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Old May 25 2013, 02:04 PM   #76
Rincewiend
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
As I said before, History is rife with cultures going through alternating Golden Ages and Dark Ages-- that's why those terms exist. It's cyclic. Right now we happen to be in the trough-- another crest will come someday.


In Your Opinion

That you don't like certain mainstream music doesn't mean it's a Cultural Dark Age...
Hyperbole much BTW?!?
Really, there is plenty of good music hitting the mainstream, sometimes better than The Doors or The Beatles(IMO)...
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Old May 25 2013, 02:51 PM   #77
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Most popular art is forgotten. There were hundreds, if not thousands of plays performed at the Dionysia in Athens, but only a handful survived the test of time. And even fewer popular novels are remembered. (Yes, the ancient Greeks had a kind of novel.)

What this tells us is not that popular culture is constantly changing, much less progressing. What this tells us is that popular culture is basically not much good. It tries to hit the commercial sweet spot between challenging and overfamiliar. The cheaper productions costs for commercial (aka "popular") art of al kinds means a flood of more mediocrity. Older people who are more familiar with the tricks that commercial art uses tend to value it less. This appears to be the main cause of complaints that standards are lowering, but the increasing mass of mediocrity probably plays a role too. And inexperience tends to lead younger people to overvalue their first exposures.

Incidentally, the generation gap phenomenon is far more about resistance to changes in social mores, rather than directly about art of any kind. Conservatives are more into "kids are rotten" than "kids don't know good art." I don't think anyone here is even tacitly arguing this. I plan on ignoring any such suggestions myself.

The really interesting question is how we could know if standards were really changing. There was not too long ago an effort to objectively study the variety in pop music. As I recall it counted things like types of instruments, changes in key, length of phrases, etc. The results unambiguously indicated that the Sixties were the high point for variety, while the trend since has been for an ever decreasing variety, especially for the most popular songs.

And it is a matter of historical record that people like Ausonius conceived themselves to be artists on par with those of their past. Yes, it is possible for cultural standards to decline. Yes, it is possible for this to be passed off as mere change. No, it is not possible to deride the questioner as a scummy codger who has the temerity to talk as if he weren't innately worthless.

When I was a kid I didn't think I had a right to walk on somebody else's lawn. Reflect.
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Old May 26 2013, 10:30 AM   #78
RJDiogenes
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Rincewiend wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
As I said before, History is rife with cultures going through alternating Golden Ages and Dark Ages-- that's why those terms exist. It's cyclic. Right now we happen to be in the trough-- another crest will come someday.
Hyperbole much BTW?!?
Nope. These are just the realities of history.

stj wrote: View Post
Most popular art is forgotten. There were hundreds, if not thousands of plays performed at the Dionysia in Athens, but only a handful survived the test of time. And even fewer popular novels are remembered. (Yes, the ancient Greeks had a kind of novel.)

What this tells us is not that popular culture is constantly changing, much less progressing. What this tells us is that popular culture is basically not much good. It tries to his the commercial sweet spot between challenging and overfamiliar. The cheaper productions costs for commercial (aka "popular") art of al kinds means a flood of more mediocrity. Older people who are more familiar with the tricks that commercial art uses tend to value it less. This appears to be the main cause of complaints that standards are lowering, but the increasing mass of mediocrity probably plays a role too. And inexperience tends to lead younger people to overvalue their first exposures.

Incidentally, the generation gap phenomenon is far more about resistance to changes in social mores, rather than directly about art of any kind. Conservatives are more into "kids are rotten" than "kids don't know good art." I don't think anyone here is even tacitly arguing this. I plan on ignoring any such suggestions myself.

The really interesting question is how we could know if standards were really changing. There was not too long ago an effort to objectively study the variety in pop music. As I recall it counted things like types of instruments, changes in key, length of phrases, etc. The results unambiguously indicated that the Sixties were the high point for variety, while the trend since has been for an ever decreasing variety, especially for the most popular songs.

And it is a matter of historical record that people like Ausonius conceived themselves to be artists on par with those of their past. Yes, it is possible for cultural standards to decline. Yes, it is possible for this to be passed off as mere change. No, it is not possible to deride the questioner as a scummy codger who has the temerity to talk as if he weren't innately worthless.

When I was a kid I didn't think I had a right to walk on somebody else's lawn. Reflect.
All very good points, particularly the part about young people overvaluing their early exposures to the arts. We all have stuff from our youth that we love that we now know is garbage-- that's nostalgia. But, as I said, there's no problem with liking something even though it's bad or not liking something even though it's good-- as long as you're aware of the difference.

