Proving that writing credentials and a PHD in English from Harvard mean jack shit if your efforts are half assed, television critic Virginia Heffernan pens the lamest and latest New York Times blog Screens. Normally, this blog would be right up our alley as it claims to cover all forms of Internet video art, but even the About section of this site reveals it to be hackery.
“Screens” will find, review and make sense of all those senseless new images: web video, viral video, user-driven video, custom interactive video, embedded video ads, web-based VOD, broadband television, diavlogs, vcasts, vlogs, video podcasts, mobisodes, webisodes, mashups and more.
I don’t know why anyone would devalue the work they are about to review by calling it senseless, but then there isn’t anything on the site that constitutes a write-up, so at this point the Times isn’t even fullfilling their own mandate. Observe: a typical post from Screens…
Seriously this is all that was written on the subject. Technically, Heffernan revisits the topic a couple sentences later to say “In my view Joanne is beautiful and smart.” but so fucking what? At this point my grandmother has had more interesting things to say on the subject of vlogging, and I believe her question ran along the lines of “What’s that?” It would appear that Rocketboom is only superficially on Screens radar, since only a day later the site featured an incredible interview with David Cronenberg, who spoke specifically about the effect vlogging and other Internet media will have on the film industry, and it went unmentioned.
It is omissions such as this that would normally mean that we wouldn’t take the blog seriously enough to even discuss it, and were it not hosted by the New York Times, a paper that supposedly has some standards to maintain, you wouldn’t be reading about it. It has to be said that, The Times online really has to come up with something a little bit better to service the arts. New York doesn’t get called the center of the art world simply because we’ve decided it’s a handy title to have: more art gets made here than anywhere else. Contagious media, a concept first identified and promoted in New York at Eyebeam is among the first items listed that Screens covers, and yet the organization isn’t even on their links list. I mean clearly these people aren’t even trying.
Additional observations: Screens has not posted anything in four days. Who thinks a blog is going to take off with that kind of activity?