In October 2016, sports journalist Darren Rovell tweeted:
“I feel bad for our country. But this is tremendous content.”
You can probably guess what he was talking about, but it doesn’t really matter—seven years later, the widely-mocked statement reads like a mantra, seeming to describe vast swathes of contemporary experience. Bad things, it turns out, are rich sources of content (tremendous or not). The collapse of crypto exchange FTX last November was an appalling display of fraud, but it also served as a powerful affirmation of the almighty content machine, that machine’s ability to reframe reality as entertainment, and our insatiable appetite for its output.