Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bruno's Butt Signifies a New Media Paradigm Change

Maybe it's already happened somewhere else, and it escaped my attention. But to me, the moment I saw the tide turning on the new media revolution will always be marked by Bruno's bare butt.

People can discourse endlessly about how silly Twitter is (cause they don't use it) and how no one wants to hear about what you had for breakfast (because they don't get it), but there is a very real revolution happening here. And it's happening on all fronts: TV, radio, newspapers (what's left of them), magazines.

Here is the weapon we are using: transparency. People on Twitter and in all social media are becoming, like it or not, more honest about their lives and what matters to them. It has become a mass force, whether those in power realize it or not. A tide that would now be difficult to turn. If you are in the media, you would do well to adopt the new honesty.

Let's take another look.

In previous days, stars hired publicists to create stunts for them to get their name in the press. I heard just recently about some publicist admitting to hiring the bobby soxers to scream for Frank Sinatra. (To which I say, shameful.) In any case, it went on. It went on a lot. And the public was blissfully ignorant to these maneuverings. They took whatever craziness they saw in the press as "just those wacky folks in Hollywood."

But just now, something astonishing has happened. 

We have a pretty spectacular stunt at the MTV Awards. Sasha Baron Cohen, in the guise of his new character, Bruno, comes out, dressed as an angel, flying through the air, but askew. As if something has gone wrong. He lands, butt in Eminem's face. Eminem and bodyguards storm off. And SCENE.

One could, perhaps, detect something shady about this event by the fact that MTV's cameras cut to Eminem just BEFORE Bruno lands, looking worried. Or the fact (and maybe only Hollywood folk know this) but any guy handling the rigging for someone flying who lets them instead land on a celebrity would NEVER have a career in this town again.

So, even before Andy Sandberg's writer came out with the concept that it had been rehearsed, WE KNEW. We knew and had already dismissed it as a fakery. Not just we jaded Hollywood types who view everything through fake eyes. No, the mainstream Twitter universe knew. And were saying so.

And to me, that moment represents a landmark watershed event. The tide has truly turned on fakery and lies.

Now, if Eminem and Bruno wanted to be truly au courant, they would just man up and say, yeah, we thought it'd be a funny gag. It was staged. We'd laugh. They would really look cool. Instead, they are sticking with the "no, it was a horrible tragedy" story.

Made me think back to that brouhaha with Eminem and Michael Stipe a few years back. Nothing is real. Except the new reality in the new transparent universe we live in. Tell the truth. You'll like it.

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