My Response (as CouchGrouch) to Norm Chad’s (CouchSlouch) Column of May 29, 2017 Revealing his Dark Insights.
Welcome future sons of Couch Slouch to the ©[FrictionLessSociety™ (a.k.a, FLS™)]® of the near future–a new reality in which change is approaching the speed of light (186,000 miles per sec), tangibles are rapidly being replaced by intangibles, and every idea that dribbles from our minds will have to be branded since that’s all we might have of value in the future.
This takes me to Couch Slouch’s (Norm Chad) latest edition of “tried and true facts about sports television,” or as I read it: How sports-TV is becoming irrelevant in the age of the FrictionLessSociety™.
[Tutorial Intermission: As you know, “Frictionless” means there is no resistance against moving something from A to B (like…hand to TV remote). When every physical and non-physical thing (including our minds, eventually) can be converted into patterns of information and moved from A to B at will, we have arrived fully immersed in the frictionless society. Along with its intended benefits, FLS also brings with it unintended problems I call the dreaded FLS Syndrome™ a.k.a, Digital Addiction™. Sports-TV is just one early example.
Television delivers sports stuff to us 24/7, but is losing viewers for the same reason CNN has lost viewers, and that workers are losing jobs, and writers are losing readers—there is just not enough “friction” to grab and hold our attention. (Is evolution selecting people with Attention Deficit Disorder for survival of the species?). FLS™ is beginning to lock-in every aspect of society, beyond sports. In this new reality “brand” is everything.]
The most important first brand each person will need, of course, is a catchy street name that captures their essence. Urban culture already figured this meme out decades ago. A given family name is only for legal purposes (and may even be a liability), and should be replaced with a personal brand in the FLS™. We could even have several personal brand names over a lifetime as we evolve, like Prince, who went beyond intangible to a name with no sound! In the FLS™ each person will be famous to some group.
“Couch Slouch™” is a pretty good street name for you as your first attempt at branding your persona, and it’s certainly safe from copyright infringement; however, with digital medical advances you could live for centuries! The FLS™ is bound to demand more from you.
Let’s be honest. You are too smart and talented to ride (and hide) on that self-depreciation horse that’s carried you for decades. Your meticulous research, crafted prose, creative use of metaphors and funny obscure references mock your current slothful brand. Your recent column on all that’s wrong with sports is a lethal weapon that is helping to bury sports as a prime entertainment choice. I suspect writing about its failings and decline is also burying you, although your twitter followers remain constant at about 60k.
In the referenced article you did manage to find positive humor (put ups) in eight of your 23 “facts” (fake news?) of sports television: Numbers 1, 2, 8, 14, 16, 17, 23, and 21. And, your prop for Ernie Johnson (#17) was spot on. The rest were negative humor (put downs) two of which I put in the “nasty” category. I read number 11 on “Trump and bowling” as a nasty put down of our American brethren, his blue collar staunch supporters (your political petticoat is showing); and the “F” in NFL in your column intermission after number 12 sounded like “Fucking” to my mind as in “the N-Fucking-L” for NFL hypocrisy. (Was this an editorial decision by you or editor?) I challenge you to increase the positive to negative humor ratio in your Sports-as-Life™ column. We need more cowbell–I mean more positive vibes!
Take a clue from the ancient meaning of sports competition. The original meaning of the word “competition” in Greek, “competere”, literally means to “strive with.” In other words, sport competition is meant to see two or more people, or more teams, “competing” fairly to make each competitor better. It’s a transactional activity with a relational goal (the paradox of the agon.)
This gets me to Donald Trump, who is very competitive having won the job of President at a 50 to1 long shot coming out of the gate. He is way ahead of everyone else at the important branding aspect of adapting to a FrictionLessSociety™. Of course, he’s had a 70 year head start, and he has mastered twitter with 20+ million ardent followers. They apparently believe everything he says, and he tweets on almost a daily basis. But dark rumors are flying about.
Trump Rumor #1™ is that The Donald™ will be sharing his branding insights via Netflix on how people can learn to brand everything they see, think, say, and do by subscribing to a new commercial Twitter initiative called Brand Your Life™ (BYL™). This program will be offered by the Department of Education under the direction of Betsey DeVos (Her last name is Dutch means “the fox.” Believe Her™!). BLY™ is rumored to be a trial project for a Trump Plan™ to convert all government agencies into profit-making divisions of his new startup company to make America Greedy…sorry I mean, Great Again by 2020.
This company is rumored to be named Trump States of United Corporate America™ (street name, Trump SUCA™). Who says Trump can’t think strategically? Trump will be Chairman of Trump SUCA, and Jared will be lifetime president in charge of all operating divisions (once he serves his time).
All of this is happening as we rush into a future in which the only things (actually, non-things) that will be left of value will be each lonely “idea”—information patterns of thoughts that amuse us, which we once experienced directly with our five senses in physical activities such as gambling, sex, and sports. In the long-term future, only ideas and the names we give to them will have value and meaning, from passwords to domain names, bitcoins, and the world’s new universal digital currency – TrumpCoins™.
Buckle up for a wild ride through the FLS sport of life in the fast, faster, fastest lane. CouchSlouch will murder you with insightful laughter; CouchGrouch will pull the scab off that’s covering his insights.