Every now and then, I end up watching the real media. That is to say, I may buy a newspaper for some reason (yesterday, it was because of the attached tropfest DVD), and get curious about the contents of said newspaper. Sometimes I end up watching real TV while waiting for dinner, as opposed to playing my pre-recorded strict diet of Futurama, Family Guy, Mythbusters, and the Iron Chef. On days like that, I fear for our future.
First, I made the mistake of reading Icon and Good weekend. Icon is well known for being retarded, mainly because it claims to be about computers. Anything that claims to be about computers will eventually be read by people who are interested in computers. Unfortunately, it’s aimed squarely at people who know nothing about anything technical, at all. Their VCRs flash 12:00, and they’re not even ashamed about it anymore. The people who write the articles can hardly “program” their VCRs. Their definition of “program” also constitutes “setting the time, and recording stuff”, whereas the canonical nerd’s definition of “program” is having the screen display “1 pwn3d j00r m4m4”, and have the VCR actually go out at night raping the womenfolk.
So it was no surprise that Icon was full of shit. They had a laptop roundup, which was retarded. Some notable models (like the fujitsu ultraportables) went under their radar. The most surprising thing was reading good weekend, where there was an article about Steve Jobs. It went like this:
Most of you won’t know who Steve Jobs is.
WTF? What kind of insane planet is this? They spend the entire article making comparisons to Bill Gates, like:
I know Bill Gates, but who’s Steve Jobs
Bill Gates is a nicer guy but Jobs is more innovative1.
Do people really not know the Jobs? What about monkey-man Ballmer?
So I’m a seething mass about now. Then a brilliant new Channel 9 show called “Clever” comes on. Let me warn you: It is not all that clever. The format is basically contestants on either side get given a “scientific” puzzle and they have to guess what happens. That’s actually putting it in a favourable light, so I’ll give an example. There are three water coolers with gunpowder, water, and cork dust in them. The question is, which will cause it to go off like a rocket. Most of you will have seen this done on various kids TV programs like “Y?” and “Braniac”, so you know the answer, but these people were actually thinking about it and discussing it. There are 4 such questions in the entire show. Talk about retarded. The only thing more retarded are the contestants, who know nothing about science, and presumably the viewing public.
Granted, I didn’t have all the answers. For example, for the question “which ingredient will burn: coffee, sugar, or condensed milk?” I knew it was condensed milk (because sugar and coffee definitely don’t) but I didn’t know why. They didn’t really explain it all that well... I also didn’t get the TV dunking one (dunk a switched on TV into distilled water, sports drink, and oil, and see which one keeps working). I knew it wasn’t the sports drink, but I didn’t know why it wasn’t the distilled water. It seemed rather obvious afterwards. However, the thing I’m getting at is that at least I looked for the reasons. It was the why that mattered and not the what. This show doesn’t care about the why at all. Worse, it’s a cheap rip-off of Braniac, which is a cheap rip-off of Mythbusters. Neither Brainac nor Clever manage to keep anything resembling an interesting show.
1 These are paraphrased. The article was like this, but these aren’t real quotes