Whatever's happening to NBC is the same thing that's happened to major banks, mortgage firms and the US government: decomposition -- the consequence of the corporate influence in. societal institutions. The singular pursuit of profit has robbed us of our souls.
The seemingly dunderheaded decision to move Jay Leno back to an 11:30 slot and kick Conan to a midnightish slot highlights the corporate mentality in action, especially in regards to its utter misunderstanding of what it professes to embody, which is an intelligent approach to business. As if the time slot alone is the thing ensuring success and not content, the deballed business of late night television (alongside its similarly enfeebled brethren Scripted Comedy and News -- one might argue they are indistiguishable) is being left for dead in the clueless hands of executives who wouldn't know how to develop and program a television network if their jobs depended on it.
Oh, yeah. It does.
Biting the hand that feeds me? Or helping to ensure that it once again will?
Total disregard for the creative element is a glaring hallmark of the ubiquitous corporate approach in our society. From negating the obvious necessity of arts in education to relying on the cheap-in-every-sense scourge of reality programming, the result is an invariably hollowed-out simulacrum of what that institution purports to do and be (be a do-be!). The product is therefore sapped of its power to either entertain or educate or both, which therefore spawns the type of low intelligence robo-consumer which makes up the major part of whom the corporations relentlessly play to. Without nurturing the intellectual and artistic potential of all consumers, those hypnotized and culture-starved customers become dumber and dumber, their tastes and proclivities becoming truly base. It's the perfect wet dream world for the corporate intention of thoughtless, knee-jerk consumption. But it is amazingly short sighted.
This is admittedly a rather dystopian outlook from someone who once loved television, in spite of its occasional lapses into bad taste and tanglefootedness; someone who endeavors to make a living in the arts. In the olden days, it seemed to be given that talent could reliably mock the sponsor's inability to "get it," though all the while genuflecting to said sponsor in the form of producing palatable entertainment and thereby securing said sponsor's profit.
But where it counted, said sponsor mostly stayed out of the creative process and the results are a spate of legendary creations in music and television and movies, creations -- products -- which were enthralling and enlightening AND profitable, and which have then formed the inspiration for many of those who only too happily labor to continue creating art for the masses which lifts the spirit instead of solely lightening the wallet.
That's the element missing in the current corporate modus operandi. It's like a bunch of guys who study every aspect of sailing and think they can save money by leaving out the bottom of the boat.
A good deal of consumers try like hell to discern between merit and dross, and succeed. It's the trickle down of dreck from the top which proves to be a self-defeating proposition, one, like in the relentlessly frustrating spectacle of a government populated with turncoats, operatives and obstructionist dumbasses, which will certainly be its complete failure, and surely a shock to the very people who've caused its ruin, and who will never for the life of them understand why it buckled and caved. But back to Leno and Conan.
It's there for all to see: Jay needs to move on, Conan needs to be left alone, NBC needs to rethink its kamikaze strategies. To have come to this, this place of flailing and failing, is the kind of bad management that should make any corporate bean counter sit up and try an old approach like reintegrating creative elements into the process. Those elements cannot always be codified and tamed, the things that give those mindlessly profit driven corporations morning wood.
But when all is said and done, a world without art is, well, NBC.
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