A sign of cultural decadence

The major difference between the last century and the ones that previewed it is the fact that we can cut down the 20th century into decades easily. Starting from the 50s, several trends emerged and this is the decade where a new class was formed: Teenagers. Teenagers were given media power and were seen as a stage in the life of everyone. Since then, we can almost assosciate a word per decade to the type of popular trend at the time: (some of these might be negociable) 50; greasers; 60; hippy; 70; disco; 80; rock; 90; pop. Their seemed to be some progression in music as well, starting from the strong use of the electric guitar and falling into the more electronic tones. Yet, something must of happened between the 90s and now as it can easily be seen that a regression has been taking place.

Popular music wise, we've gone from creating music to rehashing music. We're no longer remaking music, we're remixing it. All that means really is that we're not changing anything from the earlier beat, we'll just modify it a bit and add a few sounds over. Now, it's been done for years, remaking music, but it's never been done before that someone illiminates all the words and simply talks over the tracks instead. So we've gone to creating something to showing almost no effort into creating anything.

The same can be seen in popular movie-making. The parody genre being the genre coming out of it all completely knocked out. The standards for parody movies were set by a lot of Lesley Nelson movies, I'm not saying they were the best movies, but let's just say the bar has been completely lowered by the Scary Movie franchise. In a way, it's almost impossible to make a parody movie and release it in theatres wide in North America because most of the audience will be expecting something of the same level. So unless you abide to firing most of the writer's staff and replacing it with a bunch of degenerates, then you might have a few issues.

There is this cultural decadence. A popular trend that most people seem to assosciate themselves with. The whole 'underdog' idea and the whole victim-turned-hero is what gets at teenagers, yet the actual backdrop to most of these stories are so far from the truths and realities that teenagers live in today that it makes no sense that this be popular.

One's gotta ask himself if it was such a great idea to give teenagers media coverage back 60 years ago.

Oh well, just can't wait for the Arab trend to surface. After all, they're true underdogs.


At 17/4/06 4:01 PM, Blogger Portelance said...

You're absolutely right. These past few weeks I have been asking myself the same questions. I discovered a few things from the past which I found to be far more refreshing and innovative than anything produced today.

1. The Frantics - A Canadian comedy troupe from the 80s which just reunited and did a special on the Comedy Channel. I was so completely impressed by these guys. The actors are all outstanding, and their facial expressions are convincing and yet natural. They manage to play a large number of roles without seeming to repeat themselves. A brilliant mix of all the best aspects of Monty Python and Royal Canadian Air Farce, and yet 10x better.

2. David Cronenberg's The Fly. This is horror done properly. While it is a remake of a classic, Cronenberg manages to take the idea, but radically rewrite it while inserting his own sensibilities and interests. A completely satisfying gross-out fest which is believable and plot-based, unlike 99% of "horror" movies. Wonderfully acted by the ever-cult Jeff Goldblum.

3. Mahavishnu Orchestra. A simply outstandingly musical and challenging jazz fusion band from the 1970s. Famous classical guitarist John McLaughlin leads the bunch with a mix of powerful electric and acoustic guitars. Drummer Billy Cobham who, along with McLaughlin, worked on some of Miles Davis' most influential record (Bitches Brew, etc.), is positively raw, agressive, and technically challenging.

The harmonies between McLaughlin's guitar, the synth, and the electric violin(!) are incredible. It's great to hear these guys alternatingly solo and duel with the guitar and violin challenging each other to new heights.


Post a Comment

<< Home