Entertain Me! April 15, 2010Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics, Rants.
Tags: entertainment, michael crichtoon, time line, time travel
I have just finished reading the Michael Crichton book, Timeline. I believe we are going to watch the, apparently terrible, film tonight! The book itself is brilliant, and is a wonderful combination of history and science fiction that managed to simultaneously make me interested in the “Dark” ages and Quantum physics at the same time. No mean feat!
Something said within the pages of this book, however, made me think in some depth about something other than knights and scholars. At the end (and don’t worry, this doesn’t give anything away), a character delivers a speech on the ”mania for entertainment” that pervades out modern culture. Essentially he explains that in increasingly safe and repetitive times, the greatest human fear is not about disease or death, but of being bored. Of having nothing to do. Of living our lives from birth until death with nothing but the ordinary in the middle.
The concept got me thinking. It made me think about how odd society is, and how far from our roots we have aimlessly drifted. Don’t get me wrong – human accomplishments, technology and the extended life expectancy are brilliant, amazing, spectacular. However, they do mean that we live in a world where entertainment (the sort of thrills and excitement that life alone would once upon a time have delivered) is delivered through a box in a room. We go to the cinema, we watch TV. Now we have got to the point where we so crave thrills that we go to theme parks to be zoomed around mechanical structures at absurd speed – we do anything we can to keep ourselves entertained.
The book talks about the pointlessness of all this effort. After all, it points out, living this way may be entertaining, but it isn’t authentic. It lacks that certain undefinable quality that makes us feel like we are really experiencing life.
How far have we come from our past, from the reality of life back in the day, that we are no longer entertained?
What an interesting concept!