Monday, February 01, 2010

Avatar vs iPad: Why No One Cares

Despite all appearances, the Republicans have Obama on the run and they know it. Meanwhile, the spirit of the country continues to dissolve in the face of the reimagining campaigns of both sides. One hopes they collide in the middle like the old commercial about peanut butter and chocolate. Maybe they'll accidentally do something right but when the public has no stomach for reality and are too burned to buy the dream, we're left betting on accidents. Calling oneself "progressive" to get around being called "liberal" or "socialist" is pretty thin.

As surmised, Constellation is dead. This is how it must have felt to be the janitor at Camelot after Arthur and Mordred duked it out and the body of the king was ferried away to Avalon. Something splendid happened in these dark halls full of leaves, dust and cold winds through banging shutters.

Elsewhere some wonder why the iPad has received such a drubbing in the technical press. I have a theory: with the buying public, having been fed unreal notions and increasing levels of Spy vs Spy, all it took was the dream world of Avatar to push them into a complete and fixed state of cynicism. The Apple campaign tricks that worked wonders with the iPod and the Mac are being met with skepticism and yawns. No one cares that Steve Jobs Loves Bob Dylan. Too many know that Thomas Edison was the orignal white pig putting his name on the ideas and hard work of his employees. Too many know that the Apple technologies serve the marketing goals of content capture first and the creative freedom of the users and developers only once that capture is ensured.

Perhaps it isn't that we don't want reality; we no longer can tell what is real. As Richard Reeves points out, we thought we were the people that made the impossible happen in the Berlin Airlift only to discover we are the people who made Abu Gharib possible. It is the feeling of sleeping in slime.

People know the emperor is butt naked except they aren't laughing. When hope fails and misery seems to be at hand, despair follows, and after that, cold hard disbelief no matter the facts at hand. When John Kennedy faced this, he used the space program, which he himself did not care for or believe in as a way to reignite the imagination of a generation. It will be interesting with the cancellation of Constellation effectively killing the future of American manned space flight what kind of futuristic vision we'll be offered this time.

1 comment:

Amber said...

The only reality I'm sure of anymore is local, maybe even hyperlocal. What I can experience for myself.

Anything outside of my own little bubble here in 'Burque I have to filter through a "who is making money on this, how am I being played, who is gaming what here" system before I can even attempt to distinguish reality from "reality" (as in TV shows). I make the effort, but it's exhausting. Many simply don't bother making the effort or don't know it needs to be made (like that line in The American President: They don't drink the sand because they're thirsty, they drink the sand because they don't know the difference.) I hate being so cynical, but I feel like it's necessary for self defense.

Keep up the good work, friend.

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