Television has no future. It’s finished as a medium, really. That’s why youtube and people’s own personal approaches to making programs is so interesting. Television, essentially, murdered itself, and once it recovers from its suicide, there might be a renaissance of some kind. But, as of now, it doesn’t do anything interesting.
When I see all this glitz and these same formulas about how people look on television, what the lighting is like, how the sound is done, it becomes apparent to me that it’s just a whole received tradition based on absolutely nothing except convention. That’s how we’ve done it before. And, I just think it’s finished. It has no energy as a form anymore. The media has got to rethink their world.
My perception is that the most important thing that could happen on television in America is for it to slow down. It’s just so frantic, and there’s a kind of level of hysteria that we’ve maintained here giving rise to, what I call, a fire hose mentality. This simmering level of hysteria and hostility is maintained, and then, at the right time, the hose is pointed somewhere and suddenly everyone’s paranoia and attention focuses on this one spot. The argument that is always given is, “Well, that’s what the viewer wants,” but, of course, nobody really knows what the viewer wants. This is only what they’ve ever been given. They’ve never actually had an option to choose, or not a real one anyway. Obviously, it would take a while to acclimatize to something that didn’t offer a surprise every ten-seconds. And, the direction of music, for instance, is for one item to cancel out the one before, and for the news always to be wrapped up with some funny little “ha ha.”