Monday, September 08, 2008

pop goes my heart

So much has happened in the past ten years to the way the world communicates that it's hard to keep up. Should you blog? Tweet? Is it archaic to pick up the phone for a long gab? Or meet for lattes?

I have always loved pop culture and love to find the areas where high and low culture meet. But I wonder what it will be like for a child, who is now 4, to reminisce about the culture of its youth in 2040 and beyond.

My youth had regularly scheduled TV programs (with fewer channels, even when cable hit), radio stations that filtered a few select genres of music, and movies that came out with less frequency. You could count the blockbusters on your hands: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Top Gun, Ghostbusters. But now, with music, movies and TV shows available at a finger's touch, everyone is a maestro of his or her own content. In a way it's great. Hitchcock, The Tudors and SpongeBob can be had whenever you want them. But the concept of "water cooler talk" may be over. If everyone is self-programming, then what's the great show, event, etc. to recap on Monday morning?

Maybe with folks watching and listening to what they want when they want, it will make dependency of the boob tube less a focus of people's lives, but somehow I doubt that. I think we are likely to transfer our evening viewing to the computer or iPhone screen instead, or in conjunction with, the TV.

If everyone is connected all the time, what will that mean for privacy? I embrace technology, but I am also looking for ways to relax, simplify - there's a part of me that could just be a beach bum (with the iPhone in a sand-proof carrier.)

For the daughter of a newspaperman, I have to admit that I get most of my news online - I haven't had newsprint in the house in years (sorry, Pop, it's the way of the world.) There was an excellent article recently from Roger Ebert on "how to read a film." Anyone who loves "old" movies might want to try his technique to look at the deeper readings of film, through composition and artistic placement. Artists have been working with the rectangle and placement for centuries. We are still in love with the rectangle via our iPhones and our computer screens, but are we still 'reading" in the same way? Most folks scan email, multi-task while the TV is on, yap on the phone while they drive. What exactly gets anyone's attention? Or does everything?

Just some thoughts swirling through my head...


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