Monday, May 16, 2011

Coronal Mass Bowling Trophy

Laurie Anderson was talking about Michael Trow's idea of the middle distance(link):
"Middle-distance" institutions that had long given Americans' lives real contexts (such as fraternal organizations, bowling leagues, and women's clubs), had disappeared as people stayed home to watch television. Their replacements, television shows, were false contexts designed to be just compelling enough to keep people watching. What remained as real contexts for Americans to live in were "the grid of two hundred million" (the U.S. population at the time) and "the grid of intimacy" (the immediate family). Celebrities had a real life in both grids, and only they could now be complete. Deprived of real context, everyone else now wanted to be celebrities themselves.[7]

Another major insight: As television marketers segmented the viewers into demographically defined groups, and pitched advertisements and shows to particular niches, viewers for the first time learned to see themselves as part of an age-related demographic group rather than as part of a linear flow of people from the past into the future. In consequence, demography had replaced history as the default context for understanding the world. Things were now valued not on an absolute scale, but by discovering if one was in tune with one's group. Trow illustrates this point with a reference to Family Feud, where a contestant was asked to guess "what a poll of a hundred people had guessed would be the height of the average American woman. Guess what they guessed. Guess what they guessed the average is."[8]

"No Context" ends with a narrative memoir of Trow’s experiences working two summers as a guide at the 1964 New York World's Fair. His summary of the Fair: "At the Fair, one could see the world of television impersonating the world of history.”[9]
swiped from the wiki-George Trow

Guess what they Guessed should be a viral internet meme. There seems to be a constant fist pumping of this star quality, to guide the narrative, if I should doze before I wake, as I pass through the troughs of impulse before the check out, dose me again oh royal couple, oh dark angels.

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St. Augustine, Florida, United States
I spill ink ,it collects here.