Identifying a Good Read (On Flooding: Drowning the Culture in Sameness)

I knew, before I even read half of this story, that I was going to write about it. I read the title, “On Flooding: Drowning the Culture in Sameness” and I thought it would be interesting. I had already looked at a few stories, but none of them really stood out to me, except this one, by Soraya Roberts.  Before I was done the story I knew I was going to write about this one. I found that I agree with most of what the author wrote about. I liked the topic and wanted to share what I thought about it.

Soraya Roberts wrote about the internet, and what it’s like. She said that, even though the internet was supposed to give everyone a voice to share with the world, it didn’t happen that way. The first thing she brought up was the fact that in 1995, 1996, and 1997, the nominees for ‘Best Drama’ at the Emmy’s were all the same. As Roberts put it, there were ” Two cop shows set in New York, two medical shows set in Chicago, and some aliens, spread across four networks, represented the height and breadth of the art form for three years running.”(Paragraph 1) For three years, the very best shows were all the same. Nothing else competed against it. I see a slight problem with that. I’m sure they were all good shows but was there really nothing else that could have competed with them? Everyone was supposed to be able to have their own voice, but the same 5 TV shows were nominated for three years running.

Even if there are more diverse voices in the world, only the same few are noticed. Only the same few rise to the top. As the title of the story says, we are drowning in sameness. The majority of the population decides that something is now interesting, and suddenly that is what everyone is talking about. The media realizes this and starts to show content that is similar to what the majority is interested in.  All different platforms of the media are trying to appeal to the population. The problem is, they are all saying and doing the samething. There is very little variation. There may now be more websites and more diversity, but they won’t  be as successful as the mainstream websites. According to The Most Popular US Industries and Traffic Shares, “Over 80% of all US online surfers are divided among five industries.” The top three listed are Internet Telecom, Arts and Entertainment, and News and Media.

“On Flooding: Drowning the Culture in Sameness” was written in 2019, soon before Disney came out with their new streaming service. A quote from an article written by Sean T. Collins, called Netflix’s Bright Future Looks A Lot Like Television’s Dim Past, in the piece by Roberts said, “you could choose from six different street-level Marvel superhero shows set in New York City.” This means that no matter how many new shows are out there, they are all just a “reconfiguration of the same things over and over” as Roberts put it. In Collins’s article, he wrote, “Television was the art form of the future, and Netflix was the future of television, and the future was here at last.” Television used to be a great thing, and there were so many different kinds of TV shows and movies. Now that we have had Netflix for about 22 years, the future is now. Collins said the future of television was Netflix and now we have Netflix, bu all the shows are just reconfigurations of shows before them.

The world needs to notice that we don’t need more of the same differences, we need more that is different. There may be more diversity, but there is more of the exacp same diversity. When the movie “Black Panther” came out, there was hope for more diversity in movies and more diversity in storytelling. Instead there is just more movies with the actor for the character Black Panther. In TV shows and movies, they are all just the same stories in a different shape or format. The media should show the differences and diversity in the world, and not let the same few websites, people, or organizations get all the credit. Most people get news and information form the media, so they see what the media is providing and sometimes only that.

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