Mystery Sports Theater 3000

How Twitter turns all the world into a stage
Share |

More like Bayern Mun-ugh

A hypothetical: You enjoy baseball. You enjoy watching baseball. However, you are not a Yankees fan. Imagine that the Yankees make a run to the World Series, thereby vexing you. Your Yankees-free baseball viewing opportunities whittle down as the season progresses. You can change channels and watch something else. If you're mean-spirited, you can watch and pray the Yankees lose. That's not much fun, though.

But the Internet has a solution to the problem of being alone and miserable: Twitter, if you're one of the ~400 million who use it, allows you to at least provide your misery with company. Fellow anti-fans will also watch, tweet along, and occasionally hit one-liner pay dirt. As compared to a gamecast or liveblog, the decentralized nature of Twitter is its strength: anybody can tweet the funniest wisecrack, and it probably will be retweeted all the way to your timeline. Twitter, for those who use it, has turned the sporting stage into a giant episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.What does that say about sport and our regard for it? We can look at MST3K, as a generation of gentle-snark-loving indoor kids call it, for further illumination.

Most people didn’t watch Mystery Science Theater 3000; it was pretty easy to miss. The show started out in 1989 on the then-obscure cable upstart Comedy Central. Despite winning a fiercely devoted cult following, MST3K eventually moved to the Sci-Fi Channel where it died a noble death in 1999. The show's premise was simple: Two evil scientists sent a janitor into space and forced him to watch bad science fiction B movies until he went insane. The scientists would then use the film that broke him as a universe-destroying weapon. This is also, hilariously, sort of the plot of Infinite Jest, except without evil scientists.

But MST3K isn’t a high-brow novel critiquing the idea of entertainment. Rather, the loose plot provided a narrative excuse for the real point: making fun of crappy old movies. The janitor, Joel, along with the robot friends he constructed to avoid loneliness, made running wisecracks at the expense of the B-minus movies. We, the audience, chuckled along.

On the screen, we saw aspiring actors dodge cardboard-cutout aliens and ham up already-hammy lines underneath poor lighting. The amusing criticisms of Joel and his robot buddies made something out of nothing—the unbelievably crappy movies were the delivery system for riffing. Viewers were another buddy, basically sitting beside Joel and the robots. Their remarks focused on production flaws, recycled plots, and underwhelming performances. The cinema, even the low-grade fodder used by MST3K, offers ammunition for criticisms. And so does sport.

Of course, most sports programs already feature commentators. Shouldn't they be our Virgils? Washed-up professional athletes in transfixingly ugly menswear flood our screens and tell us what we are seeing as we are seeing it, in a language we can understand. For uncurious viewers, such talking heads are just about right. For folks who have seen, say, more than five games of whatever sport we’re watching, pedestrian commentators grate on the nerves. After a few years, we fantasize their demise by horrific means—there are entire blogs about this. On rare occasions, they disregard the network approved talking points and say something original. For example, Ray Hudson of GolTV shouts creative similes regularly; Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper has been using advanced stats in his on-air analysis. However, sports hosts who serve commentary up smart, or tell the truth raw (or even rare) are increasingly endangered, simply because they eventually say something controversial, or their version of the truth is just kind of stupid and offensive.

Luckily, Twitter allows us to mock the recycled plots of sports and circumvent talking meatheads. Hallelujah! But what happens when criticism becomes more entertaining than the subject at hand? Can criticism supplant the substance of sports itself? Generations raised on dial-up internet connections scoff at young folk checking smartphones during games. They don't understand just how long 200 milliseconds feels (an eternity) when waiting for your favorite Twitterer to make a joke about a missed goal. They dare to ask, in a judgmental tone: Has technology shortened our attention span? We timidly rebut: No, it has only activated fertile parts of the brain untouched since the dawn of humankind. Everybody knows that the first fish to breathe air after landing on a beach would've checked in on Foursquare if given the chance. We owe it to past generations to seek instant gratification buttons for each nanosecond that they could not. We heroically carry forward the flame of humanity, aglow from our torch app on our iPhone.

Not so subtly, we've reshaped the external universe to match our appetites for stimulation. For example, going into the last day of the English Premiership, Manchester United and Manchester City were tied on points. In the event of both teams posting the same result, City held the edge in goal differential (and head to head). United ground out a typical 1–0 win away to Sunderland. The camera crew at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light frequently cut to visiting Red Devils fans checking their phones. Even fans at one game had to know the result of another simultaneous game. The out-of-town scoreboard is as old as telegraphy, but now we carry it with us at all times, and need it to be updated in real time. One United fan smiled as she saw lowly QPR take a shocking 2–1 lead over City. However, that smile was soon erased when City staged a brilliant comeback in injury time to win the game and the league. The instant gratification button turned into a torture device.

Last week’s thrilling EPL last day was a special example of how plugged-in, overclocked modern fandom can be spectacular. The theatrical ups-and-down of seeing United players and fans go from the threshold of celebrating a title to knowing they’d lost one in the space of a minute were only possible because of TV, and were heightened by the instantaneous torrent of criticism, jokes, and pithy observations than rolled out of the Internet. That tidal wave of online chatter can paper over slow patches in less-than-riveting games. As a fan of soccer, even I can admit to large gaps in excitement during a 90-minute game. Yet a series of great one-liners about errant passes and late tackles can turn a snoozefest into a riotous roast.

