11 February 2011
Post 321: The Water is Wide
In The Water is Wide, Conroy comes to recognize the values of television as a medium through which we can have shared experiences. In this case, the shared experience is the movie The Wizard of Oz. Of all the possible movies that the kids could have been exposed to, this is a really good one, but what do we have today that almost everyone has been exposed to in order to have those common experiences?
It seems that pop culture is changing so fast that it instead of "popping" it flashes. It is there one moment, and in the next it is gone. What's the last movie that you saw that you think will make a lasting impression on you? Was it anything this year? Can you say the same thing for art? Books? Advertisements? Clothing? TV Series? It all seems so disposable. In some ways this is a good thing, because advertisers and creative teams have the chance to try a whole bunch of new things and see if they stick, but the problem with that is that they don't stick around for very long even when they are moderately successful (Farscape, Heroes, Dead Like Me). Or they have the problem of sticking around far after they lose their appeal; or even worse, they never had any to begin with because it was a poorly formulated and/or executed idea because Someone thought it would make a whole lot of money and pushed it before it was really developed.
Then again, it seems that Making Money has caused its own problems. In order to be able to push More on the consumer they have actually given us too many options. By providing ten thousand flavors of family drama, vampire romance, train wrecks in the form of reality TV shows, and whatever else your brain could possibly think of, there is almost no way for there to be any front runners. We don't have the kind of common culture we had back in the day because it's hard to watch the same shows as your neighbor when you both have 200 channels to choose from. This is of course the same with reading material, movies, etc.
Is this a good thing? Or is it just the way it is? If we were to have a core of common knowledge, what should it be and who should decide?
My review can be found on Goodreads.
LibsNote: Free review copy provided through NetGalley.
If you like memoirs, this is a good one.