Ed Driscoll

Colbert, The Long Tail And 9/11 Conspiracy Cranks

Chris Anderson puts up a fun YouTube clip starring Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert and writes:

The Colbert Report last week had a great riff on the fragmentation of media and culture. Starting with a scrapbook of 1970s advertisements that once lodged in our collective consciousness (“plop, plop, fizz, fizz..”), Colbert laments the end of the water-cooler era.

“It’s not just advertising where the center cannot hold. It’s all across our pop cultural landscape. There’s no one band we all love. There’s no one newsman we can all trust/believe is a subversive….Where is America’s cultural cohesiveness? Where is the common experience? ”

So he decides to anoint a commercial to once again unify us: Kraft’s “Crumbelieveable”

“That’s not just a commercial for cheese, it’s also a perfect metaphor for the state of our pop culture: crumbled into little pieces.”

And then he launches into a Colbert Special Report that could have been a chapter in my book.

In his clip, Colbert asks where is the shared cultural experience that unifies us the same way that previous generations shared a collective culture. And sadly, 9/11 is one of the few events large enough to reach all corners of a increasingly demassified society.

Allah looks at the downside of the Long Tail–a glut of DIY “We Had It Coming/ It’s All Bush’s Fault” conspiracy/ appeasement/ equivalence videos that will be popping up on YouTube between now and a week from now. As Allah writes, “They