The value of a mildly entertaining, hastily made blog is something worth careful consideration. On the one hand, we have the fact that these mindless tidbits are tearing away at productivity and efficiency levels in millions of offices nationwide. One has not only to resist the urge to check out yet another funny picture of some idiot doing something unfortunate, or an animal looking adorable, but they must also do battle with the fact that this very temptation has become a cultural phenomenon. For me to preserve my brain cells by not having observed today’s grammatically incorrect, possibly abused kitten, is for me to be the weirdo around the watercooler. But then again, snippets of entertainment can provide much-needed relief during a stressful day, and if there were any possibility of retaining self-control while browsing, I suppose a few laughs at other people’s expense could be a good thing. Unfortunately, the trend seems rather to be that people forgo reading well-researched, informative news or cultural pieces in favor of seeing how much bacon can be stuffed into a food item, or how ridiculous hipsters look in their “fashionable” clothing, and the endless possible combinations of them all. The blogs will not stop offering muffled cubicle laughs, and the finger cannot help but hit “refresh” with the ferocity of a texting teen.
The proliferation of opportunities for two-second entertainment, of one-off potty humor, carries grand implications for the future of artistic output in our society. But I also have another concern: why didn’t I think of that? People who once housed dreams of bringing a new voice to their generation and adding to the literary or artist canon are now earning book deals by spending their days thinking of something hilariously insulting to type over a picture of someone attending prom in 1983. These people are getting book deals and other “cha-ching” opportunities faster than you can say “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” and all for coming up with something that is so awkwardly, inanely funny that people are readily won over. It’s easy for me to sit here and talk about the plight of modern society, but it’s also easy for me to be bitter, as it may shock you to learn that I’ve yet to receive an offer from any publisher. Laughter is, as they say, the best medicine, and I’ll be laughing all the way to The Grave Gatsby and Zombies.