Sunday, October 17, 2010

The varieties of human experience

You know the Moby AT&T commercial? (You know, that one.) Well, that got me thinking about Moby's original video for "We Are All Made of Stars" (see this previous post). And I'm not the only one who's been thinking about that video. Sharla DeFresno:

What is most illuminating about Moby's journey through the underbelly of Hollywood is not the status of such celebrities, but our recognition of them. Watching the video is like playing Where's Waldo? I propose that the meaning that we assign to the celebrities in the video is much more important than the celebrity itself. It is our ability (or lack thereof) to identify the celebrities that express a lot about ourselves.

Not that DeFresno is making any value judgments here:

This difference should be viewed as not a value judgment, but merely an indication of alternative experiences, exposure to media, an fascination with current events.

Or, as DeFresno notes, not-so-current events. While JC Chasez was certainly of current interest, others such as Kato Kaelin and Gary Coleman were more famous for past accomplishments, and significant portions of the MTV audience probably didn't know who Ron Jeremy was; as DeFresno put it in her post, "Ron Jeremy is hardly a household name among fifteen-year-olds of today." Well, let's hope not.

And this is an issue that goes beyond Moby videos. I'll have a little more to say about this later in the week, but if you are following a person (rather than a topic), there are some things that the person says that are not addressed to you. If you're a co-worker of mine, and if you read something on my Facebook page about the Ffundercats, you're probably going to think that my spell checker's broken.

Is such information bonus information that benefits the feed, or excess information that degrades it?
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