Art: TV is rarely considered

: TV is rarely considered art but that’s snobbish crap. TV is art and it’s art that matters because people watch it; it speaks to them.

There is art that doesn’t matter because it’s not seen or can’t speak to people or is just bull.

Take today’s New York Times business section. Good for the New York Times that they sold eight pages of advertising and called it art. Bad for my fellow Deutsche Bank shareholders that we paid the bill for this murder of trees in the name of art.

Those eight pages are filled with tiny print — at first, you think it’s another kind of stock table with words, not numbers — that turn out to be just a list of words collected from the many people and many languages of New York. “Wordsearch, a translinguistic sculpture,” it’s called.

This is one of those things that sounds like a good idea… but isn’t. (As Nick Denton once said — I remember it even if he doesn’t — regarding business: “I can’t afford brainstorming anymore.” The same could be said for the meeting that lead to this project.)

Eight big pages of tiny words.

What’s the point?

You know what, don’t answer that. I don’t care. The point is obvious but still, I don’t care.

This is self-absorbed show-off snobbish-wolves-in-populist-sheep’s clothing. It’s a waste of paper and ink. It makes my head explode.

I’ll take popular culture any day.

: And while I’m on my populist rant, let me complain about the lead of Caryn Jame’s review of the Forstye Saga in the NY Times today:

Oh, the English and their wacky sense of humor! Mark Thompson, the chief executive of Channel 4 in Britain, recently gave a lecture about the state of television and said, “When you’re looking for ambitious, complex and above all modern TV, you find yourself watching not British, but American pieces.” To American viewers that idea rings with a Monty Pythonesque absurdity that could keep us howling with laughter all season. If American television represents the avant-garde, we’re all in very deep trouble (even though Mr. Thompson was right in citing the anomalous “Six Feet Under” and “24” as models of innovation).

What incredible snobbery! What knee-jerk anti-American, anti-cultural-populism!

Yes, damnit, American TV is giving us “ambitious, complex, and above all modern TV” and a TV critic at America’s most-respected newspaper should know that. Start with The Sopranos, West Wing, Six Feet Under, 24,and Oz and keep going through the reinvention of news (FoxNews, love it or not, gives news personality) and the invention of late-night humor (Germany clones David Letterman for a reason) and the addition of wit to the crappy reality genre Europe exported to us (they created Big Brother; we created The Osbornes). No, British TV is not smarter than American TV. No, Masterpiece Theater is not the smartest thing on TV. No, American TV — and Americans — are not classless and dumb. Oh, how I hate this cultural treason.

I think I need to write a book about this.

What he says
: I have long contented that the so-called Golden Age of TV was just a figment of Milton Berle’s ego — it was just bad vaudeville on video — and that TV is better than ever today. Now I know I’m right … ’cause my fellow TV Guide veteran Lileks says so:

This is not one of those TV