Monday, November 10, 2008

No way man, I so called it first


I do so love a good Zeitgeist-calling. You know, some people like to name planets, others like to get in first with hurricanes, and some funny people like to call Zeitgeists.

I think identifying something as the current 'Zeitgeist' is, well, frankly as silly as having to actually say a book is 'seminal' (as in: "This book I wrote on post-industrial Marxist feminism is the seminal text on the topic"... HAVING TO POINT IT OUT MEANS IT ISN'T SO, PEOPLES).

And - argh! - when you call a Zeigeist you run the very real risk of getting it wrong and looking like a total wally. Identifying the spirit of the age means identifying the spirit of the age, not the spirit of the I-love-my-footy-where's-my-pie-throw-it-in-the-ute-mate-geez-that-Kochie's-a-stiff-but-he's-ok cliched wallyism (unless that is the current age? Hmm, this may need revision).

Anyhoo, what's brought on this Zeigeist-calling-bashing is an article in the SMH that has bafflingly suggested that the show that has captured our hearts and is currently warming our cockels, nay that reflects us (dear god, dear readers) is ... Packed to the Rafters.

Says the article: "Once in a while - every four years seems to be the average - a production team manages to catch the Zeitgeist. In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty, someone generates a concept that sums up the times we live in, and out comes a movie or TV show that doesn't just entertain us, it reflects us. Australians watch in their millions because THEY RECOGNISE WHAT THEY ARE, OR WHAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO BE."

[Please note, I have added capitals where I consider it appropriate to YELL things, you know, IRONICALLY].

So many questions fly out of this. I'm puzzled as to how these chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty are identified (does the temperature actually drop? Is it a matter of carrying around a thermometre and a pen and paper?). Does the production team need to be together / awake / skantily clad to notice said chilly uncertainty?

And how long, really, do these periods of uncertainty last? I mean, if it's hours the production team has a better chance of catching it than if it's only minutes. If it's minutes what if it happens when someone's out to lunch, or in the bathroom, or in the lift, and by the time they get back to work the Zeitgeist has been called and there's nothing to do except hand out the mail and do some stapling?

But my biggest question is why, why, why would two million people watch this show, thereby leading to a Zeitgeist-calling, thereby leading to my disquiet about the state of the Australian psyche, thereby leading to 18 million people booking flights to anywhere-the-heck-outta-here (imminent, I'm sure)?

I'm considering moving to America, what with their whole progressive agenda thingy happening at the moment. On the other hand, they gave us Friends, which led to the calling of the last Zeitgeist...

1 comment:

Toots said...

Zeitgeist is thrown around too often in the media, same with deconstruction. Next we'll have people deconstructing their sandwiches just to tell us what's in them.