By the time you read this, Time Inc. will have bought up Warner Bros., or Paramount will have taken over Time, or perhaps both Warner’s and Time. The stockholders with the right information will have their windfall, some executives will be drifting in golden parachutes, some assets will be sold or looted, and a huge new media conglomerate will be saddled with a debt structure that makes it even more imperative to invest in high-concept, mass-cult products that can be spun off into syndicated consumer goods.
Meanwhile, the kind of art once intended to heighten the problematic sense of what it means to be human—to stir comic recognition, to purge pity and fear—is going to have a harder time getting out there. But this will be no problem for the commentary industry, which will continue to debase the vocabulary of feeling by applying it to works of concocted gimmickry....
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