De-genre-ation by Katarína Koreňová

12/02/2010 22:47


Give me two days and I’ll give you a brand new TV channel.

This sad but true statement was not uttered by anyone less famous than me. A conclusion based on observation. Let‘s see. How much time do I need?

TV is based on ideas.

This new millennium age is based on de-genre-ating ideas.

It shouldn’t be that difficult. 

Just today I switched on an Italian channel hoping for intelligent amusement.

I was depressed. Needed distraction.

The first to come were two quasi self-caricatures trying to persuade the audience of their

qualities of farceurs. One came fencing with a snow-white rabbit puppet and the other waving his Crusty-like haircut. The audience preferred the Crusty one.

Because The Simpsons are still on.

The second live waxwork guest is a botuloage lady. Her age is only detectable by that of the rows of men at her feet - some of them already defunct. She prides herself on her jewels and a famous answer from another significant live show. ”Would you leave your husband for someone more powerful?” BEEP. “No, of course not, only for someone extremely powerful.”

The audience applauds her.

Because we still love sweets from old uncle Machiavelli.

Let me give you a serious one. A man, after 25 years of separation from his two kids, suddenly finds out that he would like to be their daddy. Boo-hoo. The good fairy presenter calls his offspring right from the spot to ask them why on earth they do not want their daddy, and couldn’t they give him a chance, pleaaase?

Because we all are desperate. - That’s why I call this one serious.

I could continue like this....

OK, I will. You’ve wanted it.

The last one to arrive onstage is an elderly maternal figure who desperately needs to separate her daughter from...we’ll be back after this commercial break...her mobile phone! Yes, a serious teenage problem. Yet, the mobile phone proves to be only a benign hook on which we get caught just to listen to her diabolic liaisons with famous men. A déjà vu from how long ago? I’ m still waiting for the moral and the good fairy says: “Well, see you tomorrow.” I feel so disappointed! I wanted to hear EVERYTHING about her new necklace, preferably stone after stone.

Because we weren’t born to live in the lies we love.

Am I just kidding?

Well, give me two days and I’ll give you at least a TV program called The Heaven and Hell

Of a Screenwriter. He has to be backboneless enough to satisfy every whim of our idiotic taste for everything that glitters and is empty like the snow-white rabbit.

He will take the infinite effort just to persuade the artless audience of things that he himself will never believe, for instance, of the quality of the script he has just written.

He succeeds and he’s got money to burn.

I mean, where in the world have we gone wrong?

The remnants of any artistic taste we’ve ever had are degenerating, together with TV programs that are de-genre-ating, and there is no hope. Believe me.

At least not on TV.


Date: 03/03/2010

By: Anonym

Subject: Media?

1. Sensation The stories of most TV programs, whether news programs or the others, are generally broadcasting some sensational undertone like silly rosy stuff or the most recent and extreme crimes and disasters. It is clear: the media thrives on conflicts because they attract viewers or readers. The greater the conflict the greater the audience, and the larger the audience the greater financial success of media. 2. Absurdity: E.g. Horrendous massacre, poverty and criminality followed by the news that a poor cangaroo was lost in the Australian bush. 3. Brainwashing Media is the means by which "the migtier ones" keep the masses under control. Efforts torwards falsification of the current political situation, history, the promotion of empty concepts, and of course the suppression of actual and important information. They usually aim at efforts to prevent citizens from raising questions. It is really hard to think. Infectious and dangerous..If anybody attempts to do it guess what-unpopular. By the way, what is the purpose of your Perspectives? Give me two days or just one and I’ll tell you what happens when you try to publish only some bloody serious stuff that is worth thinking, without the purpose of the entertainment.

Date: 03/03/2010

By: kk

Subject: Re: Media?

Thank you for the nice up-to-date definition of media. Personally, I would put it in any dictionary or textbook. You hit the point. A propos popularity. It is my favorite. Let me ask you a question. Was Jesus popular? If you stay true to anything you believe you may end up fairly unpopular, and still remain appreciated by few for who you really are. Which also makes me think of my favorite quote: "Take the course opposite to custom and you will almost always do well." J.J.Rousseau. It only depends on what your priority is. Your hint at the popularity of Perspectives- Bloody serious stuff you call it, but still it seems to me that you appreciate it. I take it as a compliment. If you have anything bloody serious to say we can give you the space, and you can be (un)popular with us. By the way, not everything we have here is so serious. :)

Date: 03/03/2010

By: Michaello

Subject: Media vs. minute of boredom

I ventured to read your worthy discussion about the media which in my opinion leads to nowhere, because it will change nothing. But I have to admit that I agree with Anonymus 1 with everything, but at the same time I want to assure him that nothing special would happen with this webzine if they did not publish anything without the purpose of the entertainment. Simply, this webzine is and will be like one of milion other webzines in the space, where some writings solve nothing special, stuff which are read by a few students or some lucky errants who unintentionally get to know something wise and nice, and for time to time an Anonimus writes here and Michaello out of boredom or compassion for nice and wise editors of this webzine:)
I know it sounds almost like a tale but it is more realistic than it seems. So that´s all from me today, my minute of boredom has expired. I wish you good night and good luck. Your loyal adherent of this webzine. Michaello

Date: 02/03/2010

By: kk

Subject: small reward

It seems there are other commentators, even earlier than you, I have thus decided to make three first prizes. :) see what the media can do? :)

Date: 02/03/2010

By: kk

Subject: What is the goal of the media?

Exactly as you say. My critique is aimed at the mainstream. I do not doubt that there are programs that tend to be educative, and they often succeed. What I did was just calling what I see for what I believe it is. Rubbish. If the media should reflect our system of values and priorities, what would you put on the first place? And my question is: do the media reflect us or we reflect the media? Do they (re)present what we want to see or what they want us to see? How far can we get if we think about what the primary, (though not official) goal of the media is?
Thank you for your comment. If you were not anonymous , we would give you the small reward we promised to the first one who leaves us a comment. If you re Slovak , you can step out of the shadow by writing us an email to Write with us!

Date: 02/03/2010

By: Anonym

Subject: Poor entertainment

I agree with your views on the mainstream Tv programs. But if you are too strict you are probably going to make yourself unpopular. Just like there are many rubbish programmes on TV or elsewhere at the same time there are many cold-hearted arts critic who would praise these teen-oriented performances, education, and "youth development" programs. Unfortunately, gaudiness is popular. After all, even if some of the spectators consider what they're watching be vulgar or tasteless most of them in the audience are usually looking to be entertained.

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