An Unbroken Internet
So much has been made of the “Break the Internet” meme that I decided there was no way in hell I was going to write about, show, discuss or even give credence to the PR machine that is the Kardashian empire. Make no mistake, by the way, this was no “random” happenstance, it was a full-on PR gimmick.
I joined in the backlash, I’ll admit. I posted a Tweet: “It bothers me that as a species we landed a ship on a comet. A COMET! Yet all people are talking about is Kim Kardashian’s a**!”
I’d say I deleted and retracted my tweet but I’d be lying. The upside to my statement is that by the end of the day, statistics actually showed that the internet trend had the comet as one of the highest shared events in social media. Kim K was not. However . . . television coverage was the opposite with gossip and entertainment media near hemorrhaging over the naked behind on the cover of a magazine nobody’s really heard of before. That, as someone who works in the television industry, makes me really sad.
But as I said, this isn’t my attempt to enter the fray. I’m not giving the PR mongers that satisfaction.
This is about my own children. In my home, the internet was unbroken.
Just this evening my daughter informed me of something made me smile and I wasn’t even aware I was doing it.
“I really appreciate the way you treat us, Dad,” she informed me. Her next quote gives you context:
“You never told me or Abbi (her sister) that we couldn’t do something. In fact, if we said we couldn’t you told us that we were the only thing standing in our way.”
She pointed out that when she told friends or people at school she wanted to be a guitar player they scoffed. They told her she had no idea what she was talking about, “girls don’t play guitar” was the line.
They’re full of s**t, by the way. I pointed out Bonnie Raitt, Joan Jett, Susan Tedeschi . . . the list went on. It made her smile. I did the same with her sister, who debated with herself as much as others whether or not she wanted to go into theater. She’s not regretted that decision as of yet.
My son wanted to make animated films. Stop-frame animation found him ridiculed until he watched a documentary on Ray Harryhausen. Then the movie The Box Trolls came out and he heard that Leica studios requires lots of stop-frame and isn’t interested in all-digital at the moment. That movie did well at the box office he felt vindicated.
Knowledge is the key, I’ve always told them.
I see the trend – pop stars and reality show mongers trying to keep their names in the spotlight. My children are learning the lesson that they should love what they do. Kim Kardashian taking her clothes off isn’t new, it’s what brought her into the public eye in the first place. Nobody knew who she was until someone “leaked” (quotes intended) a tape of her having sex with a hip-hop artist that she suddenly came to prominence. Now their trainwreck of a family is everywhere. My family, however, sees no interest in chasing fame however fleeting. That makes me happy. They want to work at the crafts they’ve come to enjoy and believe in more than the fleeting public spectacle. They also see the amount of work some are doing to get what may be quick profits and fleeting fame but have seen through our own lives that trying to get quick satisfaction never works out in the end.
I take satisfaction in knowing that my children want to work hard to achieve something tangible, not just to achieve attention. The one thing about burning brightly, quickly, is that you burn out fast. I never want or wanted to be famous. I wanted to work in the medium I enjoyed and make a living at it. I have outside interests. I enjoy so many things that one industry never satisfied me. My children aren’t interested nor do they favor the crazy, pedantic, PR-created plastic idols that the television has created. Anything created by the machine is bound to break. Anything showing creativity . . . that’s going to last.
So we use the internet for what it’s intended for: news, information, social gathering (virtually) and communication. The reality is taking your clothes off and oiling up your body, after having been famous for just that . . . is more a desperate attempt to go back to what worked the first time. Problem is, the world’s seen it all before.
So we’re moving forward, making music; making films; making our world. That’s far more intriguing.