Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Medium is the Message

Even though it was meant to be just a throwaway reference in yesterday's entry, I found myself still unable to shake the ridiculous images and lyrics of "Television, the Drug of the Nation" out of my mind long after hitting the "publish post" button. Whether it's the extremely heavy handed, Gil Scott Heron-esque spoken word singing, or the annoyingly smug and self righteous attitude of the singer, or the overly bombastic, turgid video images, or the previously mentioned ridiculous hypocrisy of a music video dismissing television,; there's such a distinct early 90's awfulness to it that's hard to describe or forget.

It's also interesting to look back at something like the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy and consider how artists like DHH and other "alternative hip hop" acts were viewed by critics as the future of hip hop music. This was until Dr. Dre and gangsta rap came along to quickly correct that ship. Fellow blogger Andrew U. and I have discussed this issue before and wondered if we were better off in a world where socially conscious, sensitive, cerebral hip hop acts like Arrested Development and Digable Planets ruled the charts. Frankly I prefer upbeat jams that glorify violence, drug culture, misogyny, and material wealth over jazz influenced, highbrow rhymes that make me feel bad about not recycling and telling me to read more.

Nevertheless, while trying to get some of my Civil Procedure reading done in the library today, I couldn't get the holier then thou voice of DHH dropping "truth bombs" about how bad TV was out of my head. In fact I kept thinking about other forms of mass media and how they would be demonized by the DHH:

Printed Word, the drug of the nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding deforestation

“100,000 Words, 500 pages You can flip through them all And there’s still nothing worth reading…”

Cinema, the drug of the nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding animation

Because a child watches 5 Friedberg/Seltzer movies before he's twelve years old and we wonder why we've created a Jason generation that learns to laugh rather than to abhor the horror...

Radio, the drug of the nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding modulation

“Where imagination is sucked out of children
By a transistor nipple
Radio is the only wet nurse
That would create a cripple...”

Internet, the drug of the nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding masturbation

"Internet is the place where the pursuit of
Happiness has become the pursuit of pornography
Where searches for toothpaste and cars return
sex objects..."

Cell Phones, the drug of the nation
Breeding ignore and feeding idle conversation

“IDK MY BFF JILL but mostly BS…”


  1. what about wikipedia?

    wikipedia drug of the nation
    breeding ignorance with lack of citation

    though, i have to say, people ARE probably stupider now than they were when that song was released because of television. wikipedia is also destroying people's attention span. this is one you can't blame on global warming...well, that and "The Happening". have you seen that movie? its TERRIBLE.

  2. What I wouldn't give for someone to out there on the internet to create a video of clips from "The Happening" with the Supremes hit "The Happening" played over it.

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