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Old May 19 2013, 10:28 PM   #16
Ain Jalut
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Killing people is less acceptable than it ever was in the history of mankind. We are doing fine.
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Old May 19 2013, 10:46 PM   #17
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

I, on the other hand, mean every disrespect to people who have the gall to claim the rest of the world is "going through a dark age" because popular media is full of mediocrity, while at the same time shamelessly advertising his crappy webcomic.

I think my irony detector just went off scale.
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Old May 19 2013, 11:44 PM   #18
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

teya wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post
Sometimes, people are picked up who have no discernible talent, but they have looks. This has been a staple of modern music for decades. Big time sex appeal has been the focus of rock and roll since Elvis danced about in his blue suede shoes.
I sincerely hope you are not including Elvis among the "no discernible talent" cohort...
Oh, definitely not. I just have him in the "appeal to sex" category. Elvis had enough talent for ten people.
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Old May 20 2013, 12:17 AM   #19
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
"In my day ..." we had to trudge to the library, look things up in the card catalog, and make copies of pages for ten cents each.
When I was a kid we actually had to copy stuff by hand, because there weren't any "XEROX" machines. None. Zero, zip, nada.
You had to copy stuff by writing it down with pencils? We used to dream of having pencils! We had to prick our fingers and write everything in our own blood!

MacLeod wrote: View Post
In some respects our tastes are formed in our formative years. So for example someone growing up in the 1980's might prefer music from that decade and think some of today's music is manufactued rubbish with the winner of this years X Factor. That isn't to say they will dislike all music from the current era.
I think that, regardless of the time in which one's tastes were formed, one can be flexible in judging and appreciating new music -- up to a point. When you reach a certain age, all the latest music sucks.
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Old May 20 2013, 12:37 AM   #20
Count Zero
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Meh, music peaked in the first half of the 18th century, anyway. No one holds a candle to Bach, Händel and Vivaldi in my book.
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Old May 20 2013, 12:41 AM   #21
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

the difference is old people now have access to the intenet to spread their tedious 'in my day..' rose-tinted nostalgia bullshit to the world.

also that elephant webcomic was terrible.
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Old May 20 2013, 12:49 AM   #22
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
I bet we could take a sample from every generation of someone bitching about how culture is degrading, starting with Plato (which is the is the earliest example of which I know), through to today, and prove something -- though I doubt it would be the perpetual down-spiral into buffoonish mediocrity the authors attempt to project.

This is going to sound harsh, so I want to preface it by saying that I mean no disrespect, because many people whom I admire greatly throughout history have expressed the same viewpoint as the OP and some other people in this thread, however, it is indeed the very prolific nature of this observation that demonstrates how ridiculous it is. Honestly, I find the question funny -- the notion that simply because pop culture doesn't suit one's tastes means we are living in some kind of cultural and artistic dark age is so blatantly egotistic and so void of perspective as to be laughable. Pop culture always regresses to the mean. That's why it's popular! If you're too out of touch to find the awesome, innovative, and intelligent art, music, and drama that's being made these days then, like these seemingly endless rants about the seemingly endless devolution of humanity, it says more about you than it does about anything else.
This is going to sound harsh - but this post reminds me of Naomi Wildman saying "It's a small ship." She has limited basis for comparison. Still, you're an awesome person and I respect you. I just don't share your generalized assessment. Talk to me in a couple decades.


iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
I, on the other hand, mean every disrespect to people who have the gall to claim the rest of the world is "going through a dark age" because popular media is full of mediocrity, while at the same time shamelessly advertising his crappy webcomic.

I think my irony detector just went off scale.

Who are you referring to? The OP? Advertising refers to monetization. Sharing refers to free distribution of hobby activities. Not quite the same thing as mainstream culture, but points for trying.

If you were referring to my links, I wrote those while living a life around the planet. A small oasis of familiar experience in a bewildering mass of alien humanity - far outside my little culture that used to seem like the whole world. If you haven't tried it, you should.


I didn't mean to put the young people here on the defensive. Of course young people have a right to self-expression, same as anybody else. I'm not trying to start a generational dichotomy, although that does seem to arise.

I was devouring Plato before some here were born. Those facts do not inform my perspective, they had already been assimilated along with decades of others. Still, a black belt can learn from a green belt. Absolutely. Certainly the green belt does not have to learn from the black belt.


Generation gap aside, concerns about culture don't equate condemnations. I am sorry if people feel I was condemning them, I wasn't. I am instead asking questions - something Google can't do - about what contemporary culture may be depriving the younger generation of without their knowledge or informed consent.

Thanks for responding all! I am learning from each post.

Last edited by Triskelion; May 20 2013 at 12:59 AM.
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Old May 20 2013, 01:44 AM   #23
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Triskelion wrote: View Post
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
I bet we could take a sample from every generation of someone bitching about how culture is degrading, starting with Plato (which is the is the earliest example of which I know), through to today, and prove something -- though I doubt it would be the perpetual down-spiral into buffoonish mediocrity the authors attempt to project.

