Saturday, August 06, 2005

AL BORE TV or Current TV Redux

Here's a somewhat humorous review of Al Gores new cable tv channel.

From Dana Stevens:
Like the memory of Al Gore's presence on the political scene, his just-launched new cable venture, Current TV, feels strangely stranded in the '90s. It's as '90s as a Tracy Chapman ballad, as '90s as the debate over political correctness, as '90s as an asymmetrical bob. Watching the network for hours at a stretch, as I've been doing the past few days to research this piece, you start to get an odd, airless feeling. To quote a song that's being advertised in endless rotation on the network (by the very '90s-esque Canadian band Hot Hot Heat) you're "Stuck in the Middle of Nowhere." and.....After a while, Current's eager-beaver claims to cutting-edge innovation start to seem (like Al Gore's 2000 campaign) almost deliberately self-sabotaging. Even the pronouncement, on the Current Web site's "About" page, that "Right now, at this moment in history, TV is the most powerful medium in the world," has a whiff of yesterday's news about it. That may have been the case when a young Al Gore wrote his senior thesis on television and the presidency in 1969, but lately, talk in media and technology circles has been all about precisely the reverse. The question in the industry is how television can compete with the greater speed, reach, and flexibility of Internet technology, or the portability of devices like the iPod. And look at this bit of misbegotten copy from the Current Web site's description of the channel's identifying logo: "See those four squares in our logo? We call it the cursor, and like an old-school command prompt, it means we're awaiting input." That would be really cool, except that unfortunately, computers haven't displayed that kind of "old-school command prompt" since ... well, the '90s.

OMG - I can't think of anything more dull than a tv network created by Al Gore, the man with absolutely no imagination or vision unless it's tunnel vision!!

Invasion of the Pod People - Current TV is youth culture as imagined by Al Gore. By Dana Stevens

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