Last night, one of the many atrocities committed at the Grammys was a poorly conceived Michael Jackson 3-D video. Nothing says "the future" like 3-D. The only problem is we're not quite ready for it on this level.
Yes, Avatar is tops at the box office and 3-D TV is an inevitability but we need to slow it down with this enthusiasm for pushing technology down the throats of America. Right now 3-D is the girl that you go out on a few dates with and have plenty of fun with because she really puts out, but you aren't sure she is ready for a long-term commitment. And while you're trying to decide, she keeps calling and calling and bothering you trying to make it happen. We're not ready for "the talk" yet, 3-D, so please just slow it down!
That was perfectly illustrated by the Michael Jackson video at the Grammys. The film was originally made for Jackson's ill-fated This Is It tour where, presumably, 3-D glasses of the red-and-blue in cardboard variety (not the snazzy, clear Buddy Holly numbers given out at movie theaters now) would be handed out to ticket holders upon arrival. This would have been a great idea. A wonderfully outre addition to what would have been a true spectacular. It didn't translate as such outside of a concert arena.
Glasses were similarly distributed to the stars in the theater for the awards show, but it was clear from the audience shots that not everyone was enthusiastic about putting them on to watch the film. And why should they be? There was a real-life 3-D performance of actual human beings happening in front of the movie screen projections. Jennifer Hudson, Celine Dion, Usher, Carrie Underwood, and Smokey Robinson aren't going to look any more real through the purple fuzzyiness of the glasses.
The audience at home had quite the opposite problem. While glasses were distributed at Target so that people could watch the performance in Super Smellovision, not everyone knew this was going to be happening and most people—who aren't fanboys with a collector's edition of Jaws 3-D specs or hairy-palmed porn fiends with an extra set provided by 3-D gay smut site—don't have a set of paper and cellophane glasses lying around the house. So what did we get to watch? A blurry run of figures on the screen that looked a bit like straining to understand television while waiting for LSD to wear off.
Most of the performance, as well as the film itself, was broadcast with 3-D capabilities but to the untrained and unbespecled eye, it appeared that the performance seemed to flicker in and out of its enhanced visual spectacularness. So when are we supposed to put our glasses on and when are we supposed to take them off? Should we now be hoarding the Target Grammy glasses and leave them in the coffee table drawer next to our three useless remotes for the next time TV decides to spring such an event on us? Do we need to prepare to don an accessory every time we sit down in front of the set? If so, can we get something a bit sturdier and more attractive than white cardboard? Do you think Prada will come out with a line of at-home 3-D glasses? Will they come in pink?
See, we have so many questions! Please, 3-D, before you assault us with the multi-dimensional Tron graphics in our homes again, answer some of our questions and give us a bit of warning. We really want to keep dating you, but you're getting a bit clingy.