If you watched the Superbowl last month you may have noticed a very strange ad for the online television website Hulu.com featuring actor Alec Baldwin. In this commercial Baldwin takes us to an underground facility underneath the Hollywood sign where humans are being experimented on by scientists using television shows as a means of reducing your brain to a pile of mushy mush." The actor laughs as he explains that we have no choice but to accept this mind control program, because we cannot escape the technology of digital media which has become so ubiquitous in our daily lives. At the end of the commercial Baldwin reveals with a dramatic flourish that he is an evil alien and that television is actually a plot to destroy humanity, as long green tentacles begin to flick out from under his finely pressed suit. Is television really an alien plot for mind control through mass media? Probably not, but nonetheless something about this ad is remarkably creepy yet somewhat amusing at the same time.
Hulu.com is co-owned by NBC Universal and News Corp — one of the world's largest mass media corporations, founded in 1980 by Rupert Murdoch. Hulu features syndicated content from many major television networks, including NBC, Fox, Comedy Central, USA Network, Sci Fi, E!, Nick Jr., and the Disney Channel. The commercial is titled Alec in Huluwood and was directed by Peter Berg, who directed the recent superhero movie Hancock starring Will Smith.
Tristan Gulliford is a writer, dreamer, and aspiring myth-keeper who makes electronic music under the name "Dreamcode". He is currently attending the University of Colorado at Boulder.