Your 15 Minutes has Been Extended

Murray and I were randomly watching some show on Star TV called “Making It.” It followed two artists on their way to last year’s Juno Awards. We had to watch it; not out of civic duty but because it was part train wreck, part brutal mirror. They were making the same steps we had made years before as nominees for “Best New Artist,” and it was painful to watch, almost as painful as the experience itself. But that’s another story.

Mainly I was gaining insight into the phenomenon of the television, and how many times I have seen people that I know on it. I thought of the crumbling grip established media has on the masses, and how the blogoshpere threatens its existence. Cable providers now have hundreds of channels, and all those channels need specialised content that can appeal to a wide audience. So enter Star TV, who’s focus is celebrity and any facet of it. Add any one of myriad, modern day indie rockers and there you have instant product! So anyway, the point is that nearly anyone can get on TV, whether it be to remodel a house, to demonstrate singing or dancing skills, or have personal or professional experiences documented in video format. And as a result, I often see people I know on TV.

In 1968, Andy Warhol predicted that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” I believe his prophecy rings true, but that the 15 minutes has been graciously extended to around four hours, most times delegated in 15-minutes bursts across several forms of media.

So there it is. Yet still we thrive on the darkest of stories, the most painful celebrity journeys. We have grown accustomed to them dragging on, supplanting our own dreary lives, or hopefully one of our lives could fill someone else’s? Why else would I be keeping a blog?

One Reply to “Your 15 Minutes has Been Extended”

  1. I don’t think I read blogs to fill my life with someone else’s. I think that part of the reason that mass media is losing it’s appeal is that television was never real life. In all of those shows you mention it is only the most dramatic moments that make the show – real life isn’t that dramatic. It isn’t all a car wreck or a stand up routine.

    I think the appeal of blogs, podcasts etc., is that they are what ‘reality television’ promised and couldn’t deliver. Real people and their real lives – real situations and what people really think (about everything).

    It is a different kind of media and one that holds great promise for people understanding each other.

    – Justin
    (who apparently has a comment on everything you say)

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