Are we culturally stagnant? (in popular culture)

With the deluge of deaths of people who were massively influential in their works I can't help but think that in 60 years when the current culturally important people die off nobody will really give a shit beyond "oh, that's terrible" due to none of those people actually doing anything that is memorable.

I mean let's take J. J. Abrams for example, did he really make any big difference in his works that stuck in people's memories compared to George Lucas? Or Chris Evans, who is a swell guy, but not as important as Harrison Ford?

It makes perfect sense. As a civ produces Great People, the amount of points needed for another Great Person increases. This is why the majority of famous painters, musicians and engineers existed in the more distant past. The only reason we had a surge of actors and directors (the examples you listed) is due to the techs needed for those classes having only been researched recently (and due to the way the Great Person fourmula works, we therefore have a surge of them, and then it tapers off).

Th3Ch33s3Cak3:
It makes perfect sense. As a civ produces Great People, the amount of points needed for another Great Person increases. This is why the majority of famous painters, musicians and engineers existed in the more distant past. The only reason we had a surge of actors and directors (the examples you listed) is due to the techs needed for those classes having only been researched recently (and due to the way the Great Person fourmula works, we therefore have a surge of them, and then it tapers off).

Either that or governments don't spend as much as patricians did to publicly masterbate through ridiculous displays of spending.

That and there's plenty of great artists. Some would probably be happy to just get an email from you asking for their opinion on one of their more obscure works you saw at a Bohemian-esque pseudo private showing. Just that the 'greats' have had a longer timr to be known. Like Van Gogh died penniless and in pain.

Few realized major greatness in life. Hogarth did. But even he was crippled by his "last" masterpiece that hr never got to complete it, because he was terrified of the critics that said he sucked at emulating human flesh with oil. So he agonized, painstakingly, on one portrait of a simple shrimp trader off a side street of London's markets. Even though he didn't complete it, his loving widow (a romance of the ages) proudly displayed it after his death to his critics... the almost excessive attention to detail as to proportion and movement bleeds through. Finding such amazing beauty in even the most 'common' of people. Even in death his devoted wife sought to silence his critics and immortalize even his unfinished works as one of the pinnacle impressionist masterpieces of the era, and one of the greatest visual artists of his age.

Plus the guy invented serialized narrative visual storytelling so you can owe the guy coming up with the world's first, true(ish) 'comic' strips. There's great artists out there. Just governments don't spend as much on it, and most artists don't get enough individual time in the limelight to become seen as if Mozart amidst composers.

There is also the idea of the industrialization of art. From creative suffering to mass appeal consumption. What one might call the 'Warhol effect' and Hollywood. Where the guy basically turned visual arts into a business. Getting other artists and creating what he called "The Factory" ...

On the flipside you have the glamourization of the stage. Where performing arts are almost an ego trainwreck of too much money and too many producers. Primarily because unlike the visual arts, only in the last two centuries has there been an actual means to record real time action. Which basically means the immortalization of persona and thespian, not necessarily script and set direction. Whole lot of underpaid, unsung 'artists' in Hollywood. One of yhe reasons why I have a lot of time for Jackie Chan. Even though not exactly Oscar material, he's one of the few 'personas' that is the full package of practically everything in movies.

That and Clint Eastwood. But for different reasons, albeit same argument. Frankly, if I amgoing to judge an artist ... I want to know they have tried to master all elements of their expression. Not just look good and sound good on a screen. Artists should suffer for their creativity, not bank on a fabrication of themselves to the public. Hence why I rank Clint Eastwood as one of the best artists in Hollywood.

Oh, and before people start ... I rank fashion design higher than literature in terms of purely creative artistic merit. Worldbuilding isn't only in the realm of literature, and using solely common language is not an affirmation of artistry but rather capitulation to necessity. There are some noteworthy exceptions where books openly mindfuck you with the conventions of time and correspondence to uniform identification, like Catch-22, where the words and their precarious and jumbled orders of delivering worldbuilding is itself a creative masterpiece ... but there's a reason why I say artists must suffer for their art.

Heller sure as hell did concerning time spent and any money he would have made by telling a concrete narrative went to publishers and the like well after his initial manuscript run its first printing and everybody in the U.S. panned him and his seeming disparagement of war and capitalism. Even though he was, himself, a war hero who managed to survive countless operations that, in his words, should have killed them 5 times over, concerning the amount of time he spent in the air.

You'd think Americans, like the Europeans and Australians that read his book, might have appreciated his outlook on what it means to actually fight in a war.

Truly the fate of the greats ... underappreciation by their own.

I guess Tarantino needs to give up this idea of "retiring".

