Tuesday, February 22, 2005

TV Versus Lit

I just saw a large ad on a bus for a new television series about a blind detective. How many times has that been done? 400? 5,000? I'd say the medium has run out of ideas.

Literature is able to encompass an infinite number of ideas.

1 comment:

- Leopold said...

I'm not sure it's TV itself that has run out of ideas. I think TV programming suffers from the same conformist mindset now besetting the literature industry. The problem with TV is, due to its high cost and need for 'multiple chefs' to create any program, it is seriously mired in a conformist, lowest common denominator mindset. This forces TV to be heavily commercial in order to survive. Just the fact that TV exists at all - 24 hours of programming, day after day, on 100+ channels with anywhere from $250,000 to 3 million going into each program, put together by a mass collection of diverse people and interests - I find incredible.

I'm in no way defending TV here, but I think it's an excellent example of what happens when small hegemonies interested only in commercial/populist output control an industry - bland crap flows freely. TV, at least, has some sort of an excuse for being terrible. Books do not. It only costs time and dedication for one person to write a book. Sure it might take a year, but they have complete control over it. Not only that but, of all our cultural mass mediums, books were the first and remain the easiest and cheapest to create. People were printing books 400 years before they were making records.

My point is that writing is a much more versatile medium than TV/Video, etc... and therein lies its strength. There is absolutely no reason why book publishing should remain in the hands of a few elites. We can take it right back from them. And there is no reason why edgy, new, experimental or thought-provoking fiction should not have an equal ground against the formula crap coming out of presses today.

A blind detective. Oh, that is soooo a bad idea. I find TV actually terribly amusing for the rich depth of inanity it manages to mine from such a shallow pool of entertainment options.