I recently was reading an article which split up the Super Bowl into time periods according to content: advertisements, time outs, injuries, and the like. Although the game is on television for nearly 3 hours, the total amount of actual play time, as in, time that the ball was being touched by a player, amounted to approximately 11 minutes. This, combined with the time-is-money society we live in, made me question why anyone stayed tuned for the entire broadcast. Three hours of a day, which could have been spent writing a play book to win future super bowls, seemingly wasted on what amounts to an 11 minute game.
As I've been milling over these thoughts, it seems to me that the Super Bowl is almost a relic of a bygone era, one that fed on anticipation instead of instant gratification. Well, let me explain what I mean by that. In day to day life, it is possible to constantly get information, from the news, from twitter, from facebook. Because of this ability, it's easy to get popcorn brain, and not want to stay focused on one task or topic for a long period of time, but instead want to check five different sources of information within seconds, actually looking for distraction. This is very bad for storytelling and songwriting (ah, you knew I'd tie it in somehow!), because artists are forced not only to create a hook right at the beginning of a piece of music, but then to continue re-hooking the listener every 10 seconds so he or she doesn't click away. Most good stories have highs and lows, but the build to each of those has to be realistic, and real life is usually too slow paced for popcorn-brained internet-fiends.
Yet somehow, we watch the Super Bowl. For hours and hours we stay focused on a single topic, and even when its over, as a nation we discuss it on news networks and amongst colleagues. Why doesn't a piece of music have that effect? How can we learn to tell stories that build enough anticipation to keep a listener hooked, yet remain realistic? How can we write music that holds captive an entire nation for days, like the Super Bowl does?
I don't have the answers, I'm 16 years old. :) I think it's important that we as a culture put an accent on focus and realize that quantity is not always quality. But please, let me know in the comments what you think!