Saelune:
I guess Tarantino needs to give up this idea of "retiring".

I still have my doubts he's even serious about it. He can very well say it's what he wants to do but I fully expect him to "come out of retirement" in loose 5 year intervalls because he came up with thad idea he really wants to adapt. He doesn't seem like a guy who can stop from making movie. The man lives and breathes movies.

Well, it takes time. Romero wasn't The Father of Zombie Films until he was a good 20 years into his career or so. To most people living and working at the time he was just another indie horror filmmaker, and with more clunkers than hits. Just like John Carpenter. It's not until you look back that you can see the mark he left along the way in the history of cinema. Maybe 20 years from now we'll see and recognize the artistry of, I don't know... I was going to make a joke but I don't want to be disrespectful of Romero.

Not really, the majority of any media produced is kinda crap. Even the good stuff might not survive the test of time. Its easy to see media as stagnate but the bad stuff will be swept away and only the memorable stuff will remain.

That's like saying we shouldn't care about any artists alive today because they aren't as influential as Shakespeare, Mozart or Michalangelo.

Cultural appreciation can change drastically across generations, certain books and films can pass unappreciated or even heavily criticised in their time and gain newfound appreciation over time, likewise certain influential and popular works can fade into obscurity or be reevaluated negatively by later generations.

No one can predict in the moment what will ultimately stand the test of time or be hailed as the defining influential work of its generation.

Either that or all my nephews and nieces will just lament the eventual passing of their favourite youtubers.
I bet PewDiePies passing will be mourned worldwide.

We likely won't recognize the great artists till they have long gone and buried, as history has taught us sometimes it takes the next century for people to look back or find the work and enjoy it.

One of the requisites to be great is to endure the test of time. 90% of any media is trash, so eventually it's forgotten, unworthy of the same preservation that the other 10% usually gets.

Worgen:
Not really, the majority of any media produced is kinda crap. Even the good stuff might not survive the test of time. Its easy to see media as stagnate but the bad stuff will be swept away and only the memorable stuff will remain.

But what are the memorable stuff? I don't really recall any film that changed the world in some manner. The only medium which evolved memorably is video games but it has a problem of retaining its history (as old games are far more time consuming to play than films).

King Billi:
That's like saying we shouldn't care about any artists alive today because they aren't as influential as Shakespeare, Mozart or Michalangelo.

Cultural appreciation can change drastically across generations, certain books and films can pass unappreciated or even heavily criticised in their time and gain newfound appreciation over time, likewise certain influential and popular works can fade into obscurity or be reevaluated negatively by later generations.

No one can predict in the moment what will ultimately stand the test of time or be hailed as the defining influential work of its generation.

Either that or all my nephews and nieces will just lament the eventual passing of their favourite youtubers.
I bet PewDiePies passing will be mourned worldwide.

i wouldn't go this far to Mozart and the like. Simply finding someone who can approach the ankles of Harrison Ford.

inu-kun:

Worgen:
Not really, the majority of any media produced is kinda crap. Even the good stuff might not survive the test of time. Its easy to see media as stagnate but the bad stuff will be swept away and only the memorable stuff will remain.

But what are the memorable stuff? I don't really recall any film that changed the world in some manner. The only medium which evolved memorably is video games but it has a problem of retaining its history (as old games are far more time consuming to play than films).

The thing about being memorable is that it doesn't mean it will change the world. But maybe it does. The thing is that changing the world doesn't happen in an instant. It would be a slow process and only really start to come to light as the younger generation gets older. I mean its hard to say what media inspired people at a young age and guided their passions was they grew up. Look at starwars, it was heavily inspired by the works of Akira Kurosawa and the old space b movies. We see indie video games taking inspiration from the old 8 and 16 bit games today, such as Shovel Knight.

No, it is only a matter of time. We care about Harrison Ford or George Romero because we grew up with them, they were always present (from our perspective), and they are part of our "classics", but by the time the next generations start growing old, they will find icons that were "always there" from their perspective, like Dwayne Johnson, Emma Watson or Ewan McGregor, for example.

Every time I go to a concert, and I see one about once a month, I ask myself 'in 40 years are people going to be lining up around the block in their thousands to see Miley Cyrus or Adam Lambert sing and dance around?'
And the answer is almost always no. Today's current musicians aren't nearly as influential as Bruce Springsteen, or The Who, or Rolling Stones or even Styx.

Silentpony:
Every time I go to a concert, and I see one about once a month, I ask myself 'in 40 years are people going to be lining up around the block in their thousands to see Miley Cyrus or Adam Lambert sing and dance around?'
And the answer is almost always no. Today's current musicians aren't nearly as influential as Bruce Springsteen, or The Who, or Rolling Stones or even Styx.

