Awhile ago I was listening to a podcast about video games. They focus mostly on console games but for whatever reason they were talking about PC games which is where most of my interest lie and they just said obviously wrong thing after obviously wrong thing. And it made me so angry. So angry that I actually just stopped listening to all of the small handful of podcasts I was subscribed to.
Slowly I am bringing them back. First to catch up with Welcome to Nightvale and then Serial which has swept the internet almost as quickly as Nightvale did. But also Reasonably Sound a great podcast about an area I know very little about.
For me the greatest problem is just that podcasts are something I tend to do on my commute and which is also where I do most of my reading and so they tend to take me from reading. I’m already not reading as much as I should as I let Game of Thrones slow me down to a halt.
I had this idea several years ago that I should repost comments I make around the internet here. I think Kottke had started doing it though he mostly stopped. I never did it more then once but I certainly regret not doing it more. I would have liked to have had that history here.
Sites like Medium are all the rage now and I have not had much interest in posting there. For me when content feels more ephemeral I’m more willing to give it away and Medium feels just like blogging but without the content ownership.
Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr is where the conversation is happening and it feels like a conversation. Mostly short responses that are apart of a larger context. Posting them here wouldn’t even make sense out of context and posting them here removes them from the conversation which is the only reason to post them in the first place.
Some parts of the internet, I think, are starting to encourage longer responses though. Idea Channel, like I just posted below, has build an amazing community partly due to youtube’s longer comment length but also due to so many being called out in the last few minutes of the show.
When I look back on my childhood I can barely remember what I did or liked or watched and I kind of hate that. This site should be that log of what I did and liked. Lets see if I can once again start posting stuff here that is less for others and more for future me. Because I want future me to remember this stuff better then I am usually able to.
So do we over use hyperbole? Yes… well sort of… and also maybe not.
I think the over use of hyperbole is very much in the realm of pop culture. An since pop culture is kind of every where these days it can feel like an all encompassing use of bombastic words.
Yet when people talk about books I hear less talk of inabilities to even and more nuanced treatises of not only what is good or bad but what things mean. This isn’t just people in my peer group but also what I see across the booktube fandom on youtube.
So why do people seemingly have such a strong ability to talk about books while when topics of pop culture come up, like say Breaking Bad, can we only extol how it is the BEST EVER or AMAZING?
I think the difference simply comes from how current society is behind the time in critique of pop culture. Many people grow up in schools where a staple of English class is reading books and finding deeper meaning. Even after people graduate from school book clubs around America and the world meet to not just drool over books with overly positive (or negative) reactions but to point to the parts that succeed and fail in their eyes.
Pop culture does not have a class at school that deconstructs it. And approaching most culture in this serious way is seen as a bit silly. Because we don’t have a muscle for talking about culture in that way I think we resort to words with less intellectual umph.
As TV Critics and other pop culture critics gain more prominence and we become more accustom to taking a more serious look at pop culture I think our general ability to talk about will increase. Because while tumblr is the home of people who can’t even it’s also the home of some smart deconstruction of pop culture.
Deeper conversations are coming and I think it will create a feed back loop that will only make pop culture even better.
On a side note I think gaming has the same problem of no real natural wide spread ability to talk intelligently about games. As criticism gets better and more a part of the every day thinking for games it will only make games better just as it has already started to makes other parts of pop culture better.
I read The Machine Stops in college and it took a while for me to really get it. It really nails the internet but the trick is it was written in 1909. Also since it’s from 1909 it’s out of copyright but there is no good version of it online so this is my new version of it.