Youth culture as imagined by Al Gore


Dana Stevens has nailed Current, Al Gore's new cable channel. Writing today on Opinion Journal, it is irrevocably dubbed 'youth culture as imagined by Al Gore.' 

Some other gems:

Despite its almost serenely dated, retro feel, Current is very interested in graphics and gimmicks that recall computer technology, linking the channel to a world outside the TV screen. As each pod plays, the lower left—hand corner of the screen displays a progress bar that fills up as the clip approaches its end. I guess the point is to keep viewers watching till the end of the pod, figuring, what the hell? I can afford to waste two—and—a—half more minutes on this. Then again, progress bars on a computer screen tend to be associated with some unpleasant or tedious task—waiting for a download to end, for example, so you can get to the good stuff of actually listening to the song or using the software. It's hard to get lost in the content of a given story when you're constantly glancing down to see how much longer it has to go.


If there's one thing that ties all this Current programming together, it's the network's self—professed belief that its interactive approach to programming constitutes a radical experiment in democracy. There's a lot of talk of "empowerment" and "freedom"; one blond surfer squints into the camera as he says, "That's what Current TV is. It's freedom television." Another true believer swears that "[Current]'s going to do for passionate storytellers what the airplane did for travelers." Grandiose rhetoric about technological frontiers, of course, has always been Al Gore's specialty

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson   8 5 05