Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Year in America's Media

Magazines fed readers a diet of sex, celebrity dish and news and the bizarre.
Way, way down, deep in the bowels of a long, strange story in Harper's magazine, I stumbled upon the sentence -- actually the half- sentence -- that sort of, kind of, almost made sense of all the bizarre stuff printed in American magazines in 2006.

The story was called "The Blind Man and the Elephant." It was about the Super Bowl, but there were lengthy digressions about the Rolling Stones and Pizza Hut and Wonder Bread and Stevie Wonder and the history of the Moog synthesizer. And on the ninth page of the piece, just as I was beginning to wonder why the hell I was still reading, the author, David Samuels, wrote a sentence that started out about Stevie Wonder's oeuvre but ended up with this:

" ... the free-floating weirdness of American life will always escape any attempts to make us seem like a normal country rather than a furious human-wave assault on the farthest shores of reality."

Wow! Dude nailed it, didn't he?

Contemporary American life, God love it, really does seem like a "furious human-wave assault on the farthest shores of reality." So let's keep that in mind as we chronicle the "free-floating weirdness" that washed up in American magazines in 2006.
Related, and getting a bit political, from "the future of television news": Olbermann's 2006 Oddball Extravaganza.

All this weekend: TVNewser's year in review posts.

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