Everything bad is good for you :)

I have not read Steven Johnson’s book, but after watching tonight’s episode of 24 and seeing the complex storylines of today’s TV shows, movies and video games, I am starting to buy the premise. Today’s popular culture is so much more sophisticated than the one from 20 years ago. You have to be mentally engaged not to get lost in the shows, to try to guess the twist ending in the movies (e.g.; The Illusionist) or to solve the video games. After watching Lost or 24 or for that matter Sex and the City or Desperate Housewives, watching even 15 minutes of Dallas or the Dukes of Hazard is unbearably painful!

As I see today’s 8 year olds customize their cell phones, chat on IM, blog, create profiles on MySpace, play complex games and hold intelligent conversations, I am not worried about the next generation’s ability to find ways to challenge itself and reach its intellectual potential. I would prefer if they were also intellectually stimulated in school, but that will the topic of another post.

In the meantime, go indulge in your guilty pleasures. They are actually good for you!

Non sequitur: This season of 24 is a bit disappointing. I am not as hooked yet as I was the previous seasons. That said, the topics are eerily believable, and I was shocked (in a good way) but the ending of the fourth hour! Fingers crossed!

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  • The terrorists and risks from the past few seasons are starting to feel very similar. In fact if one of Fayed’s objectives is to get Palmer to retaliate by attacking countries to further alienate the world and fuel terrorism – well the original Palmer faced that as well…

    On a side note, I am not sure I mind the new president. He clearly lacks his brother’s gravitas and presense, but I could see a president getting elected on the sympathy vote. Having an indecisive, inexperienced president will make for an interesting change.

    I wonder how vulnerable they will let Jack be. I fear they will make him be superhuman again to save us all using the excuse “the nuclear explosion changes everything – I found my way again.” He needs to show vulenrability if he is to grow on us as a human being.

    Anyway, instead of preaching how I would make TV shows, I should probably go back to my day job 😉

  • I’ve watched the four first episode … Really disapointed especially after all the hype around all the surprises they were supposed to bring … I wish they would have found something else than a ‘terrorists’ plot … I don’t guys, be creative !!! 🙂

    Fred

  • I have to say that I emphatically disagree with your blog and that is not usually the case. As a pioneer of this generation I admit that I am embarrassed to be associated with a great majority of these “MTV kids.” The examples that you give do not apply to most kids in America. They do not have intellectual conversations and watch intense, thought provoking shows rather they are customizing their myspaces, instead of spending quality time with their families. Sex and the City, for example, is primarily watched by adult women and as far as the young girls who watch it are concerned, they are drawn to the titillating conversations and risqué situations, not for the wise words and observations of Carrie Bradshaw. Just because a child can customize his or her webpage or figure out how to use their sidekick (all individual activities with very little human interaction) does not mean they are “intelligent.” “Intelligence” can be defined as many things and while there have definitely been advancements in the understanding of technological devices, I think it is safe to say that most of America couldn’t even tell you who the Vice President is. We are breeding a generation of mindless, robotic people who lack all social graces and skills of past generations.
    PS 15 minutes of DH is extremely painful!