The 15 wall
Following on recent entry
about the connection between big national entertainment and MAXIMUM WINNERS.
This ties in with earlier observations about
found in short syndicated radio programs from the '30s and '40s.
Direct comparison between 'Strange as it Seems', a 15-minute syndicated program, and Ripley, a BIG 30-minute network production.......
Strange showed strong empathy with ordinary people who were trying to do their job and mind their own business, no matter which era of history, no matter which part of the country, no matter what belief system they held. Strange also showed contempt toward thieves and takers, ESPECIALLY big corporate or governmental thieves.
Ripley was a globalist.
He favored the Empire at every turn, and treated ordinary people with condescension and contempt. He was a WINNER.
Why the correlation?
(1) There's a natural** attention boundary at 15 minutes. Household tasks tend to converge on 15,
and mental work tends to require breaks every 15. An entertainment show that goes beyond 15 has to muster up a LOT more resources to hold your attention. More music, more dramatic scripts, more sound effects, more Special Guests.
(2) Only a national network can afford the BIG resources needed to keep you locked in for 30 minutes.
(3) Only MAXIMUM WINNERS made it to the national network. Performers and writers with less ambition and attractiveness stayed in the local or regional settings, making anonymous but excellent short pieces with no big-name credits.
= = = = =
** Question. Is this 15-minute boundary truly natural, or is it a product of modern technology? If natural I'd expect to see more 15-minute segments in natural measuring systems. Ancient water clocks could
have reliably indicated quarter hours but apparently didn't. They were either used as alarm clocks for a sleep interval, or calibrated for a 12-hour day. 15 minutes didn't get into the game until much later. At least one Chinese clock
was striking quarters in 700 AD, but the practice wasn't common in the West until Westminster, coinciding with the start of modern industry.
Labels: Asked and unanswered, Grand Blueprint, Metrology