There are those times when the idea for a compelling blog escapes me. So, I scour my mind and fish through the past month of my life, trying desperately to find something to type into a stimulating blog. Finally, I hit the news outlets thinking, what can I riff on?
I played such a game with this month’s blog. I asked myself, “Why? I never run dry of oddball angles to look at things.” The truth is I did come up with several ideas; they just didn’t pan out to be worthy enough for a blog.
While running myself over with the proverbial bus the evening before last, I came upon an old article about The Seinfeld Show that described it with a very fitting blurb. “Much About Nothing.” The piece raved about how the show was a success about nothing and how it caught the voyeuristic eye of the world. The Seinfeld Show ran for about nine years, from 1989 to 1998. That’s nearly twenty-three years ago. Fast-forward to today and take a look at what fills the small screen. We have elevated the “much about nothing” element to a new level called “reality TV.” We devour every moment of peeking into the lives of ordinary people. The networks see this thirst and amp up the drama. Perhaps this makes us feel better about our own lives or at least steals us away one hour at a time.
Let’s go one step further; the internet has ridden this wave with immense success. Twitter, Instagram, and the Generation Z to Alpha population’s favorite pastime, TikTok, exploit the “much about nothing” concept. These social media platforms capitalize on the human urge to watch from a distance and still feel connected. Following strangers or digital friends as they go to the grocery store, put on make-up, or allow us to view whatever it is they do, seems creepy if we examine it in this context, but it sells.
That takes us to the final part of Much About Nothing. This misnomer is the cloak that hides the reality that much about nothing is hiding the millions made from human nature. Those who are successful in front of the lens of television and social media get paid well. Both avenues have their own way of measuring success before the dollar is doled out, but the ultimate goal is currency.
Is this a new concept created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld?
To answer that question, we can look back to Mr. Shakespeare. William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is a play that lets us view how deception plays out in everyday life, how relationships are comical and messy. Sounds just like reality TV or social media. Perhaps Shakespeare was well ahead of his time. He may be watching now and saying, “I knew it!”
It seems that our voyeuristic tendencies may have begun somewhere in our distant past and continues to evolve. Whatever the reasons, each of us chooses what we watch and why we watch it. I include myself in the collective. Without judgment, just observation; “Much about nothing,” in reality, is “Much about something.”
I hope you enjoyed this view of nothing. Please send me your thoughts and comments.
"Writing is the flow of life through words on a page. We all have this talent to share." Luca DiMatteo