The Hooter that shook the World
on 2/26/2004 (3)
Lending new meaning to the term "You'll put an eye out, kid!" Janet Jackson's Superbowl Slip has sent unforseen shockwaves through all of American media.
|Howard Stern: Defender of Life, Liberty and Lingerie'. |
Janet Jackson's unexpected "appearance" at the Super Bowl has spawned a far greater catalytic effect on American media, far out of seeming proportion with the Event itself, the key word being "catalytic".
Since about 1992, Hotter, and hotter media has quietly crept on American culture, via radio and TV, through such nefarious "dignitaries" as Howard Stern, Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, MTV, and most of the music industry in general.
1960's Media theorist Marshall McLuhan observed: "If you are taking a bath, and you add more and more hot water slowly enough, you won't know when to scream."
Trash media from all four corners of the entertainment industry had reached a boiling point years ago, but no one was quite sure when to yell. Human history is filled with events, that in themselves, seem trivial, but act as an explosive catalyst for simmering public sentiment.
Here are a just few examples:
1."Let them eat cake!". Seems innocent enough, unless you happen to be dieting, or in the case of the 18th century French peasantry, starving. Marie Antoinette's famous one liner cost her her head, woe and behold to bakers and confectioners all over imperial France.
2.Boston tea party. Miffed at paying import taxes to Great Britain for decades, American rebels staged a brew-hah-hah (pun intended) to show King George they weren't lining his pockets anymore. Again, a trivial event stand alone, but a rally cry to the U.K. to force the pesky rebel Americans to lump it ot leave it. (Pun intended, again)
3.Asassination of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914. Without doubt, history's most costly catalyst. Sparking World War I over decades of racial tension in Europe, the Ferdinand murder ignited a flashpoint of rising public discontent in Germany, France, Russia, and England. Nothing funny to say here. 50 million dead in 4 years.
Of course, a breast is a breast is a breast, so why is the issue seemingly being blown way out of proportion?
The answer, of course, is that, once again, it was merely a catalyst for festering public sentiment dating back decades. The public is simply sick and tired of vulgarity. After all, vulgarity is the final refuge for the untalented writer. Enough is enough is enough already.
What is the lesson to be learned here?
I think the lesson is, we need to address societal tensions and conflicts before they reach a flashpoint, and lend themselves as kindling to the spark of an apparently insignificant event.
Easier said than done, of course.
Why? Because people compete. Over resources, Ideology, or just for the sheer fun of competeing, so the odds of any 2 individuals agreeing over anything are slim, let alone entire countries full of them.
So, in the meanwhile, keep you eyes peeled for social catalysts, and in janet's case, there shouldn't be many complaints, replay after replay after replay!
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