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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The end of Ten: Big Brother has died on us..!

Just tried to open 'uitzending gemist', the Dutch site where one can see TV programmes of the last few days (did not work on my Apple, anyone any suggestions..). Saw though that Talpa or Ten, the chanel of John De Mol (inventor of Big Brother) is thinking of shutting down. That's fitting with the spirit of the times. Have always entertained the thought that De Mol, when he started Talpa a few years ago, bought an already dying timeframe and format. Never buy into an old trend! All the programmes he bought and all the stars dated from a time when opportunism and banality were the spirit of the times (1998-2004). His starting the chanel was the turning point that made people, unconsciously or not, realize they wanted something else, something more inclusive, a new togetherness and a reinforcing of positive culture.
And, coincidence, I was just reading about the concept of banality. In a culture of banality, not much is expected of people. Anyone can be a star. But the paradox in the end is: when anybody can be anybody, nobody can be "somebody".. Think of Big Brother and all the reality shows flooding our culture and you'll understand.

The problem with banality is that it builds up quietly; exactly because it is boring and irrelevant, we tend to overlook it until it is everywhere around us. Banality, says Klapp, is the jailer who very quietly closes the door. Banality comes to bad closing, and we're in good closing now: working together, living together as our new government's slogan says. And there are already signs we will be moving towards good opening. So, John, there is work to be done. Or just close up and let another entrepeneur open new doors to the future.

Such are my thoughts on a soft springlike day in Vancouver.


hans kniesmeijer said...

In my opinion banality is being bred by boredom. Just like the ancient romans we have become a decadent and banal society. John de mol is just providing the sort of televison people want to see.

Oh how difficult modern life is: where to go on my next skiing trip. How to get a quick face, breast and emergency liposuction. That is how we raise our children, never to be satisfied with the things that you have been given. Girls that turn twelve as a birthday present get a boob job. Playstation 2 is not good enough, you need the new playstation 3.

But what to do when you have everything you want? What to strive for?

That’s when you don’t care anymore. You might as well be dead and buried. At this moment you become banal and decadent.

Modern society can go two ways: we can either strive for immaterial things anf try to be a better person in stead of a better looking person or we can continue the road the old romans took. But we all know what happened to the roman empire.

Hans Kniesmeijer

jsmsmit said...

Go Tom! Lekker bezig, zo te zien. We missen je hier - vooral in het water (klagend hangend aan de kant). groet, AM

Tom Kniesmeijer said...

But don't you see that we are already moving on? Banality is already on the way out. New values ARE rising everywhere. Even Al Gore got us on our feet. Here in Canada they're starting the evening news now with environmental issues on prime time. Preservation is the issue now. Holding on to what we know, our culture: see all the programmes on history and our Dutch Canon. We are recharching on our fundaments and from there will move on. So I am not pessimistic.. We're no Romans yet. Funny thing is that Orrin Klapp, the man from the opening and closing theory, wrote his book in 1977, when he was very pessimistic also, about mounting banality. And we have had good periods since then..!