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Old May 27 2013, 12:44 AM   #91
Count Zero
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Ah, so the Dark Ages and Renaissance never happened. Thanks for clearing that up.
They happened once. How is that cyclical?
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Old May 27 2013, 01:32 AM   #92
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Also, "Dark Ages" is a... subjective term that was applied afterwards, only applied to one part of the world, and ignores what actually did happen in... what, a near-millenium, right?

Not entirely unlike "OMG culture is sooo dead now"
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Old May 27 2013, 01:39 AM   #93
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Kestrel wrote: View Post
Also, "Dark Ages" is a... subjective term that was applied afterwards, only applied to one part of the world, and ignores what actually did happen in... what, a near-millenium, right?
Yup. It also got applied to another time period (the so-called Greek Dark Ages, the time period between the Mycenian and the Archaic/Classical age), for much the same reason (namely that little was known about that period at first). Later on, as research uncovered more and more, it got replaced by other, more descriptive terms. It's still used for a period of about 50 years but only because we tend to have a hard time letting go of terms once we've coined them.
The "Dark Ages" as a term for the Middle Ages has been phased out by historians quite a while ago.
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Old May 27 2013, 02:22 AM   #94
Locutus of Bored
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
I would like to know the objective criteria for this supposed current cultural dark age.
No problem. It's easy enough to calculate:

YEAR RJ THINKS IT IS WHEN HE WAKES UP
- YEAR RJ REALIZES WE'RE ACTUALLY STILL LIVING IN BECAUSE SOMETHING BAD HAPPENED

+ NUMBER OF YEARS RJ'S WORKED IN WOMEN'S HEALTH
- YEARS HE'S BEEN OUT OF THE FIELD, INDICATING AN ACROSS THE BOARD DECLINE IN WOMEN'S ISSUES

+ YEARLY SALES OF RJ'S SELF-PUBLISHED FAN FICTION IN DOLLARS

- WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE TAKE OF STAR TREK 09 IN MILLIONS
- ST09'S COMBINED NUMBER OF PERCENTAGE POINTS ABOVE 0% SCORE ON ROTTEN TOMATOES AND METACRITIC

- PROJECTED WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE TAKE OF STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS IN MILLIONS
- STID COMBINED NUMBER OF PERCENTAGE POINTS ABOVE 0% SCORE ON ROTTEN TOMATOES AND METACRITIC

- AVERAGE PER EPISODE RATINGS/VIEWERSHIP OF BATTLESTAR GALACTICA REMAKE & SPIN-OFFS

- JJ ABRAMS' AND RON MOORE'S COMBINED AGE IN YEARS, INDICATING CUMULATIVE YEARS OF DARKNESS CREEP INTO ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

+ RJ'S ESTIMATED IQ POINTS OF AUDIENCE OF SHOWS AND MOVIES HE LIKES
- RJ'S ESTIMATED IQ POINTS OF AUDIENCE OF SHOWS AND MOVIES RJ DOESN'T LIKE
+ RJ'S ESTIMATED MATURITY LEVEL OF AUDIENCE OF SHOWS AND MOVIES HE LIKES ON A SCALE OF 1-100
- ESTIMATED MENTAL AGE OF THE KIND OF PERSON WHO WOULD ENJOY THE SHOWS AND MOVIES RJ DISLIKES

+ NUMBER OF REPUTABLE HISTORIANS WHO STILL USE OUTDATED TERMINOLOGY LIKE "THE DARK AGES" TO DESCRIBE AN ERA THAT HAD PLENTY OF SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL PROGRESS, INDICATING A SIMILAR MINDSET TO RJ AND RESISTANCE TO THE SCOURGE OF POLITICALLY CORRECT DOUBLESPEAK

+ ????

= PROFIT, errr, I mean CULTURAL DARK AGES OR CULTURAL RENAISSANCE QUOTIENT (DEPENDS ON NUMBER OF YEARS +/- CURRENT ACTUAL YEAR RESPECTIVELY AS INDICATED BY ABOVE RESULTS).

* ADD 1000 MORE YEARS OF CULTURAL DECLINE IF CULTURAL DARKNESS SCORE LANDS BETWEEN THE 6TH AND 13TH CENTURIES
* ADD SIX MORE CENTURIES OF CULTURAL WINTER IF RJ SEES HIS EGO'S MASSIVE SHADOW
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Old May 27 2013, 02:30 AM   #95
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

About the Middle Ages, does any of the folks who pretend that it was as culturally prosperous as what came before, Rome, or afterwards, Renaissance and modernity, know any writer or philosopher from this time? Literature and philosophy might be an arbitrary choice and perhaps I am just too ignorant but I don't know any writer between Cicero and Shakespeare and Thomas of Aquin plus Meister Eckhardt are the only Middle Age philosophers (or rather theologians which hints at one cultural problem) which come to mind.
Of course the pop cultural notion that the "Dark Ages" were all about burning witches and people believing that the world is flat is nonsensical ... but so is the notion that it was a time like any other.

About why this might not be culturally great times, the point which has already been made, 'increasing commercialization of culture as a result of increasing corporate power', seems fairly objective to me.
I wouldn't go so far and use this as an argument for cultural decline though as there is still plenty of good stuff. It is just harder to find amidst the increasing amount of commercial crap.
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Last edited by horatio83; May 27 2013 at 02:45 AM.
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Old May 27 2013, 03:35 AM   #96
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Assuming you're sticking to Western Europe, a few writers off the top of my head would be Chaucer, Dante and Sir Thomas Mallory (plus whoever wrote the Song of Roland and Beowulf for two more).

