No, this is not about a new niche generation of youngsters born between March 12, 1988, and April 24, 1993; the C stands for CONTENT, and anyone with even a tiny amount of creative talent can (and probably will) be part of this not-so-exclusive trend.
So what is it all about? The GENERATION C phenomenon captures the avalanche of consumer generated “content” that is building on the web, adding tera-peta bytes of new text, images, audio, and video on an ongoing basis.
The two main drivers fueling this trend? (1) The creative urges each consumer undeniably possesses. We’re all artists, but until now we neither had the guts nor the means to go all out. (2) The manufacturers of content-creating tools, who relentlessly push us to unleash that creativity using, of course, their ever cheaper, ever more powerful gadgets and gizmos. Instead of asking consumers to watch, to listen, to play, to passively consume, the race is on to get them to create, to produce, and to participate.
Now, to all you enviros who are members of Generation C, wouldn’t it be cool if your environmentally themed short films actually appeared on television? Sound too good to be true? Then check out Current TV.
And, according to Wired, this fledgling cable channel needs your help. Nay, your videos.
Al Gore’s new cable network, Current TV, is a media smorgasbord of quick, slick, and sometimes very interesting short-form video segments targeted at the iPod generation. But it often leaves you feeling cheated out of the main course after a tasty appetizer.
The segments, nauseatingly called pods, run between two and five minutes and comprise a mix-and-match of short films, MTV-type snippets, and video blogs. Some of the pods are refreshingly authentic and make the youth-oriented programming on MTV and VH1 look vacuous. Others, however, are smug, unsubstantial, and even boorish at times, and seem to finish just at the point where they get interesting.
Luckily, some eco-related clips have gotten the greenlight; such is the case with “From the Fry Daddy to your Car,” which I wrote about before. I also recently discovered that a video on the effects of climate change in Alaska made it into the lineup (sorry, couldn’t find a link). And, of course, there is what I believe to be the first ever organic rap. (While Current TV is on my radar screen, it is not on my television screen, so I can’t report if the rap made it on the air or not. One can only hope.)
And while I’m encouraged that the biodiesel and climate-change clips succeeded, I’m not encouraged by what I see in the Current TV studio. Here is a sampling of other enviro-related videos awaiting the greenlight:
- A Wake up Call. A promo for a work-in-progress documentary about the health risks involved in living near a nuclear reactor.
- Eat Smarter. A thirty-second rant about local and organic food.
- Wangari’s Kenya. A tour of conservation and development issues in Kenya by Wangari Maathai.
- Protest Killing Baby Seals. From Bont voor Dieren (Fur for Animals), a Dutch animal protection organization dedicated to the rights and protection of all fur-bearing animals.
- Toxicbytes. Compilation of outakes shot in six different locations while filming environmental justice documentaries from 1999 through 2002.
- Wear Your Voice. This piece takes a close look at the transformation of a particular issue, environmentalism, into a provocative fashion collection. The creation of the collection parallels the story of Sara as an aspiring doctor and environmentalist.
- Frisco Skinny PSA Global Warming. A very strange public service announcement.
This is an okay start, but I’m sure the environmental community can do better. And I bet at least a few of you have inclinations toward the C generation and access to a digital video recorder. So, what are you waiting for? Create and upload!
And if any Gristians do submit their work, we’d love to hear about it!