How Social Media Saved the World

It cannot be understated that we are living through a history-making difficult time. Hundreds of thousands of people are falling victim to a global pandemic and everyone is else either staying home or acting brazenly stupid. It shouldn't be surprising, though, that one of the upshots of all of this is that there has been a rise in meme-making.

First defined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 as a cultural idea that takes on a life of its own and is passed down through generations much the same way that genes are, the word "meme" has itself taken on a life of its own to define pictures made and passed around on the Internet that often lampoon various aspects of life. I don't think I've seen any new memes in the past few days that weren't about the COVID-19 epidemic. But this isn't the first time a global catastrophe has been made fun of in what could be described as a "childish" fashion. In fact, one of the memes I've seen compared the uptick in Cor…

On the Loss of Eureka

Eureka (TV series)Image via WikipediaEureka was an amazing show. The concept of a sort of high-tech Mayberry was revolutionary in itself, and then they bumped their geek cred with adding Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day to the cast. Unfortunately, Syfy canceled it, and fans are in an uproar. All I really want to say is that the loss of Eureka is not a reflection on the tastes of Syfy executives. They have made it clear, just like when they canceled Stargate Universe, that Eureka is one of their favorite shows. They have echoed the claim that they just couldn't "make the numbers work." And seeing that the US economy has just crashed, I find it discouraging and hard to believe that fans continue to insist that Syfy is purposely trying to dumb down their programming.

We have all been affected by a crappy economy. I find it difficult to earn a living, and I know several others in my place. I know most of the animosity toward Syfy is probably in jest, but let's stop raging toward them and try to get into their shoes. If they can't get the money to support an expensive show, then, to borrow a phrase from Warehouse 13's H. G. Wells, does that really stretch credulity?

Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day and Neil GraystonImage by britl via FlickrI don't know if I have an answer. The whole entertainment industry is currently in a state of flux. New technology is coming in and completely changing the face of how we view TV shows and movies. Cable is being dumbed down and everything is moving online. And, in the end, maybe that's the solution. Maybe eventually everyone will pay-per-view in stead of watch advertising and then shows will only have themselves to blame for not being able to continue on.

In the end it comes down to advertisers not being willing to support a show when the perception is that its viewership is relatively low. If Syfy had any money to spare on it, I can guarantee that they would save it. But they, just like everyone else in the United States, simply don't. Is Syfy's original programming becoming less and less interesting? Sure... but so is my wallet size. So I understand. The loss of Eureka just one in many tragic losses due to the failure of the economy and should be seen as nothing more or less.

P.S. - Wil Wheaton said a heartfelt goodbye to Eureka on his blog. You should read it.
P. P. S. - It would tickle me silly to see Eureka live on through Warehouse 13.


  1. I am so sad that Eureka is leaving....and I totally get your point on this, however. Isn't it time TV execs start thinking outside the I mean, if fans are so upset over the loss....why not ask the fans to partly fund the show? Use crowd-sourcing to keep favorite shows on the air....I would have kicked in some cash too to keep Pushing Up Daisies on the air as well. Or how about producing the show for web only viewing? I'm sure there are a great deal of expenses with broadcasting on cable vs. broadcasting online, yes? Survival is not all about corporate advertising anymore or doing things they way they've always been done...get with it SyFy (hello irony!) and give us back our Eureka! :)

  2. I agree and I'd like to think that they've thought of these options and didn't find them viable, but the truth is that I just don't know. I'm thinking eventually programming will all go to online streaming with pay-per-view access, but that still requires some start-up funding to produce before it becomes self-sustainable. Like I said, I don't have an answer, it just pains me to see people blame the network when there are plenty of things they could be doing - like going to and taking all the Eureka quizzes (they count toward Nielsen ratings).

  3. Jennifer Brohinsky9/2/11, 6:23 PM

    I've always been of the opinion that you should be able to pick-and choose which shows you want to watch instead of paying for a cable package that is filled only 20% with shows you're even interested in. Sort of like a Netflix thing, I suppose. Actually, I know more and more people who are dropping their cable subscriptions and getting Netflix. It's just the way things are headed at the moment, I suppose. Maybe fans can get some sort of petition going for Eureka?

    (BTW, I just watched the first episode today on Netflix, to see what the hype was all about. Yes, I already love it.)

  4. That's a good point and leads me to believe that cable networks are the ones that are going to fail first. People will always watch a cool show if it's for free on a regular network, but if they have to subscribe to cable to watch it, that's a huge deterrent.

    (BTW, OMG wait until you get to season 4!!)


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