Last week, I selected a TED Talk for MIX/VHS. And believe me, if you groaned when you saw that link, I understand! I, too, have become weary of these glossy, quasi-inspirational monologues. Which is why I was thrilled when the Canadian Broadcasting Company released this brilliant 5-minute sketch – which satirically skewers the tropes of the TED Talk. In a comment pinned by the CBC, a Mr. Carl Willis writes, “TED has popularized a style of speaking that, despite having advantages, is also formulaic and too often serves as a vessel for the aggrandizement of vapid establishment pablum.” Hear hear, Carl! However – though I do think it’s wise to be skeptical of content presented in this format, it’s important we don’t throw out every TED Talk along with its proverbial bathwater. Instead, this is simply more reason for us to do what we always ought: evaluate a thing based on the merit of its ideas, and not just on its presentation.
This review originally appeared in the Austin School of Film’s recommendations blog, MIX/VHS. Check out the full post here, including a review of Portlandia!