Dante also counts for philosophy/theology I'd say, plus William of Ockham, Anselm, and Abelard.
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Old May 27 2013, 04:00 AM   #97
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

The Dark Ages were never a term for the Middle Ages. They were applied in western Europe to roughly 500 to 900 CE. The notion that these were times of technological advancement and social progress depends on redefining cities as a blight and the high culture in cities as some sort of mental oppression.

The continuation of civilization in the Byzantine and Arab empires continues to be ignored but has nothing to do with arbitrarily defining away the collapse of civilization in western Europe. Christianity harshly oppressed cultural life in the Byzantine empire. And eventually the same happened in the successors to the Abbasid caliphate, particularly after al-Ghazali's Destruction of Reason. Fortunately the Arab culture had already helped revive culture in the High Middle Ages via the engagement of such minds as Thomas Aquinas.

The notorious example of the Egyptian cultural stagnation however should alone refute any notions that culture is progressive or cyclical.

Popular culture is more like Philistine art, made to be profitable by virtue of being cheap and imitative.

Much of this discussion seems to be tacitly assuming that popular culture is somehow actually of, from, for and by "the people" and that high culture is an insult to the masses. This kind of faux populism expresses a demagogy common to political conservatives.

PS Double checking I see that "Incoherence of the Philosophers" is the preferred transliteration now. I also see that Averroes was later rather than a contemporary. I'm not sure that it matters since al-Ghazali "won" the debate.
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Old May 27 2013, 09:44 AM   #98
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

horatio83 wrote: View Post
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.
Exactly. It's not about absolutism. Saying that there is no worthwhile artistry during a dark age would be like saying that there are no survivors in a pandemic.

Count Zero wrote: View Post
They happened once. How is that cyclical?
Those are examples, not a comprehensive list.

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
No problem. It's easy enough to calculate:
Well, that was certainly creepy. Excuse me while I back slowly toward the door.
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Old May 27 2013, 10:09 AM   #99
Locutus of Bored
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
No problem. It's easy enough to calculate:
Well, that was certainly creepy. Excuse me while I back slowly toward the door.
Don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out, and be sure to take your cultural dark ages nonsense with you.

Don't worry, nothing creepy was required to compile the list, since you've graced us with the arrogant assertion that your subjective likes and dislikes are the standard we should all live by so many times that it's become like some tedious elevator music that plays in the background of TrekBBS; regrettably familiar and relentless.
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Old May 27 2013, 11:29 AM   #100
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

stj wrote: View Post
The Dark Ages were never a term for the Middle Ages. They were applied in western Europe to roughly 500 to 900 CE.
No but it is a term for early medieval, which although Latin for Middle Ages, is more of a catch-all. At least the medieval historians I know include Dark Ages in their area of study.
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Old May 27 2013, 01:01 PM   #101
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

I stopped following popular music when hip hop artists started getting praised for their "riffs." It's really just a clever name for stealing someone else's music and throwing your lyrics on top of it. Far as the lyrics go...well let's just say I've read more creative stuff from high school amatuers. I just don't find anything inspiring with topics like smacking bitches, drinking gin and juice, and hating police.


Movies are getting just as bad. Now writers aren't even bothering with trying to create new material. They just take an old movie, rewrite it and release it again as something new. There are a few creative types out there , but they are few and far between.
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Old May 27 2013, 01:17 PM   #102
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

ichab wrote: View Post
I stopped following popular music when hip hop artists started getting praised for their "riffs." It's really just a clever name for stealing someone else's music and throwing your lyrics on top of it. Far as the lyrics go...well let's just say I've read more creative stuff from high school amatuers. I just don't find anything inspiring with topics like smacking bitches, drinking gin and juice, and hating police.
You know there is a ton of popular music that has nothing to do with your description here right?
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Old May 27 2013, 02:47 PM   #103
stj
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Deckerd wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
The Dark Ages were never a term for the Middle Ages. They were applied in western Europe to roughly 500 to 900 CE.
No but it is a term for early medieval, which although Latin for Middle Ages, is more of a catch-all. At least the medieval historians I know include Dark Ages in their area of study.
I didn't know mediaevalist today study Visigothic Spain etc. As that is, no regular person means "early mediaeval" when they are talking "Middle Ages." That's why the term High Middle Ages is current when talking more popularly. I suspect that inclusion of the period has more to do with Arthuriana than anything else. Malory is definitely mediaeval, albeit late mediaeval (i.e., after the Black Death.) Ditto de Troyes et al.
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Old May 27 2013, 02:52 PM   #104
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Regular people? Probably not, but I got the impression the pedantry was getting rampant and since I read Medieval History and Language at Uni, I thought I would let you know what the terminology encompasses around the halls of academe.
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Old May 27 2013, 03:07 PM   #105
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

ichab wrote: View Post
Movies are getting just as bad. Now writers aren't even bothering with trying to create new material. They just take an old movie, rewrite it and release it again as something new. There are a few creative types out there , but they are few and far between.
This is funny, and for two reasons. One, it seems to assume that writers dictate what movies are produced and, two, that Hollywood being flooded by a glut of remakes (and, more generally, pre-sold properties) is a new phenomenon.
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