Back in the day, Sports Illustrated has a little weekly sidebar called "This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse." It was an absurd story illustrating the downfall of society. Over the past few years, I've mentioned my observations of such stories in passing: Enron: The Play, Sean Avery's suspension for mentioning sloppy seconds, Chad OchoCinco, Fergalicious, Dick Fuld, Nancy Pelosi, and Octomom/Kate Gosselin. I've been wanting to do a post about how you can see where society is going just by looking at the kind of television shows being produced (just think Jersey Shore, Pretty Wild, and the entire Rock of Love / I Love New York new genre of pulchritude.
Just in case you're unaware, those 4 series are about, in order 1) a bunch of guidos on the Jersey Shore 2) 3 sisters who are famous because one of them got naked in Playboy, and another on of them is a thief who broke into Lindsay Lohan's house (the third sister has yet to achieve notoriety). 3) a former rock icon (is that too generous a description?!?!?) who likes to bang road skanks, and 4) a road skank who achieved fame by being a skank on ANOTHER absurd show in which Flavor Flav tried to find love by dating a bunch of women, which she somehow parlayed into not just a show, but an entire FRANCHISE. Oy vey. If I asked you, 15 years ago, to estimate the probability that these would all be shows on TV, it would have been somewhere in the range of six sigmas against, right? And I haven't even scratched the surface...
Anyway, The Reformed Broker, Josh Brown, wrote a post a few days ago about the increasingly apocalyptic level of modern headlines, titled "Spring 2010: All Hell Breaks Loose." Josh focuses on real life headlines, not the alterna-world of made for TV which I was talking about above, and the results are just as scary:
Volcanic Explosion in Iceland Grounds All Planes
Earthquake Rocks Chile
Massive Rig Fire Threatens the Gulf
Chinese Coal Mine Caves In, Hundreds Trapped Inside
Oil Spill Becoming One of Worst Ecological Disasters in US History
Truck Bomb Found Smoking in the Heart of New York City
West Virginia Coal Mine Collapses, 29 dead
US Attorney May Launch Criminal Probe of Goldman Sachs
Earthquake Rocks Indonesia
Nashville Faces Worst Flood Ever, Downtown Underwater
Contagion Spreading As Greek Economy Collapses
John Carney Fired at The Business Insider
oh man... At least Hogan Knows Best was cancelled...