Tag Archives: Changing with technology

Are We a ‘Veruca Salt’ Society?

Veruca Salt 1971 & 2005

We love our streaming services, don’t we? So many choices and all instantly “On Demand.” On Demand? That’s a great catchphrase some marketing whiz came up with in a meeting about fifteen years ago. When I think “On Demand” I think of Veruca Salt. No, not Veruca Salt the 90’s band that had that great song we all knew, but the Veruca Salt of my childhood. Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (I put the picture from both Willy Wonka movies so that I can rake in big views from both generations) Veruca’s big musical number in the movie was titled “I Want It Now.”

That kind of sounds like our attitude towards television, doesn’t it?

Consumers seem to be more “consumery” than we used to be. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? When the hot new show hits our favorite streaming service we all consume it ravenously and  immediately don’t we. We “binge-watch” until we run out of episodes. And, while we’re bingeing our shows, we order food and drinks delivered to our doorstep ASAP.

It’s not just food, drink and entertainment that we binge on though, is it? Aren’t we the same way with information? We have supercomputers in our pocket that give us instant answers to any questions. Raise you’re hand if you’ve looked something up at a library in the last 15 years. Hmm…let’s see…I’m not seeing any hands. Maybe this has already been too many words and people have lost interest. Hmm…too many words?

I keep an eye on the length of my posts because I fear our ADHD society won’t stay long enough to read the whole thing. When I began blogging in 2005 there was just blogging. Then in 2009 when Twitter came along it was called microblogging. So let’s do an analogy. There’s blogging and there’s microblogging. There’s also penises and micro-penises. Which one do you want? That’s right, so stay and read my blog versus the microblog.

And with Tinder people are trying to have micro-relationships delivered to their door, rather than meeting people in “real life.”

To be honest, I blame England for my frustration. First of all, they made the Willy Wonka movie with Veruca Salt as the heroine. Secondly, you know how most streaming TV series are 8 episodes per season and sometimes you have to wait a year or two for the next 8 episode micro season to come out? That’s England’s fault. They’ve done that stupid shut for decades with popular TV shows and over the last decade, American streaming shows have followed suit.

In the States we grew up with 22 episode seasons that were there on our TV every year. Until Netflix showed up, we never whined or worried about our TV shows. They just kept showing up every year for a decade or two. We grew up with Jerry, Elaine, George, Kramer, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Ted, Marshall, Lilly, Barney, and Robin. They were part of our lives every week. Other than Law & Order, nothing seems to do that anymore. (Mariska Hargitay is going to be on that show until she’s 90)

So what do you think? Has the human race changed? Have we become a Veruca Salt society? And if so, is that change good? (Trademark pending on the phrase “Veruca Salt Society”)

Have a great Sunday! ~Phil