Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Age of Entertainment

The future is here! Okay, I want to state something that may or may not be obvious: in 2014, we are at the apex of entertainment. You can Google search for a video on just about anything. Want only short videos? Check. Also, 'google' is a verb in the English language now, as well as all the other text/chat terms in the world's languages. Videos longer than 20 minutes? Check. It's also the world's best signpost to free porn, which is at an all-time high, by loads.

Why the hell would you hop a bus or drive out and buy music, movies or games on a disc anymore!? Sure, you miss out on that excitement of unwrapping it and the good whiff of that new electronics smell. But instead of all that, you can download that shit in about 2 minutes, with money that doesn't even exist! Our devices are getting less and less unique-looking with Apple's success at creating an ever-shrinking rectangle, and game consoles being mistaken for printers in their boxiness. It's really easy to see why some of the future flicks of the past and present show bright rooms with almost no furniture and square panels everywhere.
Y' know wh'um talkin'bout *nudge nudge*

For the last 10 years, everyone has been able to be an instant hit with a million-person audience via Youtube or Vimeo or some other free service with the standard. White girl with a dirty mouth? People laugh at that! Korean teenager who dances typical girl dances?  Even the dumbest ideas make money (I'm looking at you, "What does the fox say?")

*You'll also notice that I make you click on the links for pictures. Personally, my web browser usually has a minimum of 10 pages open at the same time. One page at a time is for the birds! If you don't already do this, try holding CTRL befo' you clik da link.

Games are pressed onto 50GB discs now, which is roughly 71x as large as a CD, which was only 2 generations, or 15 years ago. The newest generation of games have run out of significant graphic and sound processing leaps and have shifted on the finer details of realistic textures, like reducing the shine on human skin, and rendering individual strands of hair. Voice acting still remains a question, but since almost every game has been vocalized since the last generation, the tech doesn't really factor in.

Though luckily, Lara Croft is still fine as fuck.
My favorite thing about all of this is that the dearth of available entertainment means that it means it is harder to stand out. This explains nonsense garbage like LMFAO and What does the Fox say? But there are also really serious investments into quality. The sophisticated audience is stronger through the internet community.

There were always those days in class where your teacher brought in some hokey lo-fi documentary that would cut just before the lion got that goddamn gazelle. Or the one where they make up a cute story about the mother cat and her naughty kittens, and there are sound effects when the kitties fall. I rolled my eyes when I was 6, and I think the extra few members of the audience you snag with such pandering isn't worth the change in tone.

So among all the trash that FOX shows and Discovery Channel shits out, like "Bad Teachers" - a series dedicated to cutting down the most important profession for humanity, you get something like Planet Earth or Cosmos. Cosmos is a remake of an 80s Carl Sagan series of the same name. Science gets updated, and with better cameras and special effects, the explanations can evolve, too. The new host gives a very personal homage to Sagan, and quits the name dropping after that first segment in a very classy way.

I'm not gonna lie, it's a cherry on top that the host, Neil DeGrasse Tyson is black. He grew up with the advantages of middle class, as my children will, and now they'll know an incredibly successful black nerd. I would like the series anyway, as it does shit like cleverly overlapping the facts we vaguely remember from school with another topic like Social Studies. One episode was about the age of the earth, and during one scientist's research, he uncovered the poisoning effects of lead. He then went against the big gas corporations and...well, that's why our gas is 'unleaded.' I had always wondered why it needed to be specified. - you'll like what you see!

There are still a couple hokey things about the show, but the biographies are interesting and most of the graphics augment rather than simply sensationalize.

Either way, it's nice to be in a position to enjoy all this crazy entertainment.

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