October 20, 2008

Comic Relief

Great minds think alike! This is from The Onion, one of my my favourite sites in the Internet. The piece is from May 2001. Doesn't reality always beat satire in the end?
Lowest Common Denominator Continues To Plummet

WASHINGTON, DC–The lowest common denominator (LCD), the leading cultural indicator for American mass-market tastes, continued its precipitous drop last week, fueling worries about the future of the U.S. marketplace for ideas and stoking fears of a long-term cultural recession.

The ill health of the LCD, in steady decline since the advent of television, has been cause for concern among the intelligentsia for decades. But double-digit drops in the LCD since October 2000 have alarmed even the most pandering members of the entertainment industry.

"Quite simply, the collective intelligence level is dropping so rapidly that it's becoming increasingly difficult for producers to insult the intelligence of the American public," said News Corp president and COO Peter Chernin. "Without a way to set a floor for the lowest common denominator, even the stupidest material we can develop is not stupid enough for audiences to enjoy."

As examples of the accelerating descent of the LCD, experts cite Chyna's bestselling wrestling biography, the elephant-sperm-filled Tom Green film Freddy Got Fingered, and MTV's Dude, This Sucks, in which performers defecate explosively onto audience members. Despite efforts to raise national interest rates in more sophisticated fare like The Sopranos, Memento, and Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay, the demand for increasingly inane cultural output has rendered efforts futile.

"We face a real crisis in mainstream society's media preferences," said James W. Northrup, special appointee to the recently established LCD Emergency Federal Task Force. "Things that were once base enough for the notoriously undemanding American public are now considered too highbrow for mass consumption. The bar is on the floor, but everyone still wants it lowered."

As the LCD drops, competition for the stupidity dollar grows ever more fierce. Entertainment Tonight, once the nation's standard-bearer for hollow, insipid celebrity journalism, has been rendered respectable by the likes of National Enquirer TV and E!'s Mysteries And Scandals. Survivor, derided by critics upon its debut last year, now stands as the Old Gray Lady of reality television, towering over such crass knock-offs as Boot Camp and Chains Of Love. Even Hollywood, America's primary provider of sub-literate pabulum for nearly a century, must compete with hyper-violent video games, Internet sites featuring foul-mouthed animated genitalia, and mail-order Girls Gone Wild: Sexy Sorority Sweethearts videos for the lucrative stupid-person market.

"It's a real nightmare," said Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of such critically reviled smashes as The Rock, Con Air, and Armageddon. "These days, it's getting harder and harder to underestimate the intelligence of the American public."

To read the rest at The Onion click HERE. And don't forget: It's satire!

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