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8.26.98
 

All righty then. Let's get crackling.

I'm gonna start my own pundit website that will do freelance media criticism. You know, like Suck or whatever. I'll just sit back, read some magazines, watch the evening news, cruise the Web for a while, then compile a report on how much the state of the world sucks.

This isn't a slam on Suck - Lord knows I read it way too often to criticize - but a slam on this media-obsessed punditry we've landed into. Used to be the story was on real events. Then, once Woodward and Bernstein started working their magic, the story became about the story. Now we have stories about spins about PR campaigns that complement or counter other PR campaigns and spins about how real life events are being portrayed by the sheeplike media and on and on and on...

And while I appreciate someone wading through all this filth being flung around and casting a hairy eyeball on the whole sordid mess, as Suck does, they still don't ask the most pertinent question of all:

Do we really need all this crap?

There's a difference between mercilessly mocking something and questioning whether it should exist in the first place.

I mean, there's just too much. Everyone's shouting, everyone's trying to get their voice heard above the din, everyone's jumping up and down trying to get our attention. Whether it's the evening news or a movie billboard or a Taco Bell commercial or a discerning Web article on Ken Starr's crusade, they're all playing the same game: act like an ass until someone notices you and gives you money.

My friends are constantly confused because even though I'm a filmmaker and I do love great movies, I never want to go to the movies. I hem and haw and say that I don't like crowds and what-not, which is kind of true. But in all honesty, I don't go to see movies because I already know what the movie is about months before its release! Between the theatrical trailers and the TV commercials and the Entertainment Weekly articles, I know the entire plot of the movie, all the cool scenes, and all the overpriced special effects before the movie is even released! You think I'm gonna spend 8 bucks to see something I already know everything about? You think I'm gonna spend 8 bucks to watch a two-hour special-effects show by ILM? Uh, NO.

I hate discussing current events. Why? Because it's always the same current events, since they've all been dictated by every media source (who, even though they're all in competition for your dollar, ALL SAY THE SAME FUCKING THING), and everyone's already got a pre fabricated opinion that was handed out to them! There's no discourse, there's no constructive analysis of what's happening, there's only the mad rush off the cliff, chasing that story and the subsequent reader/viewership, carrying democracy and intelligent, calm thought with it.

And that fucking gordita-hawking Commie chihauhua must die.

And no matter what they tell you, khakis SUCK. I have NEVER work a pair of khakis and felt compelled to swing dance. Khakis are bland, boring almost-dress pants to wear on casual Friday. You wanna swing dance? Go find a zoot suit and do it right, 'k?

And speaking of swing...how about retro? UGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRR...yeah, it all might have done before, but that doesn't mean you should do it again. At this rate, breakdancing, parachute pants, and Diff'rent Strokes will be on the cover of Rolling Stone within the year.

Is this, then, what we're doomed to? A rapid-fire keep-up-with-the- Joneses buy-watch-buy consumerism monster that kills art, destroys thought and sucks the soul?

Do me a favor. I know you don't know me, and there's probably no one reading this, but do me a fucking favor:

Turn the shit off. For a while. No TV, no radio, no newspapers, not even Web. Go out with friends, family, loved ones. Do something. Anything. Dance in fountains, see a movie you love, go to a concert in the park, sit on the beach and watch the waves, go out to the woods and stare at the stars. Talk to each other - not about bullshit that, in the end, is unimportant, but about what matters. Connect with someone. Tell a story - hell, play a fucking game of D&D for all I care. Share something. That's what's important. Not what they're telling you is important - what you know is important. What your soul is starved for.

Go out and do it.
 

-- sjc

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