Zorn’s latest is simple enough: like food, we need to watch the portions of our media intake. Like Zorn, I deliberately don’t even get started on certain TV shows because I know I’ll get drawn in and wind up making a weekly commitment to catch the next episode.
Last season the show Jericho looked interesting on paper but I dared not tune in because it would be something I would have to catch each week or be left behind in the plot. This summer I downloaded the entire series from iTunes and have been watching it at my own pace at a time of year when there is nothing new to watch on regular TV. (I’m almost done with the series and will have a post or two on it and issues it raises later.)
But the larger problem of having too much TV (hundreds of cable channels), radio (a hundred satellite radio channels), books and magazines (more available now then ever) and of course there’s the internet and I don’t have to tell you what a crack-like habit that is.
I remember a day when reading a few books, having a couple magazines subscriptions, glancing at the daily newspaper, listening to the local radio station in the car, and watching the nightly news was a full plate, but one that felt complete. Now, I absorb as much as I can but still feel I’ve missed about 99% of everything.
There needs to be an information and entertainment equivalent to the famous food pyramid. You have your news group, your sitcom group, your newspaper group, etc. all comprising the perfectly balanced media diet. And each TV show, magazine, blog and so on would have a media nutrition label with the percentages of the Recommended Daily Allowance of each group. For example, this blog would have 2% of the RDA of opinion and 8% RDA of snark, or the nutritional equivalent of 6 pretzels. Just a thought.