Yes, sports as stand-alone entertainment often bore us. Our increased savvy and need for instant gratification have raised our expectations. Thanks to Twitter, we stand not at a crossroads but at an on-ramp. We no longer have to turn off the tube in disgust at bad announcing or boring play. Running commentary from everyone in the world supplants pundit drivel; Twitter is an essential supplement to any sports viewing experience. Soccer matches might only offer one goal every 5,400 seconds, but that's 5,399 seconds of 140-character wittiness. Just as Joel needed robot buddies and dry wit to survive an eternity of sci-fi B-movies, the satire commons offer a path to salvation for the overclocked, ADD fan. If a game is going slowly, remember the (paraphrased) words of Britt Daniel of Spoon: "Things everbody should know/the end will come slow/and [tweeting] is art."


Share |

Comments

Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. Keep posting. Thanks for sharing. http://onelittlevictoryblog.com/the-hidden-scars-of-water-damage/

I really enjoy while I read your blogs and articles.health insurance eligibility verification

Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really really love it. It's so good and so awesome. I am just amazed. I hope that you continue to do your work like this in the future also.MOBE

Good to become visiting your weblog again, it has been months for me. Nicely this article that i've been waited for so long. I will need this post to total my assignment in the college, and it has exact same topic together with your write-up. Thanks, good share.MOBE

I feel really happy to have seen your webpage and look forward to so many more entertaining times reading here. Thanks once more for all the details.MOBE

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.MOBE

It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!Garage Door Repair

Writing with style and getting good compliments on the article is quite hard, to be honest.But you've done it so calmly and with so cool feeling and you've nailed the job. This article is possessed with style and I am giving good compliment. Best!Best USA Attorney Blog

I found Hubwit as a transparent s ite, a social hub which is a conglomerate of Buyers and Sellers who are ready to offer online digital consultancy at decent cost.Japanese Vehicles

Awesome work! That is quite appreciated. I hope you’ll get more success. Savannah GA Advertising Agency

You can change channels and watch something else. If you're mean-spirited, you can watch and pray the Yankees lose. That's not much fun, though.sky cable contact number

hungry shark evolution cheat I've proper selected to build a blog, which I hold been deficient to do for a during. Acknowledges for this inform, it's really serviceable! cheat clash of clans android

I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.dental implants leicester

I have to search sites with relevant information on given topic and provide them to teacher our opinion and the article.Japanese used car auction

This is also, hilariously, sort of the plot of Infinite Jest, except without evil scientists.SEO services for small business

stage into a giant episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.What does that say about sport and our regard for it? We can look at MST3K, as a generation of gentle-snark-loving indoor kids call it, for further illumination.
escorts in beirut

Made running wisecracks at the expense of the B-minus movies. We, the audience, chuckled along.ETAAPS - Educational Theoratical Articles Are Professionally Submitted

You enjoy baseball. You enjoy watching baseball. However, you are not a Yankees fan. Imagine that the Yankees make a run to the World Series, Escorts lebanon

The show's premise was simple: Two evil scientists sent a janitor into space and forced him to watch bad science fiction B movies until he went insane. The scientists would then use the film that broke him as a universe-destroying weapon. This is also, hilariously, sort of the plot of Infinite Jest, except without evil scientists.
escort in beirut

Despite winning a fiercely devoted cult following, MST3K eventually moved to the Sci-Fi Channel where it died a noble death in 1999. escort beirut

giant episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.What does that say about sport and our regard for it? We can look at MST3K, as a generation of gentle-snark-loving indoor kids call it, for further illumination.
exchange panama coins

The camera crew at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light frequently cut to visiting Red Devils fans checking their phones.joanns coupons

Rather, the loose plot provided a narrative excuse for the real point: making fun of crappy old movies. The janitor, Joel, along with the robot friends he constructed to avoid loneliness, made running wisecracks at the expense of the B-minus movies. We, the audience, chuckled along.
lebanon escorts

movies until he went insane. The scientists would then use the film that broke him as a universe-destroying weapon. This is also, hilariously, sort of the plot of Infinite Jest, except without evil scientists.
escorts lebanon

movies until he went insane. The scientists would then use the film that broke him as a universe-destroying weapon. This is also, hilariously, sort of the plot of Infinite Jest, except without evil scientists.
unhappy

The show's premise was simple: Two evil scientists sent a janitor into space and forced him to watch bad science fiction B movies until he went insane. The scientists would then use the film that broke him as a universe-destroying weapon. This is also, hilariously, sort of the plot of Infinite Jest, except without evil scientists.
toronto party buses

will be retweeted all the way to your timeline. Twitter, for those who use it, has turned the sporting stage into a giant episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.What does that say about sport and our regard for it? We can look at MST3K, as a generation of gentle-snark-loving indoor kids call it, for further illumination.
escort beirut

You re in point of fact a just right webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing. It kind of feels that you're doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a fantastic activity on this subject!Cheap Curtains Uk

The show's premise was simple: Two evil scientists sent a janitor into space and forced him to watch bad science fiction B movies until he went insane. The scientists would then use the film that broke him as a universe-destroying weapon. This is also, hilariously, sort of the plot of Infinite Jest, except without evil scientists.
gift baskets for men

Their remarks focused on production flaws, recycled plots, and underwhelming performances. The cinema, even the low-grade fodder used by MST3K, offers ammunition for criticisms. And so does sport.
iphone 4 wallet case covers

I most likely appreciating each and every bit of it. It is an incredible site and decent impart. I need to much obliged. Great employment! You all do an incredible blog, and have some extraordinary substance. Keep doing awesome.Bed Linen UK

I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work. rebuild window sill

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.Ambien for sale

Your blog has the biggest number of student audience. As such, I figured it would be the best way to let them know that now they can access copy editing services. We have a new site set up for this specifically.