Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Wintermute, May 19, 2013.
Must. Resist. Answering...
You might have mentioned it once or twice.
I hope I die before . . . uh . . .er . . . before I get really, REALLY old.
Oh, here is one for the OP and RJD:
That was awesome.
"It's your head you get to think."
Wise, wise words.
Too often for your liking, I assume?
Here's the thing. As Shakespeare wrote (or Rush...) "All the world's a stage and we are merely players, performers and portrayers, each another's audience upon the gilded stage."
Add to that Sturgeon's law, that 90% of everything is crap.
People love to express themselves, but most people have nothing really that important to say, but a lot of people don't care whether they say anything important as long as it is in some way mildly amusing.
When you think of what people prefer to spend their time doing online, what they are doing, more than anything else, is a form of chatting. We're doing it right here. And most chat is disposable small-talk. Which is, arguing about "x is better than y" (like JJ fans vs. the purists). Now, is anybody's post on this subject a work of art?
How about the lengthy comments under youtube videos? How about the ideological flamewars underneath news stories?
Now let's take the next leap up. Internet celebrities who have developed massive followings via merely running off at the mouth about things they probably don't know very much about, but since they exhibit some sort of quirk or wit, people somehow become interested enough in them to sub. Like this guy:
The next step up you have Jersey Shore or AM talk personalities like Rush Limbaugh.
At what point does expression cross over and have some sort of artistic merit? And how many people really care one way or the other?
Just as it might be entertaining to have a beer and listen to your obnoxious friend make a fool of himself by being obnoxious, celebrity these days seems to be driven more often than not by simply being a fool or being shocking, but not really exhibiting any particular talent.
I mean, we're at a stage where memes like Grumpy Cat are getting movie deals.
That's the difference now vs. the time of Plato. Back in Plato's time, only a small elite in Greek society were well versed in the arts. The majority of people were living agrarian lifestyles and they had little knowledge of the arts, because it was long before the printing press.
But now, the field is completely level and democratic. You'd think that the cream would rise to the top, but it doesn't, because like I said, people, by and large, are not looking for transcendent experiences. They are looking for a steady stream of novelty and amusement. And lots of people are capable of doing that.
Nope. Standards are equally low as they've ever been.
Kanye West is overrated and a little irritating but he is good at mixing samples.
I dunno. Do you even talk about anything else? Well, that and how much people suck.
getting passive aggressive about someones cerebral palsy is a new kind of weird
I heard Iguana is Italian. I think he's posted that once or twice.
So ... is he bragging or complaining?
Iguana, you're being a dick.
My favorite part was their reaction to I Am the Walrus.
Also, that video sent me off on a spree of watching similar videos.
Me too. The variation of responses and intelligence in the "Teens React..." videos should put to rest any generalizations about their generation's laziness or lack of respect by shortsighted individuals. Especially enlightening were the reactions to the father shooting his daughter's laptop because of her misbehavior on Facebook, which were not what I was expecting at all from a group of teens, and I don't even look down on them like so many do.
Yes. Yes I am.
That one certainly wasn't what I expected, yeah. The "Teens React" series is probably my favorite too, because they can be hilarious ("..to Slender") but also have some very serious ones as well, and the different intelligent ways they respond can be fascinating. The Amanda Todd one especially is absolutely heartbreaking (and I'd never seen the original video which they react to, which made it doubly so).
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.
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.
You have to search to find someone who isn't saying the same things over and over again. That adds to the collective consciousness. Controversy is the death of a lot of entertainment now.
Therefore, we hear and see the same old, tride-and-true things every day. Even shows I like (Newsroom, Smash) are formulaic. 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. 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.
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).
Our attention is divided by the internet, netflix, cable channels galore, having to work all the time to make ends meet, etc. This means that shows getting 2-3 million viewers can stay on the CW. 10 million is a lot. 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?
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 had innovative movies that changed the way stories were told. When was the last time we had a blockbuster hit that didn't rely on a superhero premise?
Part of being an artist is taking risks--saying things that could offend, saying things that could lose your audience, trying to be ahead of your time, and being good at your craft while doing it. This is worse that the Blacklist, in my opinion. That was just the government, not an entire country coming down on you.
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.
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.
^Yes, TV shows/radio were never more edgy than in the 50's and 60's.
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