Popular culture is about more than young people, so the Generation Gap stuff is missing the point. It may be that the declining attention span of many young people contributes to the superficiality of much entertainment, but it also may be that the nostalgia of many older people contributes to the stagnation of culture. It also misses the point of cultural cycles-- as I mentioned earlier, periods of innovation are followed by periods of stagnation (or stability, if you prefer). Evolutionary biologists call it punctuated equilibrium.
There's more of everything now, and it's all more accessible, so naturally there's more crappy art. There's more good art as well, if people stop whining about what their television places in front of them and go find it.
Unfortunately, that's what most people do. But you make a good point-- with the increased availability of more esoteric work on the Internet, the mainstream outlets are more motivated to shoot for the lowest common denominator.
It's always been the case that if you just allow the media to spoonfeed you your entertainment, you'll end up with the blandest most universally inoffensive nonsense available. Mainstream media is about pleasing as many people as possible with the same product. For every Pink Floyd, there's ten Bay City Rollers.
Exactly (not that those kinds of artists can't be entertaining), which is what is exciting about modern opportunities for independent creators. How are you making out with your stuff? Also, do you have any other recommendations (I'll look for the Battles)?
Count Zero wrote:
Well, taste in music is a contentious issue.
I'm a bit of a cultural snob myself but I usually succeed in reining myself in. I can understand your friend's pleasure at the form of music, the mathematics as you put it. If music is also able to stimulate me intellectually it's an additional thrill for me.
I'd say that's being an elitist, rather than a snob. High standards are good. What snobs don't understand is that it's okay to like something even if it's not good, just like it's okay to dislike something even if it is
good. Taste and personal aesthetics always enter into it. But you just have to be aware of which is which.