Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Our meltdown culture

Posted on | February 22, 2007 | No Comments

Used to be a time (I think) when our culture moved a bit more slowly on the downside of anything. Today, it seems, given the hyper-drive speed at which we move (or think we should move), we’ve entered an era in which Meltdowns are the order of the day.
Consider the woman whose name it pains me to write, Britney Spears. She’s gone from being a mere media oddity to a total meltdown candidate. Shaving her head. Hustling to rehab, then hustling out just as fast (twice now). And now maybe she’s back in. Now there’s an emergency court hearing in the works for her truly unfortunate children, born to twisted mother and a moron father. It’s only going to get worse and more salacious, but media apparently can’t subsist without this in its diet.
Now take Jet Blue, a once-wonderful airline in a sea of mediocrity, poor business practices and abominable customer service.
A really unfortunate weather day on Valentine’s Day leads the airline to shut down a quarter of all its flights for five days. Angry passengers trapped in planes on tarmacs for hours and hours. Fights breaking out in terminals. Security guards called. CEO David Neeleman has been in damange-control mode for days, apologizing very, very profusely for this massive screwup. Who knows whether he’ll be around next week. Jet Blue, which Neeleman said would bring humanity back to airline travel, is now just another airline in a lousy industry, according to the Wall Street Journal.
And then there’s the Anna Nicole Smith tragedy/nonsense/spectacle. It’s ugly and it’s a pathetic. It’s now life as we know it for the media.
In all three of these cases, something happens and then it all just collapses into one heaping shitpile that everyone gets to wallow around in. It draws us all in, really, and I’m ashamed to be a part of it, ashamed to even know what’s happening with people like Britney and Anna Nicole’s cold corpse. I want to shower. But the minute I do, if I walk anywhere in public I’m going to see a goddamned television set with one of those mugs on it.
Being Amish makes increasing sense to me.
Imagine if Britney ends up dying in the next week. What a freaking orgy that will be. It makes the drooling over the deaths of Princess Diana and John Kennedy Jr. pale in comparison.

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