Also interesting is the part about the study of popular music that confirmed that the 60s were a high point. I wonder how many years or decades the study included, because it is consistent with the 40-year-cycle model. And perhaps the reason that the cycle seemed to be a no-show for the Millennium is related to Pingfah's point about the availability of the esoteric on the Internet, plus increasing corporate greed and exploitation-- almost the weaponization of pop culture. I think Gibson was right in All Tomorrow's Parties about the commercialization of counterculture; only instead of the Bridge, we have the Internet.
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Old May 26 2013, 02:35 PM   #79
Gov Kodos
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

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Old May 26 2013, 08:07 PM   #80
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

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Old May 26 2013, 08:17 PM   #81
JarodRussell
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Culture is more and more dictated by greed. That's the basic problem.

I can't find the Youtube video, but Craig Ferguson delivered a great cold open monologue to his show about Why Everything Sucks, it was spot on. Our culture adopted, basically based on marketing strategies, the deification of youth. In previous times, we praised beauty, which is a big difference. Youth comes with inexperience and a lot of other disadvantages.
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Old May 26 2013, 08:21 PM   #82
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Rincewiend wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
As I said before, History is rife with cultures going through alternating Golden Ages and Dark Ages-- that's why those terms exist. It's cyclic. Right now we happen to be in the trough-- another crest will come someday.
Hyperbole much BTW?!?
Nope. These are just the realities of history.
Utter nonsense.
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Old May 26 2013, 08:21 PM   #83
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Culture is more and more dictated by greed. That's the basic problem.

I can't find the Youtube video, but Craig Ferguson delivered a great cold open monologue to his show about Why Everything Sucks, it was spot on. Our culture adopted, basically based on marketing strategies, the deification of youth. In previous times, we praised beauty, which is a big difference. Youth comes with inexperience and a lot of other disadvantages.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin calls it "materialism," I.e. the belief in the material over the spiritual.

www.rabbidaniellapin.com/
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Old May 26 2013, 08:34 PM   #84
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

I'm far, far, far away from being spiritual, and yet I still see that materialism is the wrong way.
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Old May 26 2013, 09:14 PM   #85
marksound
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I'm far, far, far away from being spiritual, and yet I still see that materialism is the wrong way.
Rabbi Lapin has a different definition of materialism. He's an interesting guy. It's worth a look.
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Old May 26 2013, 09:59 PM   #86
thestrangequark
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Culture is more and more dictated by greed. That's the basic problem.

I can't find the Youtube video, but Craig Ferguson delivered a great cold open monologue to his show about Why Everything Sucks, it was spot on. Our culture adopted, basically based on marketing strategies, the deification of youth. In previous times, we praised beauty, which is a big difference. Youth comes with inexperience and a lot of other disadvantages.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin calls it "materialism," I.e. the belief in the material over the spiritual.

www.rabbidaniellapin.com/
You are confusing two totally different meanings of the word materialism. There's materialism that has to do with greed and the possession of things, and then there is philosophical materialism: that everything that exists exists in the natural world and there is no need for all the supernatural and spiritual stuff. As someone who has very few possessions and is still overwhelmed by the fact that everything I own can't fit in one backpack, I am very much not a materialistic individual. However, as someone who understands how science works and who doesn't believe in gods and magic, I am very much a materialist.
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Old May 26 2013, 10:02 PM   #87
RJDiogenes
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I can't find the Youtube video, but Craig Ferguson delivered a great cold open monologue to his show about Why Everything Sucks, it was spot on.
Ah, thanks-- I've been looking for that for months, but I couldn't remember the guys name. It's an excellent (partial) explanation of why contemporary culture is stuck in a state of arrested adolescence.



Kestrel wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Rincewiend wrote: View Post
Hyperbole much BTW?!?
Nope. These are just the realities of history.
Utter nonsense.
Ah, so the Dark Ages and Renaissance never happened. Thanks for clearing that up.
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Old May 26 2013, 10:41 PM   #88
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

I think the modern historical consensus is that the "Dark Ages" weren't as "dark" as we thought for a long time but of course your point that history is cyclical and not linear is absolutely correct.
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Old May 26 2013, 11:13 PM   #89
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

I would like to know the objective criteria for this supposed current cultural dark age.
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Old May 27 2013, 12:36 AM   #90
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

He doesn't like stuff.
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