Strange Days

If Andy Warhol could see the world as it is today, I’m sure he would smile. It seems he was downright profound in his prediction: “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.”

It boggles the mind that people will actually take their hard-earned vacation days to attend the trial of an alleged murderer who plays to the camera as if she were in a movie as was the case in the recent trial of Jodi Arias.

The popularity of Housewives of (fill-in-the-blank) is beyond my understanding, bringing to mind another Warhol quote, “I am a deeply superficial person.”

So as not to seem hypocritical, I must confess that I have fallen prey to the phenomenon myself. I too have found myself hypnotized by the antics of Honey Boo Boo and have occasionally stopped to watch a cat fight on Big Rich Texas.

But I wonder how real reality TV is. I don’t know anyone whose reality falls anywhere near what’s being shown on TV these days.

And the coverage of trials, which I think is about as real as you can get, is filled with people who spend their days standing outside courthouses waving banners at camera crews. Who has time for that? Some even bring their young children to the spectacle. What are they thinking?

And then there’s You Tube, which is the ultimate medium for the realization of Warhol’s prediction. Don’t get me wrong. I love You Tube. I just wish some of my fellow human beings would get the whole “once it’s out there, it’s out there forever” thing.

Maybe I’m just too old. What young people today will post on-line is what we called evidence when I was young. We were concerned with not getting caught – not sharing everything we were doing with the world.

But in fairness, I guess people were pretty uninhibited at Woodstock, so if we had all had access to cameras twenty-four-seven back in the day, perhaps we too would have put our lives on display.

Andy Warhol also said, “The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”

Maybe with today’s over-abundance of self-documentation, it’s the worst thing about a picture, too.








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