Last night I decided to do an Internet search and discover what people most often want to read about when they dive into the Worldwide Internet. I was a bit surprised to discover on AOL the top 50 most searched topics were nearly all related to America’s entertainment industry. The number one most searched topic, now in its 17th season, is Dancing with the Stars.
I had to wonder why Dancing with the Stars had such a huge following, and where was the Really important stuff, like alternative energy or building responsible communities? The past contestants on Dancing with the Stars have been from every high media profile field; from astronauts and athletes to supermodels and singers. The premise of the show is for a dance professional to pair off with a celebrity and teach them to dance a predetermined set of routines. The audience gets interactive votes like they do on American Idol. I am sure that is part of the appeal, as is also the opportunity to watch a celebrity get schooled or stumble and possibly prove themselves not totally perfect after all.
As I continue down the list of most popular, hourly, search topics I saw stars named along with popular athletes and teams. What I noticed right away was our obvious obsession with TV, and not just any TV, (but this wasn’t really news to me). We want to see shows that get our hearts pumping and adrenaline flowing. This is true with the 11th hottest Internet topic, the newly released show, Hostages. I was so not surprised when I saw the name of the show and already knew it was going to be about fear mongering in this age of the “War on Terror”
Nor was I surprised to see the twist they slipped in was that it was all caused by a rogue FBI agent. This gets us prepared for a new type of terrorist all together, the Homeland terrorist. This group of terrorists includes the uprising of America’s warriors and protectors who now know the truth of things and simply crack under the pressure.
Immediately following Hostages on the list, at #12 is Blacklist, also recently premiered this month. In Blacklist are invited to accept and trust a protagonist who initially starts the season as a villain. This character, Reddington, is on the FBI’s most wanted list who self-surrenders to their office headquarters, saying that he wants to switch teams and catch the bad guys. He offers to trade two decades of Intel for the opportunity to work with the FBI. Sounds fascinating and it also qualifies in my book as playing on our fears of terrorist attack. Watching the essentially harmless, narratives play out on TV probably helps people to feel safe in the hands of the American government.
Interestingly enough, following the mention of nearly a dozen celebrity and athletes, the next most searched topic is the TV show “How I Met Your Mother”, coming in at 21st place on last night’s hourly hot topic search. This American sitcom is in its ninth and final season. In its fabulous run it has received 34 Emmy nominations and won seven awards for the story mostly written by friends Craig Thomas and Carter Bays and portrayed as a father, Ted Mosby, sharing stories of the good old days with his kids.
Just after that, at #22, was another show that was only recently premiered September 2013. This is one I might even watch- if I had TV where I live, that is. It’s called the Genealogy Roadshow and it can be seen on PBS Mondays. This miniseries will be chasing ancestors in the cities of Nashville, Austin, Detroit, and San Francisco. At each place they will investigate multiple clues, seeking to uncover the bigger picture of our nation’s citizens and neighborhoods past.
I was actually surprised o see the 47th most searched topic, as recently as September 24, 2013, is the Wheel of Fortune originally created by Merv Griffin all the way back in January 1975. I would’ve been eleven years old at the time and I remember both my grandmothers watching the Wheel daily. The show has the amazing track record as the longest running syndicated game show to date. It was canceled permanently and finally in September 1991.
I know that the entertainment industry would be as nothing without the writer’s directors, actors and actresses. And believe me they have been named on this list each in turn, sprinkled among the other shows I’ve mentioned with the 50th most searched topic on AOL being the 2013 Emmy winners – Bobby Cannavale, Anna Gunn, David Fincher, Marriott Wever, Michael Douglas and Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfreed, just to name a few.
As it was in the years prior to the fall of the Roman empire, I use the term Panem et Cicensis, Latin for bread and circuses, as my title to describe my view of a populous that no longer values civic virtues and connotes a sense of triviality and frivolity among the populace. And from what I can see, these are dire times when we should be bucking up and standing together for the good of our Nation, our families, but even our elected public servants do not serve the people. We are encouraged, en masse, to accept televised stimulation and cheap, GMO bread by our Imperial leaders as a way to placate us all.
But hey, what do I know about the big world of our mighty leaders. Just grab yourself a PB and GMO bread sandwich and turn on the boob tube. It only hurts for a minute. Buy for now, Krazi