“Why did you turn the movie off, Daddy?”, Beatrix worriedly asks, as if she has done something wrong and is being punished by having her entertainment interrupted. She thinks that’s what I was doing by rushing for the remote.
“I didn’t turn it off, honey. This is just a commercial. I was turning the volume down because it was so loud. Shreck will come back on in a few minutes” I say.
“Did it break?”, she asks. It does sometimes happen at home that Flash or Silverlight implode, interrupt her show, and I have to fix it.
“No. It’s just a commercial.”
“What’s a commercial?”, she asks.
”It is like little shows where they tell you about other shows and toys and snacks.”, I explain.
“Well the TV people think you might like to know about this stuff.”
“This is boring! I want to watch Shreck.”
Actually she is absolutely right. TV (or the idiot box as it is colloquially known) is dying, senile and on it’s way out. And not a moment too soon.
The interesting part is why it is dying, it’s why i have flashblock and adblock extensions on my browser: Adverting and Marketing lack of self-moderation, respect and the search for a quick buck on the short term. Instead of a single ad that i would actually pay attention to, they put 20. And if no one clicks then they need to be more colourful or more noisier or animated. And you end up with this.
There is a perennial lack of moderation on our times. Moderation, Respect, Restraint. All of what is needed to truly build a self-sustainable environment; and by environment i mean the whole encompassing “sphere” of our “activity”, and this includes the human life, human society, the web, the advertising business, the TV.
We somehow behave as stupid as the virus that infects and kills everyone as soon as it can. And obviously runs out of hosts in a remote village in Africa wiping itself in the process. Fill the websites with so much ads that everyone installs an adblocker. Extend commercial breaks to 20 minutes or make one in every 10 minutes and nobody will watch TV anymore. Consume junk products in massive quantities until there is no more space to store them or stuff that works or anything that is not made in China for absolut bottom-prices.
We really need a philosophical change regarding our future. One that exalts some sort of moderation and reflection before “action”. One that simply includes respect for the “Other”, for if nothing else so that we can continue to maintain a relationship. One that includes a more restrained satisfying life instead of this voracious consumption of nothing.