the inappropriate referencing of material. It's about using something, anything, without paying attention to its particulars and its details or even what it's trying to say.
Understand: I just don't want you to look like idiots. I'm only really saying it for your own good.
Published on Wednesday, 27 November 2002
I hope that what I have written will be of some assistance.