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THE MINDY PROJECT is a biting new single-camera comedy from Emmy Award-nominated writer/producer and New York Times best-selling author Mindy Kaling ("The Office") that follows a woman who, despite having a successful career, is unlucky in love and desperately needs to get her personal life back on track before her friends and colleagues are forced to stage an intervention.
Funny, impatient and politically incorrect, MINDY LAHIRI (Kaling) can quote every romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan that exists. She loves the good ones and the bad ones, because the girl always gets the guy. Mindy is determined to be more punctual, spend less money, lose weight and read more books - all in pursuit of becoming a well-rounded perfect woman...who can meet and date the perfect guy.
... Using Alvin Toffler’s concept of “future shock” as a jumping-off point, media theorist Douglas Rushkoff (Cyberia; Get Back in the Box; Media Virus; etc.) deftly weaves in a number of disparate concepts (the Home Shopping Network, zombies, Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns, Internet mashups, hipsters’ approximation of historical ephemera as irony, etc.) to examine the challenge of keeping up with technological advances as well as their ensuing impact on culture and human relations in a world that’s always “on.” By highlighting five areas (the rise of moronic reality TV; our need to be omnipresent; the need to compress time in order to achieve our goals; the compulsion to connect unrelated concepts in an effort to make better sense of them; and a gnawing sense of one’s obsolescence), Rushkoff gives readers a healthy dose of perspective, insight, and critical analysis that’s sure to get minds spinning and tongues wagging.
Media theorist Rushkoff (Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age, 2011, etc.) returns with a dire prognosis of society's ills. Though exaggerated, many of the author's assertions can be summed up thusly: Technology has ruined everything, and nothing is as good as it used to be...Rushkoff does offer a few noteworthy theories--e.g., that our collective interest in post-apocalyptic scenarios stems from a deep desire to return to a simpler life. However, the author repeatedly makes reference to outdated cultural touchstones--e.g., an entire page on the "dangerously mindless" show Beavis & Butthead, which last aired in 1997--while most of his conclusions are overblown. Perhaps the best example of both problems occurs in one early chapter, in which Rushkoff recalls William Hung, the man who sang "She Bangs" at a cringeworthy 2004 American Idol audition and enjoyed a few moments of fame. Rushkoff draws a direct line from how much of America had a laugh at Hung's expense to the Milgram experiment, in which social psychologist Stanley Milgram asked study participants to purportedly administer ever-increasing electric shocks to an unwilling victim. Rushkoff claims that in today's society, "[t]he question is not how much deadly voltage we can apply, but how shamefully low can we go?" Sure to be loved by readers who enjoy telling kids to get off their damn lawn, but unlikely to gain traction with a wider audience.
...With Present Shock Rushkoff has written a uniquely vital book, one that I recommend every parent trying to make sense of the world their children are growing up in should read. He deals with the challenges and realities of the digital age, not as a luddite or alarmist, but as a well seasoned digital traveler. Rushkoff is one who not only knows the pitfalls and warning signs, but also the most rewarding spots along the information super-highway (remember, that’s what we used to call it)...This is not a simplistic self help book for the digital age. The concepts that Rushkoff is talking about are more than the superficial “Facebook bad” arguments we hear so often. He delves deep into the subject, helping the reader understand the complexities of our society as it blossoms or stagnates under the digital pressure. Yet for all it’s complexities Rushkoff’s writing style remains fun, engaging, and very geeky.