Monday, July 2, 2007


I have not yet joined the YouTube generation, although I have dipped my toe in the water. I've watched the odd clip recommended to me and used it as a reference tool a couple of times, but overall the hundreds of millions of "short form" clips available for viewing just don't call out to me.

Someday I'll sit down and watch every video The Fixx ever made, but I hope I'm wearing black socks with sandals in my retirement community when I do it.

I copied this artwork in high school art class, poorly

Lately it seems that I'm more and more in the minority when it comes to short form and its newer companion "long form on tiny screen." I declined the V CAST option on my new LG cellphone because I couldn't imagine ever wanting to watch movie trailers, Comedy Central, or... YouTube diversions on my 2" display.

But ho, now the marketing wizards at Apple have introduced the iPhone with its luxurious 3.5" display! Won't the latest YouTube sensations or an entry in the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN trilogy look nearly twice as good here? Yes, but nearly twice as good as "unwatchably small" still doesn't excite me.

Doesn't it seem to anybody else that we've already rejected the Sony Watchman once before?

"the next big thing" victim #106783

I kid. This isn't a rant against YouTube or the iPhone. I'm not a Luddite, and I believe most of these technological advances are damn cool and extremely valuable in the right context.

I guess I've just been cringing a lot lately at the thought of what this is going to mean to the generation growing up with audio and video streaming into every orifice.

Will they know how to read English as we know it, or will Pidgin Textlish be the preferred form of written communication (presumably employed when one's video messaging function is on the fritz)?

I was shocked to see the full-page ad in Sunday's New York Times announcing "NYTIMES.COM/VIDEO" with this enormous headline:


So The New York Times is trying to compete with YouTube by offering "Exclusive Short Videos On Everything From World Affairs and Scientific Innovations to Weddings and Diversions"???

Even after Mrs. Word Player reminded me that the iPhone campaign frequently uses footage of a user surfing NYTIMES.COM as a selling point I still couldn't shake one question:

With theoretically unlimited bandwidth and storage space, does "all the news that's fit to stream" mean that the Times will be far less picky about what they present as news online than they are in the print edition?

Is "When Words Aren't Enough" a tacit admission by "old media" that they just cannot compete with "new media"?

"All the Vows That's Paid to Post"

Should it bother me that whenever I go to my local library it feels like the vast majority of people are there to use computers and free Wi-Fi or check out free videos and DVDs instead of reading books or periodicals?

Is it laughable or terrifying that the new book Cinema for Managers preaches that "executives learn little from books" and that "high-quality films, though, can offer lessons about problem-solving and teamwork as well as focusing on issues such as globalisation and diversity."

What more convincing sign of the Fall of Western Civilization can you imagine than a multinational CEO making decisions based on multiple viewings of THE TERMINAL?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"all the vows that's paid to post". now that's a good one.