pop cultural awareness
Sunday, February 1 2004
The weather was suddenly a lot warmer today than it had been, with highs approaching 30 degrees Fahrenheit. It was still below freezing, but it felt like a heat wave in comparison to the weather of the past month. Supposedly it was one of the coldest Januarys on record in the Catskills, an already cold part of the country. Interestingly, though, throughout the recent record-breaking cold spell, I never saw temperatures dip lower than negative five degrees Fahrenheit on thermometer attached to the outside of the laboratory window (the only north-facing window in the heated space of the house). By comparison, back when I was kid living south of Staunton, Virginia, I remember the thermometer registering more than 20 below zero on one especially cold morning and nine below on several other occasions. That's the difference between living in a frost pocket (as I did as a kid) and living on the edge of a high plateau (as I do now).
As usual, I entirely missed this year's Superbowl, choosing instead to root around through my considerable accumulations of equipment in an unsuccessful search for a LapLink parallel cable. Nonetheless, I did manage to demonstrate my considerable pop cultural awareness when, in answer to a pop quiz (note the double entendre) administered by Gretchen, I successfully guessed which celebrity had "accidentally" torn off Janet Jackson's bustier during the halftime show. I intuitively knew that such a well-planned moment of scandal would require a male celebrity of Justin Timberlake's stature. His is an uncontested position in the world of aw-shucks good guys. A display such as this, were it to have been purely accidental, would have most likely been perpetrated by a no-name dancer or a female celebrity - neither of which would have had the intended effect on the Superbowl audience.
I miss the good old days when celebrities did their outrageous antics spontaneously, without testing them in front of focus groups and choreographing them in minute detail. It's cliché to say this, but it's getting to the point where absolutely everything on television consists of elaborate hoaxes. I wonder where the limits of this trend will be. Will the DMCA ever be interpreted to mean that it is illegal to reveal such hoaxes (trade secrets) for what they are?
Are we already floating in our sensory depravation pods?
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