Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Mighty de Fine

Seems to me the best writing defines an era or mood or zeitgeist, call it what you will. The best movies always do this, from Casablanca to Easy Rider to Wall Street . The best TV should hang its head in shame if it doesn't.
It set me thinking as to what defines the current era. It was a pretty depressing thunk. No talent eejits like Paris Hilton are lauded in the media. Someone flashes their tits on Big Brother and becomes a star? The BBC news gleefuly reports on the shennanagins of Kate Moss and Amy Winehouse?

Now I know that's always happened to some extent, since the days of Al Jolson, Twiggy, Simon Le Bon and the aforementioned [except Amy Winehouse has talent]. But now it seems like the only important thing is to be famous. The golden ring being held out for everyone is Warhol's famous for fifteen minutes. Fuck that! It's more like Orwell's 1984. Pop culture to keep the masses happy while they are screwed by those in control.

I'm not a political being but as a writer to me that defines this era. Your mileage may vary.


Lucy said...

Blimey, you're such a Golden Ager ED! Of course it was better in your day. I'm sure it'll be better in mine. But isn't this what every person thinks? "Life sucks now and didn't then"??

I'm far from totally optimistic or unrealistic, mind. I've had some sucky things happen to me in the course of my writing career and as Jaded and Cynical kindly pointed out over at my own blog, I have "been round the block a bit" (cheers btw for that J&C I know you'll be hanging out here somewhere ; ).

Life's really not as bad as everyone says it is though I reckon. Yes we worship bollocks celebrity, but the internet means us writers can get noticed like in the writers' strike. Yes there's some shit on TV and money gets put first, but hasn't it always? Thanks to the internet I think we just HEAR about it more. Thank god those bastards don't get to lock themselves in darkened rooms with secret handshakes and weird budget decisions anymore... It's the global village baby!

So go back to your quill and ink you ol' Fagin!

(Love you really, MWAH... please buy Scriptwriter magazine this month, cheers - it's on OLD FASHIONED paper and not on the internet or anything, HAH! ; )

Lucy said...

P.S. Ironically I actually have an inkwell on my desk that my PC sits on. With ink in. No quill though. Did you steal it, ED?

P.P.S. Please refrain from killing me. Many thanks.

Jaded and Cynical said...

Pop culture to keep the masses happy while they are screwed by those in control.

The three biggest news stories in the US over the past couple of years have been Paris Hilton getting locked up, Britney Spears being, well, Britney, and the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

The biggest political story in America recently - months from a presidential election - has concerned the lunatic views of the fruitcake who used to run the church Barack Obama attended in Chicago.

No focus on Iraq or Afghanistan. Zero interest in the Middle East. No discussion of global warming or other complex transnational issues. Nothing about economics beyond 'gas prices are higher today...'

In other words, no news, just distraction.

And what happens in America today hits our shores tomorrow.

For example, doesn't the relentless, overblown Madeleine McCann coverage have the same pointless, diversionary feel to it?

I'd love to see someone do a remake of Network, but how would you even begin to satirise this stuff?

(You're getting to know my haunts, Lucy. Congrats with the article. I value your honest positivity, mainly because I know that in a couple of years you'll be as cynical as the rest of us. It's that kind of business.)

English Dave said...

Of course I won't kill you Lucy,unless it's for research lol

But you should know that Jaded is well named. Frankly in this business you have to deal with a bunch of cunts. The secret is to remain passionate. It's what makes writers who they are. Keep that passion in the face of adversity and you'll go far.

joelmead said...

I find thinking about modern TV depressing too but I think we are coming to the end of the reality TV boom as channels seem to be commissioning more drama. Bishop has the best writers' links…

English Dave said...

Welcome Joel. Reality TV is depressing I agree. Talent TV is different and so I can live with Simon Cowell , or rather his editors, who know how to make a good show.

If drama was as good, or had someone who knew what the fuck they were doing with the genre and with the power of Cowell I think we could give them a run for their money.