Can I borrow your crystal ball, please? I want to know who will be The Beatles of this generation.

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:
Every time I go to a concert, and I see one about once a month, I ask myself 'in 40 years are people going to be lining up around the block in their thousands to see Miley Cyrus or Adam Lambert sing and dance around?'
And the answer is almost always no. Today's current musicians aren't nearly as influential as Bruce Springsteen, or The Who, or Rolling Stones or even Styx.

Can I borrow your crystal ball, please? I want to know who will be The Beatles of this generation.

There won't be one. Duh. That's kinda my point. No one is going to a 70 year old Selena Gomez concert.

Silentpony:

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:
Every time I go to a concert, and I see one about once a month, I ask myself 'in 40 years are people going to be lining up around the block in their thousands to see Miley Cyrus or Adam Lambert sing and dance around?'
And the answer is almost always no. Today's current musicians aren't nearly as influential as Bruce Springsteen, or The Who, or Rolling Stones or even Styx.

Can I borrow your crystal ball, please? I want to know who will be The Beatles of this generation.

There won't be one. Duh. That's kinda my point. No one is going to a 70 year old Selena Gomez concert.

And my point is that the same thing was said by a lot of critics about The Beatles when they first became popular.

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:

CaitSeith:
Can I borrow your crystal ball, please? I want to know who will be The Beatles of this generation.

There won't be one. Duh. That's kinda my point. No one is going to a 70 year old Selena Gomez concert.

And my point is that the same thing was said by a lot of critics about The Beatles when they first became popular.

I really like when people pull from the absolute smallest pool of pop music possible to prove that all music today is worse than it used to be.

shrekfan246:

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:

There won't be one. Duh. That's kinda my point. No one is going to a 70 year old Selena Gomez concert.

And my point is that the same thing was said by a lot of critics about The Beatles when they first became popular.

I really like when people pull from the absolute smallest pool of pop music possible to prove that all music today is worse than it used to be.

Not worse, just not as influential. Remember the Beatles were considered radical because of how long their hair was.

these guys had too long of hair, and that was bad.
And they were the fist Western rock band to play in the USSR.

What memorable, influential musical contribution has Britney Spears done?

And now it's time for the game in which we compete to see who can sound more like their parents.

Trying to predict what will and will not be considered influential half a century from now is a fool's errand. Chariots of Fire won an Oscar over Raiders of the Lost Arc, but which film had a bigger impact on pop culture? In some cases, there are safer bets than others. Ghost have potential to become influential to the future rock and metal scene. And few will question that Edgar Wright is one of the greatest visual comedy directors of our time.

To say that we don't have anyone who is influential now is just being snooty with your nose up in the air. What becomes "canonized" in culture is only possible to see through the lens of hindsight. The Beatles started out as a boy band. Francis Ford Coppola got his start editing porn. And would anyone in the 60's have predicted that Roger Corman would launch the careers of a significant portion of late-20th century Hollywood's A-list?

No. I'd say old media forms are simply reaching a point where they've done practically everything they can. Movies and tv shows have gone to infinity and beyond, and are facing what I'd call the classical music phase: the point at which the form is practically perfected. When was the last time we saw a book that really changed the cultural landscape? The Lord of the Rings?

Newer media forms, however, are just beginning to take off. Games, internet videos and social media still have horizons undreamed of to reach. Hell, you only need to take a look at Steven Suptic's channel on youtube. Has that kind of unscripted, improv-based, reality-bending kind of storytelling been really done before?

I'd even go as far as to say that the media icons and influencers of the future are forming right now on the internet. What will become of people like Pewdiepie, Philip DeFranco, h3h3 productions, FilthyFrank, Idubbbz, and how will they be remembered? The media landscape is in a level of turmoil we haven't seen since I don't even know when. Kids no longer dream of becoming Hollywood superstars as much, but internet celebrities instead. The problem right now is that the landscape and trends change so fast and outlets are born and die within 5 years that it's impossible to figure out what it could really be used for.

The vast majority is specifically promoted and chosen due to it's conformism and the way it matches the formula for other successful things. It's like the AAA gaming industry, only wider. Hence why indie films and games are such a thing these days, and how a lot of bands are having to try different stuff to make it (or just tour a fricking lot).

But bear in mind, a lot of the stuff we know from the 80s wasn't that big in the 80s. Some of the biggest songs of all time got kept off the number 1 spot by things nobody would even remember now. In 30 years, nobody is going to remember Marvel film adaptation number 205, but a unique less popular film that did something new might be a cult classic.

 

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