Saturday, August 15, 2009
Fox News' "Red Eye": This late-late-night talk show on the Fox News Channel (FNC) has quickly made a name for itself. Having begun in February 2007 with a 3 AM Eastern Time slot, part of its viewership relies on those who record the show and watch it later. Although its main competition comes from re-runs on other cable news networks, Red Eye performs consistently well in the ratings. The show's creator, Greg Gutfeld, is a witty conservative pundit who used to be the chief editor of Maxim magazine in the United Kingdom. Other permanent faces on the show include T.V.'s Andy Levy, who serves as the "Ombudsman," and Bill Schulz (a relative of William Dawes, Jr. - the "other" rider with Paul Revere), who is the show's liberal voice. And there are always a few guests on the show each night who proceed to offer their opinions on the topics being discussed. One particularly comical episode involved Gwar's lead singer Oderus Urungus (R.I.P.) serving as the show's interplanetary correspondent. Occasionally, Gutfeld will lament to the camera that his show really sucks, and he wonders why FNC continues to air it.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Social Networking and Narcissism: In today's information-driven world, no mechanism has revolutionized the process of communication more than the internet. As a global network of interconnected computers, the internet serves as a postmodern means of not only commerce, but also community. And it is the development of these cyber-communities that fundamentally alters the egos and personalities of the people who engage in them. For one thing, the explosion of social-networking websites, such as Facebook and MySpace, which critics claim are nothing more than cash cows for advertisers, has led some people to the precarious zone of situational narcissism. Psychologically speaking, this kind of narcissism is emblematic of extreme self-love, as users of a social-networking site attempt to augment their communal importance by carrying out such acts as acquiring friends, displaying photos, and updating statuses. The fact remains, however, that communal importance is a self-perceived notion. According to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, human beings are meant to rise above the petty concerns of communally-reflected glory. Social networking fills the mind with vices rather than virtues. Instead of living like a herd animal, which is what social-networking websites do to us all, we ought to disconnect and see what our true collective potentiality holds.