Horrified Observers of Pedestrian Entertainment: The Silent Majority...Silent No More




The Silent Majority...Silent No More

From Greg Johnson:

When one looks at the actual sales figures, Ashlee Simpson's triple platinum-selling debut album sold to -- at best -- 1 percent of the population. No matter how much the publicists spin it, the fact is that 99% of the population is not particularly interested in Ashlee, her silicone vocal chords, and her brittle artistic vision.

Paris Hilton's vapid television show The Simple Life drew just under 10 million viewers for its much-touted season finale. That means that over 290 million Americans are not watching the show. Yet the uninterested majority still suffers through an endless barrage of media coverage of these worthless celebrities and their petty triumphs and travails. Weeks after her actual wedding ceremony dominated the news cycle, the bureaucratic filing of Britney Spears' marriage license with officials in Los Angeles County was the top story on many network news affiliates and in newspapers across the country. Paris Hilton's lost dog trumped news of the Iraqi war. Even the H.O.P.E.-inspired backlash against Ashlee Simpson's shoddy album attracted media coverage disproportionate to anyone's actual interest in this exceptionally uninteresting human being.

Objective criticism of substandard new movie releases has been replaced with newscasters gleefully repeating ticket grosses as if they were sports playoff scores. As each crappy new movie breaks all previous box office records--solely because of continuous increases in population size and ticket prices--the film's weekend earnings becomes a top story on cable and network news, though in reality, the only people who should be interested in these figures at all are the film's investors. Meanwhile, if the revenues are adjusted to account for increasing population and ticket prices, one finds that these so-called "blockbusters" are attracting less-than-stellar revenues, screening to average-sized audiences who are becoming increasingly restless about the dismal quality of entertainment on offer. Many of these films would end up complete financial failures if not for the worldwide distribution system that dumps these cinematic turkeys onto international audiences via cable television, endlessly repeating movies that no one has any real interest in viewing, while choosing to let older, quality films from the studios' long and illustrious catalogs rot on the shelves, in many cases, never to screen again.

Don't be fooled into thinking that everyone around you supports these insubstantial faux "celebrities" and that you are alone in longing for the days when a new release might actually pique your interest. You are part of the silent majority of our country: people who are sick of what passes for "popular" culture these days, and can't be bothered to watch these banal shows, attend these disappointing movies, and buy these generic, trivial CDs. Most of us would love for a new film to provide a thoughtful distraction, a pleasant night out on the town--rather than simply leave us agitated and ripped-off.

If you're fed up, and would like to help fight to raise the standards of the entertainment on offer and bring more attention to the quality artists who are silenced by a clueless corporate system--join H.O.P.E., and let's take back America's legacy of innovation in film, music and art!