Re: virus: Primitivism

Ken Pantheists (
Tue, 30 Jul 1996 12:59:05 -0700

Reed Konsler wrote:

> I have two comments. First: we should celebrate cool moods and experiences.
> Things like that aren't neccesarily rationalizable and if we really understood
> why it was happening or how it worked we might be depressed by it's lack of
> paraphrase Douglas Adams: "It was something that looked and felt
> suprisingly like marble...which is exactly what it was: something that looked
> and felt exactly like marble"...these things are part of being human.

I agree with you there.

> Second: As we celebrate these feelings lets be careful not to attach too much
> significance to specific mood-triggers. I disagree with statements like:
> "Radio and T.V can't do this."
> "The web certainly can't connect people in this way."
> I think it is important not to make statements about what is possible from what
> is actual (this is a specific kind of fallacy, but I forget which one). I was
> not a big fan of TV when I was in high school or much in college. But last
> year I remember sitting in a dorm lounge with forty other graduate students
> watching (and I hesitate to admit this) Melrose Place. We laughed at it. We
> inserted witty rejoinders that reminded me of Rocky Horror save that they were
> funnier for their spontenaity. We threw popcorn at the particularly offensive
> commercials. We derided it.

What I hear you saying is that you had an experience of real community while watching Melrose.
That's great, but a good portionof that experience was not generated by the television, but by
the size of the room, the specific furniture you had to sit on, the time of day and the type
of people in the room ( also the availability of an expendable and cheap food item-- popcorn)

> We watched it religiously.

Nice pun:)

> This year my roomates and I watch Beavis and Butthead on MTV (11:00pm to
> Midnight). What can I say...I'm not that classy? I'm not that post-modern?

class and postmodernism- hmm... I suppose if you ate caviar while rollerblading through
Buckingham Palace and watched Beavis and Butthead on a wrist mounted LCD television...That
would be pretty calssy in a postmodern sense.:)

> Maybe "primitive" stuff is able to evoke feelings of community because it
> appears authentic. We lower our guard and suspend disbelief. Maybe we just
> don't know how to do that with the internet yet. Maybe we've just been burned
> too many times with TV.

My point about what radio and television (and internet) do and don't do well has more to do
with analysing the medium.

When tv first came out people thought it was the stupidest thing-- a big radio with a little
window in it so you could see the announcer. Big woop.

But, looking over fifty years of broadcast history and seeing what tv does well, and how that
has informed the content of that form, we can begin to address what the internet does well and
work on that.

One thing I know-- the internet experience does not allow for the presence of my body.
(Elemantary observation, I know) But I have found that when I develop entertainment ideas for
this medium, I am attracted to writing ghost stories. Because it is easy to float around-
through walls and into things.

> We're always becoming more sophisticated, looking for the novel.

Ironic that it becomes novel, no?

> I love the shore. But those feelings are in me, not in the rocks.

Exactly-- but what, in that experience, changes when only a portion of you is in the presence
of those rocks?

Ken Pantheists                          
Virus Theatre           
TooBa Physical Theatre Centre