Monday, March 21, 2011

Video doesn't kill -- people with videos kill

I was in the middle of a conversation about esoteric religions and a song hit me. Pow, it went. And I thought to myself, wow, that's a great song. So, as my nephew walked by, I recommended the song to him. I had him repeat the artist and title and then sent him to a computer because, I figured

1) he has nothing better to do with his time right now
2) he is in a band, so he must appreciate music
3) any song is available on the internet

He came out of the den a few minutes later and said that he didn't much like the song. I asked why and he said "there were all those guys dancing around. I couldn't figure out what was going on."

It seems that the modern idea of a song is inextricably tied to that video presentation. It is almost as if one cannot simply listen to a song -- one must see it before one can try to access its quality. Video isn't killing the radio star because it is a more interesting presentation of the musical package, but because it is becoming the only acceptable or recognizable presentation of said package.

Now this is not unprecedented, nor is it necessarily a bad thing. A while ago, in a moment of both weakness and largesse, I agreed to go to the ballet with my wife. I asked only one favor. I asked to be able to close my eyes and simply listen to the music. I got a solid "no" answer. The visual dimension is apparently part and parcel of the performance and one cannot appreciate the music without it.

So in conclusion, your honor, I would suggest that Video is not guilty, because ballet killed the orchestra star.

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