The New Rushfield Babylon Podcast is here! The Avenging Idols Episode
An extra special podcast this week, on Idols and Heroes
First, the great Kris Allen, champion of American Idol Season 8, stops by to talk about his new album, Thank You Camellia, the road up from Idol, the music of America’s megachurches and what it has been like accepting celebrity since his stunning victory three years ago.
Then summer movie season is upon us. We convene our roundtable of entertainment intellectuals to talk about the super-duper-sizing of Superheroes and whether the caped invasion has finally run its course. No holds barred discussion with Jim Gibson, author Kathy Charles, and Hitfix’s Geoff Berkshire.
Plus - more thoughts on the great Hype/Backlash continuum!
Was taking stock a bit on the podcast of the important milestones we’ve been passing on the road to the collapse of civilization and it feels that in the last few weeks we’ve made some huge strides. Certainly our days on Earth as non-media based entities and living flesh must be drawing to a close.
It is certainly only a matter of time (months? weeks?) before there will no long be any need for the film at all. A film after all is such a big, clunky olde timey, non-interactive way of distributing “content” and all we will have will be ads for films; and the films themselves won’t need to exist…except for hardcore nerd fanboys who can go find them somewhere online. Ads can be supported through product placement on ads. Or there can be Kickstarter campaigns to help Sony make an ad for the new non-existent film based on the characters in last year’s hit Mountain Dew ad campaign.
• In the latest magazine sales numbers, we passed the threshold where reality stars are bigger than acting or singing stars. A good old fashioned celeb break up like Heidi Klum and Seal’s which used to dominate the supermarket magazine covers for weeks, now barely makes a ripple in the face of Kardashian Weight Loss Secrets. Being famous for something other than being famous (or being crazy) has now become not only besides the point, but actually a drawback.
• The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills held part two of their three week reunion of the twelve week season. The reunion will soon be longer than the season itself. There will soon be reunions of the reunions. Which is all in keeping with the spirit of the times, that the experience itself isn’t what matters but how we process the experience.
Monday night, in fact, was an explosion of reality TV watching with RHOBH, The Bachelor and The Voice airing gigantic very special episodes all around. Twitter was ablaze with a thousand campfires. One moment when I reached for the laptop to tweet an especially hilarious Bachelor observation, my wife who does not Tweet, looked at my Tweetdeck and all the commentary on all the shows and asked incredulous, does everyone just Tweet while they watch TV? An obvious question but it occurred to me, no longer is it enough that we are immersed in media which is showing us reality shows attempting to create a surrogate life, we now need media also to process our thoughts about the immersion in that media.
It was Charles Dickens 200th birthday yesterday. Dickens more than made me want to be a writer; it’s impossible to think about what a writer is if it were not for Dickens. The ability to find the drama and pathos in society and portray it from the high to the low as the grand pageant of living society was his creation. And none of the developments above would have surprised him in the least. Post-modernism has nothing on the disembodied absurdity of the case of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce in Bleak House. The age of gossip as a living devouring monster that fuels society was all foretold in the Veneerings drawing room in Our Mutual Friend.