(In this case the TV show Mad Men)
TV is so pervasive as to be inescapable in the USA in 2010. (E.g., videos by young folk on YouTube are often virtually incomprehensible because their makers unthinkingly recorded the video with TV chatter competing with them in the background. TVs bolted to the wall unroll endless drug company spiels in doctors’ waiting rooms.) Any medium that is that pervasive, and that is commonly absorbed that unthinkingly, has great potential for harm.
Here’s one of the bloggers who write so well I always quote them in full, commenting on a New York Times column about the show Mad Men:
August 1st, 2010
The “prevailing ethos that style and cool trump all” is a ringing indictment of America’s cultural hollowness. A hollowness which has driven us into unfunded wars (have fun paying for it, children), to an economic system which glorifies image while having carved out the substance of our economy, to a constant white-noise of trivialization (of which this column is a perfect example) which drowns out all seriousness and reduces life to a recitation of brand names and logos. We’ve been corporatized so that a TV critique of our mores becomes chic and hip, and we glorify the grisly reality that we’ve all been turned into whores: to business, to the government, to style, to ourselves.
What is mad about Mad Men is that we can no longer get mad – too uncool.
Impassioned, yet commendably brief, Jon.