I have this theory that all media will eventually eat itself. This is no anti-media rant; I love media, but the evidence is all around me. Ever watch a movie about making movies, hear a song about songs, or read a book about writers? Of course you have because those media are eating themselves already. And this trend is accelerating. Eventually all that we watch, hear, and read will be about what we watch, hear, and read. It will be like the snake that eats its own tail, except the media will never die, it will only poop out the digested bits of better works.
A glance at the new TV shows premiering this fall fully supports my wicked hypothesis. You know the show Saturday Night Live? Well, as bad as it has become there are two shows about it, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and “30 Rock”. These are not competing sketch comedy shows. No siree bob, these are about all the wretched turmoil that goes into making a comedy show. All that is needed to complete the circle is a Saturday Night Live sketch spoofing “Studio 60” or “30 Rock”.
Recent movies further bear the trademark of eating from the industry itself. Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” was not only an overt remake but was also a story about the gritty business of 1930s movie making. “Hollywoodland” and “Black Dahlia” are both murder mysteries involving stars. E!, the four stomached cow of media eating, celebrates these films about films in a top ten, but forgets to add my personal favorite, “State and Maine”.
Songwriters have further championed the power and passion of their work. “Bye Bye Miss American Pie”, “Sad Songs”, “Song Sung Blue”, etc. I estimate that nearly half of all songs mention the word “song” or “music”. Do song writers think, "what shall I write this song about, hmm, a song, a song with music, a musical song. I've got, it will be about getting stoned with my homies while singing a song about hoes making music".
Even the news is now introspective. Ample time and ink is devoted to commenting on the news itself or discussing the news. Certain news sources, a.k.a. Fox News, are entirely devoted to reporting other the news from other sources. Fox is eating the news media hand over fist.
Blogs, such as this, are perhaps the most susceptible to devoting themselves to their medium. There are even blogs solely about blogs. I am even guilty of consuming this particular media on this very blog. Thankfully, few have read the evidence against me.
I do not believe the quality of the media that eats media is always poor. Quite the contrary, I have enjoyed many a media eating serving. Writing about ones own media just seems lazy and no one appreciates halfassery. It is like when you need to pick a password for your e-mail, look around your office, and end up with the name of your computer monitor. (My password has been viewsonic for years). I just urge all would be creators to strive beyond jokes about agents, stories about writers, and lyrics with the word “music”.