We now live in a world where Kim Kardashian’s butt in a pair of “see-through” jeans is delivered to us by the internet feeding tubes as a real and unprotected moment caught by happenstance and not on purpose.  We know by now that nothing reality fame whores do is spontaneous — or even interesting any longer — their behavior is all so predictable and transparent and, frankly, boring. We exist in a constant “on” society where everything counts and nothing matters and the ideal of “over-sharing” being uncouth died with the invention of the broadband connection and the ever-dumber smartphone.

Utopia is a new, $50 million, reality television series from Fox that is supposed to run for a year — but I don’t think the show will make it to the end of October because of horrible casting decisions and even more miserable ratings.  The producers get some things right and most everything else wrong.

The technical aspects of the show, the live feed, the landscape, and the idea, are all right — but the casting is completely and horrifyingly wrong — as is the creepy-pervy peeping-tom-ish host who ruins the television show with his “stalkeristic” vibe and prissy mustache and bizarro hat and glasses.

As well, when you choose a convicted felon to be the center of your show from the git-go, and he’s also the initial online presence for your show and live feeds portal, something terrible and awful has gone wrong on a deep DNA level that cannot be cured by God, a false baptism, or human infusion.

Living and working on the internet provides many interesting and resistive conundrums. You want to share information, and learn things, and try to propagate knowledge forward with some semblance of permanency and purpose; but there are always — The Others — also online, who appear to live to thwart any attempt at compulsive fact collecting. Sure, we all know the Comments Troll — but there are other ugly demons that abound, just waiting to leap at you and waste all your time.

There is a fun old saying — “You’re One in a Million” — that is meant to convey a specialness using data-driven facts.  What I find most interesting in the million specialness is how absolutely non-special you are depending where you happen to live in the world.

For example, in my hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska — with a population of 160,000 while I was growing up — I was super-extra-crispy special, because it would take 6.25 times my city’s population to make me unique one time in a million tries.

In New York City, the story is different. There are currently 8.3 million people in The Big City — and that means my specialness is drained in the larger lake from my small pond pool of the Midwest.

Instead of being “One in a Million” in NYC, I’m now, actually, eight in 8.3 million — and that’s a pretty sobering number.

One internet meme that is taking flight on social media is the handcrafted glory of a grocery list Michelangelo created in the 16th century for his illiterate servant to use while shopping.

Because the servant he was sending to market was illiterate,” writes the Oregonian‘s Steve Duin in a review of a Seattle Art Museum show, “Michelangelo illustrated the shopping lists — a herring, tortelli, two fennel soups, four anchovies and ‘a small quarter of a rough wine’ — with rushed (and all the more exquisite for it) caricatures in pen and ink.” As we can see, the true Renaissance Man didn’t just pursue a variety of interests, but applied his mastery equally to tasks exceptional and mundane. Which, of course, renders the mundane exceptional.