This is going to sound harsh, so I want to preface it by saying that I mean no disrespect, because many people whom I admire greatly throughout history have expressed the same viewpoint as the OP and some other people in this thread, however, it is indeed the very prolific nature of this observation that demonstrates how ridiculous it is. Honestly, I find the question funny -- the notion that simply because pop culture doesn't suit one's tastes means we are living in some kind of cultural and artistic dark age is so blatantly egotistic and so void of perspective as to be laughable. Pop culture always regresses to the mean. That's why it's popular! If you're too out of touch to find the awesome, innovative, and intelligent art, music, and drama that's being made these days then, like these seemingly endless rants about the seemingly endless devolution of humanity, it says more about you than it does about anything else.
This is going to sound harsh - but this post reminds me of Naomi Wildman saying "It's a small ship." She has limited basis for comparison. Still, you're an awesome person and I respect you. I just don't share your generalized assessment. Talk to me in a couple decades.
Tell me, can you actually argue any of the points I made? Or are you just going to continue waving your Kids These Days banner in my face? The truth is that the insights you had in your original post have been had by countless other people from every generation in recorded history, and yet art and science continue to progress. You seriously lack perspective if you think the handful of years you have on me (or may not have on me -- I have no idea what age you are -- do you even know what age I am?) lend you any greater insight over a cultural phenomenon spanning all of recorded human history. Or are you arguing that people haven't been whining about the devolution of culture for the past 2500 years?

That being said, I'll totally defer to your wisdom if I ever need to learn to drive a stick.
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Old May 20 2013, 05:28 AM   #24
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

J. Allen wrote: View Post
So there is a price to pay in the way we use our technology to produce music and other media, and part of it is that while people can become known much more easily, they can also lose it all just as quickly. Flash in the pan, I believe, will become more common as our technology and time move forward.
"In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
-- Andy Warhol (1968)

I think we're there.
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Old May 20 2013, 05:47 AM   #25
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Kanye is a talented but not to my taste. However, just because something isn't to my taste doesn't mean that it's necessarily bad. I'm not a fan of the show Girls but it's undeniably an intriguing show. I just can't get through a Cormac McCarthy book even though he's clearly talented. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean it's bad.
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Old May 20 2013, 06:46 AM   #26
Triskelion
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

^ Yes, you're right. And you're talking to someone who lived in a collectivist society for a very long time, and who appreciates the significance of individual thought and validity of opinion. Equality of rights, certainly - but not equality of opinion.

I'm not just saying it's bad, or invalid business, or that Kanye has no right to perform. I am saying he would have been kicked in the ass out of my high school music classes, and if people think that's talent, then they are ignorant about musical ability. Of course, stars aren't made of talent alone. I'd say audacity is a far more useful trait.

I do not fault ignorance. I personally am ignorant about a great deal, even in my own field. However, I would go to war against willful ignorance. Willful ignorance is the stuff of inhuman tragedies.

Anyway I just heard 2 songs by him so it's not like I'm summarily judging him. I'm happily proven wrong about such things. He is not the symbol of my argument. It was a glib example to illustrate a larger point - made half in jest - but taken as some sort of ageist attack, so be it, it's really none of my business what people hear or whether they understand what they hear.



I am not saying "The Bounds of Mediocrity are shifting! Waah!"

I am asking, are the bounds of mediocrity shifting?

If the question puts people ill at ease - damn good. I'll take condemnation and caricaturization as encouragement that the question needs to be asked.


Oh, and in addition - some of the issues I grappled with in my experience as an individualist in a collectivist society - raising a child globe-straddling, dealing with the harsh historical realities of collectivistic oppression - are hashed out in satire in my crappy "web comic" - a novel, actually - which will outlive me and inform, I would hope, others beyond my lifespan. Read "Seven in Red" (CH 33). You'll find my take on some issues that could otherwise have gotten my household into very real trouble, were it not couched in satire. I didn't write it for acceptance. I wrote it for myself. And I wrote it - not from crappy daydreams - but from living experience.

But if all people can see is a "crappy web comic" - that is all they need to take from it. Tweet tweet!

Now I'm off to follow the advice of this thread and give equal weight to every Youtube comment I read.

Last edited by Triskelion; May 20 2013 at 07:14 AM.
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Old May 20 2013, 07:36 AM   #27
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

You're coming off as increasingly condescending and closeminded. Also, they're referring to the comic that RJ posted.
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Old May 20 2013, 07:59 AM   #28
Triskelion
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

tl;dr
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Old May 20 2013, 08:47 AM   #29
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

I was talking about RJD's usual shameless self-promoting, but it seems I struck a nerve, eh? Something tells me you don't take criticism very well.
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Old May 20 2013, 09:57 AM   #30
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Yes, the existence and continued success of Oscar Mayer products inclines me to say yes. Standards have been lowered by the desire for easy to acquire, low price, and ease of consumption. Be it music, food, clothing or most else, the model of business for the consumer has diminished expectations, but its alternative is a model where only a few could afford the good, while the rest had cast off leavings. Overall, quality is improved for the greatest numbers of people, but that's OK. Where hardly in bad times, and the Western world, not even inconvenienced so much as bored by our success.
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