Friday, April 30, 2010

Long Live The Coco (Part 3)

Ratings tanked. Don’t talk about “lead-ins”, please…Conan did this all to himself.

I'm busting with so many things to say about this one that I'm finding it difficult to begin. Conan did this all to himself. I suppose that's true in an existential sense. This person seems to believe that Conan is currently in a terrible situation or that he's sitting quietly in a dark room somewhere feeling the horrific affects of his bad decisions (which contradicts the poster's later statement that he's a millionaire in a wonderful situation so we shouldn't feel bad for him). When John Doe finds himself alone in an alley scrambling for a crack fix, abandoned by all friends and family, you look at John Doe, nod and say, "Well he did it to himself." Conan O'Brien is not in a bad situation, at least not in terms of his future as an entertainer, I don't presume to know his personal life. This "did it to himself" statement is doubly inaccurate as, very simply and obviously, NBC played a part and Jay Leno played a part in Conan's current circumstances. So, very literally, Conan did not "do this all to himself".

Ratings tanked. Don't talk about lead-ins, please...

Why don't you want us to talk about lead-ins? Could it be that they're a good explanation for Conan's lower ratings and you don't like good explanations? Could it be that you simply like Jay Leno and want to ignore the fact that Jay's ten o' clock show was quite dull and uninteresting and shockingly dirtier than his Tonight Show? Could it be that Jay's dirtier sense of humor and horribly written "comedy" segments featuring comics no one knew or liked alienated Jay's older audience?

Do you not realize that Jay's ratings were bad? Do you not realize that if Jay's ratings are bad then that means everyone turns NBC off at ten o'clock and goes elsewhere? They do not watch the local affiliate news and then they will not watch Conan. Now lets consider those who simply want to watch The Tonight Show. They want the show, they aren't aware of host affiliation. But as far as they're concerned Jay has been and still is the host regardless of his move in programming. They're not aware of Conan, the real host of The Tonight Show. So far as they're considered there's nothing to watch at 11:30 because Jay is on at 10:00, the host they've always known. How is Conan to gain ratings when there's an entire segment of the population that is confused by a poor programming decision or simply doesn't know Conan is the new Tonight Show host?

This whole issue of ratings, touched on arrogantly by Jay in his Oprah interview, the idea that Conan was "destroying" the Tonight Show franchise, is so obviously idiotic and fallacious that I'm astounded when it's even brought up as a valid argument. Apart from the reasons stated earlier that contributed to Conan's lower viewership, let's consider the fact that it's rare for any new show of any kind to garner the audiences and viewership studios demand. Gaining an audience simply takes time. Transitions take time.

Furthermore, why do people care so much? I care about whether or not Conan is on TV or entertaining somewhere, but that's it. I'm not about to charge into NBC with demands. I'm not going to damn them or support them one way or the other. I don't care about NBC. I care about the quality of their shows. On the other hand, Conan's detractors seem to be rooting for NBC. I find this often amongst people who don't want their favorite video game bashed, their favorite movie bashed, or their favorite show bashed. They side with "the man" as if they're employees, as if they firmly believe NBC cares about what they think. Why do these people support conglomerates when they have no actual stake in them and use it as some kind of support for their arguments? Surprisingly enough, this is the course of action of youths more often than not. What in the name of Jesus Christ has happened to the youthful voice of dissent in this country?

And finally we come to this little gem.

The fact of the matter is that America made up its mind. Conan at 11:30 pm was HORRIBLE. It was unwatchable. It was awful.

It was unwatchable. It was awful.

You would have to have watched an episode to know this. On a very basic level that this poster is unaware of, they contradict themselves. You have to have watched something to formulate an opinion about it. If the poster watched even five seconds of Conan's show, they would have seen it, which proves that it is, in fact, watchable and that their eyes did not melt in their sockets upon viewing. I suppose "it was awful" is merely a matter of opinion; relative and therefore unable to be attacked. If you don't like Conan's silly sense of self-deprecating humor then you likely won't enjoy his show. However, I believe it's possible to prove, objectively, that The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien was not, in any way, awful.

Your head exploding is awful. Your boyfriend or girlfriend cheating on you is awful. Transformers is awful.

The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien always started on time. It delivered comedy. It delivered extravagant sketches and segments that featured an enthusiastic host getting crowds and viewers excited. It had movie stars and celebrity guests. It had a beautiful set and vivid colors. It fulfilled the definition of a late night talk show. Can it be considered awful then, in the way this poster so objectively and steadfastly states?

Conan at 11:30 pm was HORRIBLE.

I really wish people realized that putting words in all caps in no way enhances the quality of their statement or argument. Caps is good for positive email greetings to friends, but little else.

I get really, really thought it was bad so you touched caps lock with your pinky-finger (if you're using home row properly). But you get your emphasis across with your redundant followup statements, it was unwatchable, it was awful, which renders your caps-lock unnecessary. A good argument is one that presents an idea, explains the idea thoroughly, and offers it up for the rest of humanity to dissect. A good argument does not angrily pop out at you. It does not resort to cheap visual tricks to make itself heard.

The fact of the matter is that America made up its mind.

More often than not, to begin any statement with the phrase "the fact of the matter is" makes whatever words come after that statement entirely pointless. Simply put, America did not make up its mind because a country does not have a brain. A country is a piece of land with fictitous divisions implemented by a government. But the figurative way in which the poster means to express their notion lends itself to rebuttal just as easily.

I did not make up my mind that Conan's show was terrible. I did not contribute to his low ratings. I am an Americna. Even if 99% of Nealson families did not watch Conan there would still be a 1% margin that did. Is that 1% not American? Not to this poster. It's this kind of thinking that starts the long, painful road to segregation and fascism.

When there are large segments of the population that enjoyed Conan's show and tuned in to watch his final episodes, when there are protests in support of Conan, it's very clear that America's collective mind was not made up in opposition of Conan. If anything, there was a divide and that's good. Arguments are good. Discourse is good. But that's not what our poster is after. This poster made up their mind. NBC made up their mind. Conan made up his mind. When did America make up its mind? What clear evidence is there of any collective American mind being made up in a unanimous fashion?

In the end, let us realize that random expressions of anger and negativity are like slashes and punches upon a person's flesh. Perhaps they're small enough not to show, but they hurt, and eventually they become visible. Negativity on the whole is in no way beneficial or constructive. No one achieves anything worthwhile through hatred or self-abasement. No one achieves anything by saying, "I can't, I won't, you can't, you won't". Only hatred is achieved through hatred, destruction and pain.

In order to grow as a people we have to logically and kindly interact with each other, especially when interaction has now been so easily reduced to internet soundbites.

Inject a bit of honest good into humanity's system. See how it makes you feel. See how it can change someone's day. Conan O'Brien did this on a nightly basis, which is why I respect him so much.


  1. I tried to post this in order, but was not allowed to do so by the site. Evidently it knows which blog you start first and publishes that first, even if you click "publish" on it last.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. I strongly hesitate to use the term, "pwn3d" but for the first time in my life I feel like I've found it essential to do so. Good Work Kailamri!

    Note: In the EDIT menu of your last three postings, you'll find an option to change the time and date of post which could solve your order dilemma.