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Old June 4 2013, 02:43 AM   #181
Locutus of Bored
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
I think cultural standards have changed. I think for-profit entertainment with massive corporations running our mainstream entertainment have caused artists to become cowards. Before, if you risked offending someone with a song, or a joke, or a piece of well-written fiction, the audience wasn't so fragile. They wouldn't burn you at the stake over it, kill your career. Sometimes, you just became a niche market of ardent supporters.
Oh, please. The Blackist and HUAC, the Post Office banning distribution of materials they considered indecent, the Comics Code, the creation of the MPAA and the X-Rating (which hurt mainstream films but which was ironically a boon to porn), Jack Valenti's crusade against VCRs (a precursor of his support of the DMCA) Hoover's files on and blackmailing of Hollywood celebrities, an FCC that was even more restrictive than it was in the 90s and early 2000s, married couples that couldn't even be shown sleeping in the same bed, the obscenity trial and conviction of comedian Lenny Bruce, etc. etc. etc. None of this stuff is new, and it was much worse in the past. And none of it could have remained viable without widespread public support at the time.

You think corporate and for-profit entertainment is a new thing? Seriously?

Look at the controversy surrounding Kramer and Tracy Morgan. Look how fast they were dismissed from the party. Look at the problems the Rush Limbaugh show had, or even 12 years ago with Bill Maher.
What about the Michael Richards and Tracy Morgan incidents are anything new, other than the fact that their bigotry would have been rewarded rather than criticized in the past, and that Tracy Morgan wouldn't be able to do the kind of standup he does now if it weren't for black comedians like Richard Pryor breaking new ground earlier? Rush Limbaugh is still incredibly popular despite his numerous controversial comments, as is Bill Maher despite losing his ABC show after 9/11. But again, there's nothing new or unusual about any of that, and it didn't prevent him from moving on and continuing to do his act and a new TV show.

The celebrity culture around someone like Mel Gibson or Britney Spears means every word, every inch and pound, every movement is followed and it leads to the same scrutiny that kills any truth in politics.
Mel Gibson and Britney Spears? Welcome to ten years ago.

Every politician now lines up to say "This celebrity represents the worst in society." The country is also divided pretty evenly, so you can't get away with anything that might offend half of the country.
Really, there's nothing anyone is doing in entertainment that is geared to offend or challenge the status quo?

When was the last time we had a show like "All in the Family?" We don't need a lot, just one. We don't have any (and why I want a new Star Trek show).
You mean a sitcom or comedy series in recent years that tackled racial and other social issues, often by being intentionally offensive to make a point?

The Office
30 Rock
Everybody Hates Chris
Chapelle Show
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Family Guy
The Simpsons

Obviously it's not going to have the same impact as All in the Family did because of the time period it aired, but I would argue that since Ellen and Will and Grace sitcoms have done the same for LGBT issues as AitF and its spin-offs did for racial issues, by making it a mainstream topic.

Everyone multi-tasks and no one wants to sit through a sermon or a lecture, much less an intelligent piece of fiction. And who has the time anymore?
Speak for yourself. I know plenty of people who consume intelligent fiction.

Romanticize or not, we had indie artists in the 1990s. Someone at least was allowed to comment on how bad we had it. We had movies like the Blair Witch Project that came out of nowhere. We had something outside the mainstream.
We have tons of indie artists now. In fact, moreso than ever before thanks to the internet, the thing you just criticized for dividing everyone's attention.

We have kickstarter campaigns to fund low budget films. More films like Blair Witch are being made than ever before. We have people being given opportunities to work on or make professional productions because of YouTube videos they made.

When was the last time we had a blockbuster hit that didn't rely on a superhero premise?
From the distant past of 2013!!!

Oz Great and Powerful
Star Trek Into Darkness
The Croods
Fast and Furious 6
Identity Thief
The Great Gatsby
GI Joe Retaliation
Silver Linings Playbook
Django Unchained
etc.

This is worse that the Blacklist, in my opinion. That was just the government, not an entire country coming down on you.
What a load of nonsense. You really live in your own little world of grossly exaggerated events, don't you? If you had to actually go through being Blacklisted, you would not be spouting such naive rhetoric.

They burned Lebron James' jersey in the street and all he did was change teams. How is he supposed to stand out there and say anything deeper than "Schools good, violence bad?" he's not an artist, but he's hurting his brand, his money, his audience, by standing up and saying anything that someone might disagree with. He's no Muhammad Ali.
You don't think the time Muhammad Ali was most prominent in might have played a part in that, with the civil rights movement and the Vietnam draft? You don't think anyone would step up and fulfill the same role if put into similar circumstances? You don't think there are any celebrity activists for gay rights and other causes right now?

Also, why are you waiting on Lebron James of all people to make a major social or political statement?

So money, our vehement, divided politics, celebrity gossip, divided attention, all threaten to make these people unemployed. That's not a strong environment for controversy or to say something meaningful. And this is true from artists and performers to journalists, musicians, etc.
And yet, somehow, people still manage to make controversial statements all the time, except in whatever magical reality deflecting enclave you've been hiding out in.
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