Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NPR - VCR Flashing 12:00:00

M. Block : "Just look at the compact size of these space-aged disks!"
I have tried putting it out of my mind, but I admit I have not tried very hard: I refer to yesterday's NPR story on memes. It began so auspiciously, its lead-in suggesting it would take us to the origins of the term, and thereon (if they got it right) to a discussion of Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene. So far so good, right?

Right! It got even better when they conducted an interview with Richard Dawkins himself, and not even over a scratchy telephone signal that sounded like he was riding in the Chunnel. Perfect, right?

Things started going downward rapidly when the conversation turned to what must have been the ratings-chasing genesis of the story, an excuse to sound edgy by mentioning the likes of LOLCats, the double rainbow guy, Everything is Terrible, Very Demotivational, I am aware of all internet traditions, and any of countless other higher endowments of present-day culture clogging our minds and overloading the series of tubes (too soon?).

But as the enumeration of these phenomenon ticked forth, it became clear that NPR's Melissa Block and Robert Siegel really didn't know what any of these things were. They moreover revealed that they didn't know what Rickrolling was, at which point the story was revealed to be a radio version of a minute with Andy Rooney (always and forever an asshole), if not a real-world editorial by Herman T. Zweibel.

Then again, who am I? I couldn't pick Justin Bieber out of a lineup of teenagers dressed for the next vampire drama.

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