The standard lifespan for a blog clocks in at about two years, and that puts me as falling just short of the average, which is where I seem to be most comfortable. When I started Gloss in late 2006 it was with the intention of meditating on two conflicting pet theories:
1. I think
a. That media can only be a barometric instrument, not an influential one.
b. That in the metaphor of the body politic or the body cultural, media represent not the circulatory but the endocrine system. What they distribute is not information, but regulation, in the form of belief. Media adapt and respond to changing moral needs with a marketplace efficiency.
c. That the widespread adoption of television and the Internet can be understood as examples of natural selection, which is to say they are the giraffe’s long neck: beneficial accidents. Television was the most efficient possible moral check for a nation in its post World War II through Cold War stage; the Internet has succeeded it as the most efficient moral instrument for the globalization period.
2. I also think
a. Television was designed as a monument to Death. The jump cuts between channels and the randomness of programming have been reflected in a consensus of contemporary artistic interpretations of the post-religious experience of the afterlife. That experience is a holdout and willful misinterpretation of ’50s and ’60s notions of consciousness: of the idea of the mind as the sum of randomly firing neurons, of life flashing before your eyes, of the split-second moment after death being perceived in the dying brain as infinite (that is, a time trap). The whole idea is tres-Leary, and the theory has found expression in the works of Dick, Linklater, and Lynch. In this vein, when we watch TV, we are practicing for death. We are sneak previewing our own afterlife.
b. As a national accomplishment, television is America’s pyramids.
If you’ve been a reader you’ll notice I spent most of my time instead posting kneejerk reactions to whatever cultural and political entertainment was happening that day; that’s a testament to their pull.
I might figure out what to do with this when I get home, but right now I’m headed back for another vacation in the Pacific Northwest, to gather my inner Dharma Bum and hunt for specimens of the elusive Oregonian tree penis.