I’m a cynical fuck by nature, so it probably comes as no surprise that I can’t stand TEDTalks.
This semester my college basically shifted my office hours to the library so students can come in for free-talking when they want to practice their English, which is kind of fun for me actually.
Anyways, my boss thought it would be a good idea to set up a TV showing English-language broadcasts. So on a given day I’ll be sitting 30 feet away from a screen showing CNN or a movie in English, with Korean subtitles.
All well and good, but goddamn I rue the day he downloaded a bunch of these TEDTalks.
I’m all for ending hunger and child prostitution and helping the environment and curbing obesity. Yay! I’m down with the struggle!
What I can’t stand are these 20 minute ego-parades that are really more about somebody pimping a book than they are about saving the world.
Is there something I’m missing? Am I being less generous than I should regarding the whole phenomenon?
Because who are these things for, really? Who gets really excited to hear Jamie fucking Oliver blather on about how Americans are FAT FAT FAT ZOMG FAT! And he, with his goddamn fake working-class accent, is going to save them from themselves!
Now there’s a photographer who documented modern-day slavery in the African mining industry. (Note: I am not a fan of modern-day slavery in the African mining industry.) Obviously, this is important but her presentation is really all about her, her, her. Sure, she’s taken some very disturbing photos of what’s going on there, and lord knows I’ve done fuck-all to combat slavery, but the presentation comes off more like poverty-porn than it does a genuine attempt to enlighten people and hopefully end this practice. She’s just drinking in the applause every 30 seconds or so, and that really rubs me the wrong way. And oh dear god, she just said, with a straight face, “I went to shine a light on modern-day slavery” then waited for the audience to start clapping. For her. With a big blown-up photo of an African child slave behind her. Literally, she comes before the African boy-slave does.
Kill me now.
I dunno. Maybe I’m just having a bad day, but when I long for the droning newsbots of CNN talking about the Kardashians or whatever you know it’s bad.