Friday, September 24, 2010

The Discontent of Content

The trend is alarming and the repucussions worrisome. There is a sudden new found enthusiasm in our world for ADHD.

Yes, you did read it right. What causes concern when found in children, seems to not only be perfectly fine, but even laudable, when it comes to us adults: complete Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

We actually seem pleased that a person can hear a piece of music, google the artist name, track its singer on twitter, put up a status update about it on facebook, write a blogpost about how moving the piece was, gmail the mp3 to five friends and claim to have actually heard the piece at the same time.

Stop fidgeting and pay attention children. The age of the total discontent of content is here. We have time for everything and as a result, attention for nothing.

Our Paul the Octopus impersonations - not as soothsayers but as multi limbed jello beings - have been perfected. We have many arms but no central spine to hold it all together. We have span but no attention. We have spread but no centre. We have response but no stock.

It is not just radio. The 40 sec link into the next song has become endemic to our very being. We want our news in bullet points, our songs in hooks, our films in trailers, our books in quotable quotes.

We want to be seen to know it all, spreading it wide, spreading it thin, and we have lost our divers' costumes that allow us to go down deep with an oxygen tank called patience and a breathing tube called focus.

This is a great thing for mass media. It allows us 'medians' to cover everything, and uncover nothing at the same time.

Today's journalists need not be experts on the subject their beat covers. Today's writers need no education in literature. Today's musicians need no classical training. Today's painters need never have seen the inside of an art school.

Everything goes in the name of spontaneous, unstructured personal articulation. Expression rules and absorption is dead. We can opine without knowledge, create without learning, and extol without imbibing.

We don't have time to read this blogpost to the end because our phone just beeped, our computer just pinged and our connect just disconnected.