October 12, 2010

internet wins

Last weekend's edition of the National Post featured an article by Dave Bidini that lists dominant cultural forms and their current successors: internet is the new tv; tv is the new cinema; cinema is the new literature; literature is the new theatre; theatre is the new poetry. Having just downloaded and viewed all five seasons of The Wire on my laptop (as well as various films), I can't resist qualifying Bidini's list. I realize that Bidini isn't only talking about forms of access; he's also describing popular reception in the midst of evolving cultural trends: i.e., the way people currently talk about and obsess over shows like Mad Men (not to mention the status of the actors, production value and all the careful cinematography) has reached a level that used to belong to the cinema; or, the reverence we once had for Great American Novelists has become a reverence for Great American Film Directors. But in my mind there's really no contest between television and cinema. In the end the internet wins at both. Now I just need to get my hands on a Kindle.

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