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The Web vs The Graduate

I was watching one of Ze Frank's recent video monologues, which is always a disconcerting experience. Just a little too intense. But today I made two discoveries.

The first discovery was tha the best way to watch any Ze Frank monologue turns out to be to set the video to fullscreen, especially if you have a big monitor. But then turn the audio COMPLETELY OFF. Try watching him talk then. It's insane.

But it's more than just insane. It's reminiscent of a certain movie...

Remember the finale wedding scene in the movie The Graduate?

It occurs to me, when I'm particularly noticing how attention-draining the web experience is in 2012, that that scene in some strange way perfectly explains that very same web experience. It's like we are collectively Ben, the user, viewing the scene behind glass, but our attention is Elaine, and sometimes we get so distracted our attention gets swallowed up in the scene. And so Ben is pounding his fists at the glass, shouting Elaine!, trying to get her back. And she slowly turns, focuses on him, then turns and observes her mother, her father, and her groom all grimacing and yelling and spouting unknown exclamations at Ben. She looks at each, and then she looks back at Ben, and after a moment of realization, shouts out "Ben!" as if to say, "rescue me!" And then she and he scape, run away from the wedding, hop on a bus, roll away into an unknown future, and the movie is over.

Sometimes the web feels this way, bug-eyed, glaring at us, all the time. YouTube, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, AIM, email, CNN, the political sites, everything . . . look at *me* they say. All of it clamoring for, insisting on, demanding our attention. Sometimes you just gotta steal your attention back, get the heck out of there, hop on the bus, and go explore something different and new.

Thinking of posting a comment to this blog entry? That's nice. But please note: As of January 19. 2014, I no longer review comments. So they will never appear. So don't bother. If you want to comment on something you read here, go to twitter and write your comment there and just include "@brianstorms" in the tweet. I am no longer moderating the comments here; I just assume everything is spam and Intense Debate seems to have abandoned support for its product.

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