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Old June 4 2013, 05:01 AM   #182
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
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?
You went back too far. I didn't put yearly parameters on it, but if you look, I talk about the good old 90s. I am not talking about 50 years ago. And even if I was, censorship was a known quantity. When you sat down to write something, you knew you had to do mental gymnastics to get around it, but you could get around it. This isn't for-profit. This is hyper-competitive for-profit where an entertainment company is responsible to shareholders to gain each quarter and to gobble up as much media as they can in order to increase their share of the market. It's not 1,000 cable stations (1,000 managers, etc), it's 3-4 companies and they even own the equipment you are using to get television service. This isn't new, but the divided attention is. This was taking it piece-by-piece to show the whole picture, my previous post, I mean.

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.
My point is that they were ostracized and dismissed easily. Maher has a much smaller audience than he did before, and it shows on the show that he does now. Rush Limbaugh continues to lose sponsors since Sandra Fluke. My point is that you cannot say anything anymore that is controversial and all of those people, whether you like what they said or not, were not censoring themselves. In the 1990s, it blows up in the press a little, and ratings spike. I point to Howard Stern as an example. Now, we are deeply offended and don't want anyone, even in character, to be offensive.

Mel Gibson and Britney Spears? Welcome to ten years ago.
It started ten years ago. There's been a noticeable change in press coverage of stars, and its role in society (they've almost replaced newspapers). It was a story every day for 6-12 months.

Really, there's nothing anyone is doing in entertainment that is geared to offend or challenge the status quo?
It's not the norm now.

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
No, I would consider those shows ripoffs of All In the Family. I mean a show that pushes the creative and social boundaries.

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.
I agree. 1990s.

Speak for yourself. I know plenty of people who consume intelligent fiction.
Cheap shot. As a matter of fact, you're post is full of them. I consume fiction and choose from there whether it's intelligent or not. I have to sift through the crap too much.

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.
I think I addressed this above.

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.
And yet most of the things you find on youtube is not original content. If it's a song, it's a cover.

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
I deserve this one. What I meant to say was nothing original. And look. The Wizard of Oz. Star Trek. GI Joe. Fast and the Furious. The Great Gatsby. The landscape is littered with characters that don't need to become part of our culture. They are already established and beloved.

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?
No. There's something in the NBA called the "Malice at the Palace." Since then, a dress code, players talking about killing the golden calf (Kobe Bryant), and stereotyped answers to everything. There was a player, Roy Hibbert, that came out and said "no homo" at a press conference. No one stepped up and called him out. No one. Jason Collins is the first gay athlete in professional sports to come out. Why isn't the landscape littered with athletes coming out of the closet? Where's that leadership? Phil Jackson said there are no gay basketball players. One has proved him wrong.

Also, why are you waiting on Lebron James of all people to make a major social or political statement?
It gets to my belief that for that much fame, you should come with something that better society. Just my opinion.

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.
And too many times they say nothing, and there's a hyper-sensitivity because it's a celebrity.
"Cogley was old-fashioned, preferring paper books to computers. He had an extensive collection of books, he claimed never to use the computer in his office."
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