aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Site posting is down
Drat! I just authored a brilliant post called “Colbert watching, dog whistling & the rise of the 5th Estate.” Evidently it was a tad long. I get a 500 Server Error when I try to post.
I have a ticket in to my hosting service who tells my that I’m hitting my server memory limit and another to Movable Type to try to figure out how to fix it. I’m hoping this brief message will get through. If it does and you have any idea how I can fix my blog, please email me!
UPDATE: ICDSoft upped the memory limit on the server for me, which has resolved the symptom, not the problem. The problem, apparently, is my huge category index pages. I’ve been trying to find a way to paginate those indexes for a long time.
Movable Type has warned me that my database could become unstable and crash the whole site. I’ve asked them about the category index page issue; they’ve yet to respond.
Colbert watching, dog whistling & the rise of the 5th Estate
Is Comedy Central becoming for the Left what Fox News is to the Right?
If you do a search on “Colbert” on Technorati, you’ll notice that most of the people now talking about Colbert are users of services like Myspace and Livejournal—teenagers, housewives, and people who don’t visit places like Daily Kos on a regular basis. The fact that his speech has penetrated into the nonpolitical blogosphere is pretty significant. [...]
Also interesting is that really, the right blogosphere just is not talking about him - again, see Technorati. Very few entries slamming him.
The weird thing, which we have already noted here by criticizing the MSM’s ignoring of the Colbert incident, is that for the people in power (and their sycophants, the Right), this was pretty much a non-event. Nothing worth their attention, much less anger. But on the other side, “our” side, the depth of feeling is huge. This is the exact equivalent of what happens when the Right sends out a dog whistle to the Christian conservatives. The Left doesn’t hear it. (And truly, I don’t even think some of “our” people in the blogosphere are hearing the dog whistle of the Colbert incident.)
Casey quotes Yahoo’s Buzz Index:
“Ever since Stephen Colbert opened his mouth at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner and pointedly mocked Bush in front of Bush, online buzz on the fake newsman has reached scalding temperatures.
“There’s a boulder-coming-at-Indiana Jones quality to the story now. Searches on the eyebrow-raising comedian are up 5,625% this week and picking up speed. Trajectories for “Colbert speech” and “colbert video” are racing off the chart. And “The Colbert Report,” its fan site Colbert Nation, and the newly created ThankYouStephenColbert.org also launched upward in Buzz.”
An update points to a Judybrowni comment regarding a recent AOL.com poll of the joke noting “that 32 percent of those polled think that the joke about the president’s glass being 32 percent full is not funny. Can’t buy comedy like that, people.”
Among my favorite comments were those from Robert Thompson on Radio Open Source (which, if it were just a tad more blog friendly, would provide transcripts). Thompson is Trustee Professor of Television and Popular Culture, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Founding Director, Center for the Study of Popular Television, Syracuse University:
[34:45] I think what Colbert has proved is that Comedy has moved in as the Fifth Estate when the Fourth Estate had dropped the ball. The press, of course, as others have said, completely rolled over in the lead-up to the war and the only good commentators out there were all coming from the perspective of the support of the president - the Bill O’Reillys, the Rush Limbaughs and so forth and so on - and comedy moved into that vacuum with Jon Stewart, who really started to show his stripes in the coverage of the 2000 election, Indecision 2000 as he called it, now Colbert and even David Letterman has become politicized as a result. [...]
[44:46] When we first heard those polls that so many young people were getting all of their news from late-night comedy, we thought to ourselves, “oh, this is terrible.. how is our next generation of citizenry going to run a representative republic if all of their information is coming from Comedy Central.” You watch something like… the Sunday night thing and if you continue to watch Comedy Central shows you get a sense that boy, you know, maybe this isn’t a bad place to be getting some of our news information.
Christopher Lydon responds, “Absolutely dead on!”
Take it down?
We’re having a brunch today. The guests will likely want to see our new bathroom. In it hangs… Gay Batman.
I want to take it down. Doug says leave it.
I’m about as out as they come, but I like to respect my guests. When my mother saw it she was speechless. No small accompliishment. But what kind of accomplishment was that?
UPDATE: It stayed up. A non-event.
Advertisers: try attraction, not coercion!
I don’t get it, what are advertisers thinking? I dabbled in advertising so have some small awareness of the dynamic and how it works. Capturing viewers when they are in ”avoidance mode” is just plain stupid, a waste of time if you ask me. Annoyed viewers are going to buy your product???
I thought the goal was to attract adherents?
Now the way to do that is to be creative, end clutter, leverage your fan base, and, most significantly, give us the ads we want when we want them. I have no problem with - in fact, I advocate - making the advertising deal explicit. The problem for the content industry is that we may well find the customer base doesn’t believe the value of that content is quite what the industry believes.
Maybe there should be less of it.
We hear over and over the fallacy that they’re just giving us what we want but it looks to me like we want something different. After all, we’re flocking to YouTube. My well-founded fear is that it is precisely the content companies who are claiming to give us what we want who aim to kill it.
We didn’t ask for hundreds of channels that we don’t watch. We want to watch what we want when we want it and I’m quite confident - as our burgeoning technology-driven entertainment budgets attest - that we are willing to pay for it. The problem is a staid established content industry that wants to (feels entitled to!) make money on what it’s already done rather than coming up with anything genuinely innovative.
Me, I’m looking forward to the first iProgam.
Ted Turner invented cable networks when he put TBS on satellite; HBO invented pay cable when it became the first non-terrestrial broadcast TV network; someone will invent individual series syndication online and become the first non-telecast program. The technology is already in place; my hope is that this time around the content industry won’t kill it first.