Re-runs everywhere

By Jeremy Hubble
The Battalion

It's an awkward word, but is way too common today. The media, wants it finds something that people love the first time around, decides that we'd like it even more a second, third and even 101st time.

Radio is a big culprit. I've constantly been able to prove my theory of cross-wave continuity, which goes something like this:

If you here a song on one radio station, it's also playing somewhere else.

Its been successfully proven with the biggest hits of the day, and even obscure songs that I hadn't heard in years. Everything except U2's "Where the Streets Have No Names." At Arby's the country music that plays has become so repetitious that any time I hear one of those songs in another place, I can even smell the roast beef.

Television is a great culprit. I've long since given up on any form of regular TV watching. I've seen just two episodes of the animaniacs. And guess what. The second one I saw was a rerun of the first. Of course. The same radio theory applies to TV.

They give us the same thing over and over and over again.

Today, even movies are going heavy duty in to the rerun business. At least the Harrison Ford version of Sabrina improved upon the original. (Luckily, with the wide abundance of videocassettes they'd have a difficult time releasing a colorized version of the '54 film and convincing us that it's new.)

Even supposedly new films have become nothing but rehashes.

I saw Powder a few weeks back. It was deja vu. It seemed so familiar. Maybe it was the math professor from Jurassic Park playing the same type of role. Or perhaps seeing an oddball kid who wasn't wholly human come out in to society seemed highly reminiscent of Nell, and Edward Scissorhands. (I even made sure to check the credits to make sure it wasn't Johnny Depp.) Whatever the movie seemed so familiar. And even his electromagnetic oddity came straight out of an episode of "Amazing Stories" or "Misfits of Science"

And now the beginning of the year movies area coming out. All the big blockbusters are saved for the summer when the industry does most of its business. The artsy films seeking Academy Awards come out at the end of the year so that they remain fresh on the voters' minds. So what does that leave us with now? Well, just look. Maybe a chick flick. A bunch of R-rated romance/action fodder. The stuff that's not artsy enough to be artsy, nor produced enough to bring in repetitive family viewing.

Movies aren't alone in their repitition. Music is continually recyvling. Even major 'breakthrough' hits often borrow heavily form smaller songs. Remember Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire"? Well, didn't R.E.M. do "It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I feel fine)" a few years earlier. Using a rapid succesion of pseudo-history seperated by a simple chorus. Then there was Nirvana's breakthrough "Smells Like Teen Spirit." I've heard they borrwed the riff from somewhere. I'm not sure. But, I am sure that it seems to go through the same musical pattern of Soda Stereo's "de Musica Ligera."

Oh well. I'd feel honored if someone were to rip of one of my ideas to make a huge hit. As is pointed out in Mr. Holland's Opus (which I've seen refered to as a new Goodbye Mr. Chips (though, having never seen it, I can't cvouch for the comparision's validez.)), even Braham's "lulybye" was turned in to a pop hit by some entrprenueing Toys.

It's just another rerun.