#1
It seems to me that movies, music and video games (and probably also books, which I don't read as I am intellectually challenged) continue to become "darker and edgier". Every character is, or tries to be, a cynical badass anti-hero. Take Batman, for example. The Adam West-style Batman would just be percieved as ridiculous by today's audience.

A friend of mine recently mentioned that he expects more idealistic characters to make a return in the near future. He says people are getting tired of cynicism and will turn to more idealistic media as a form of escapism from their dull lives.

I actually think the My Little Pony cartoon and its surprisingly large male fanbase serve as an example of this.

What does The Pit think?

inb4 TS doesn't know what idealism is

EDIT: Just to clarify, I'm not saying that I prefer idealism over cynicism. I'm just making an observation here.
Last edited by sashki at Jul 15, 2011,
#2
I agree, however that pony show is boring.
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#3
Can't say I agree. Maybe society is growing up now and realising that there is no place in this world for unfaltering idealism, and that the concept of "good" has always been a blurred grey.
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#5
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#7
Quote by thewho65
There's still quite a nihilistic bent to most movies I see.

Right now, yes, but do you think they'll ever come out of that phase?
Cynicism will always exist, it just seems to be really prevalent right now.
#8
Quote by sashki
Right now, yes, but do you think they'll ever come out of that phase?
Cynicism will always exist, it just seems to be really prevalent right now.

it's not a phase, unless everyone becomes ignorant again....

nevermind, you might be onto something
#9
It's still alive, you just have to look for it.

For example, the anime Gurren Lagann got near-universally highly-positive response from critics. The universe essentially revolves around the concept of "The badasser you are, the more badass power your accumulate." and that, with enough badass power, you can defy the laws of that universe as well, having success at 0% odds and all that.

Most games that have the "Good-guy conversation/bad-guy conversation" dialog options can be played very idealistically, while still having immense success if you know what you're doing.

Admittedly, it is in the minority right now, but I do agree it's coming back, and I'd like to see it do so - The dark stuff is great, but it's also nice now and then to have something that's happy and optimistic about things or is a purely fun nonsensical romp of insanity.
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#10
No, heroes represent the time era. We live in cynical times where there are a lot of ****ed up things that the general population is more aware of, therefore it will continue to be bleak for a while.
#11
I'm interested in why we have this trend of "darker and edgier." Why is our society interested in these particular stories and storytelling?
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#12
I can't stand sugary escapist bullshit.

I don't mind happy endings, but jeez, the world isn't sunshine and rainbows.

Antiheroes don't have to be cynical or badass, anyway. The traditional definition of an antihero is a hero who doesn't fit the classical archetype of "hero." That can include people who are basically complete cowards who are forced into their situation, or people with some other significant flaw that would disqualify them from "hero" status.

Considering how incredibly tired the whole hero meme is (thousands of years old; THOUSANDS), I'm going to be pissed if I can't get my antiheroes in the near future.
#13
Quote by rockingamer2
I'm interested in why we have this trend of "darker and edgier." Why is our society interested in these particular stories and storytelling?


Think about it this way, using superheroes.

During WWII, where propaganda was still accepted, Superman would have things like "It's ok to slap a Jap".

Now, this period of naivety continued until around the Vietnam war, which was the first war to be really documented by journalism and seen first hand by the country. Huge protests, mistrust in government and all that.

Nowadays, it is still like the Vietnam era in a few ways. We are aware of corruption in the government and other issues of war and such due to mass communication. Very few people are unaware of ****ed up aspects such as corporate control or the never ending war in Afghanistan. Because of that, people are darker and more cynical than their 50's counterpart, and that is reflected in popular culture.
#14
Quote by rockingamer2
I'm interested in why we have this trend of "darker and edgier." Why is our society interested in these particular stories and storytelling?


I was asked about this on an essay about humour in AP English: all you have to do is mention "post-9/11 cynicism" to get a perfect score


In my mind, there is definitely a world before Terror and a world after It. Personal intrusion for the sake of "safety" has left us wondering if we'll ever have the carefree lives some older people remember of their youths, "carefree" now being synonymous with "naive." We're simply higher-strung, higher-maintenance, higher everything. Our access to unprecedented amounts of information has been the great egalitarianization of the many, but it's also been a huge intellectual burden on the thoughtful and the paranoid (and the line between the two is increasingly blurred). Hence a seemingly perpetual cynicism
Last edited by thewho65 at Jul 15, 2011,
#15
Quote by rockingamer2
I'm interested in why we have this trend of "darker and edgier." Why is our society interested in these particular stories and storytelling?


It reflects our lives more than bright cheery stuff. We've become immune to the "yay, democracy!" fad of the 18th century, the "yay! nationalism!" fad of the late 19th century, the "yay! technology!" fad of the 20th century, and the next yayfad hasn't popped up yet.

Its coming though, we're in between right now, but it's coming. Then everything will be A-O-AWESOME, until we're let down again.
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#17
Quote by Cap'n Braid
It reflects our lives more than bright cheery stuff. We've become immune to the "yay, democracy!" fad of the 18th century, the "yay! nationalism!" fad of the late 19th century, the "yay! technology!" fad of the 20th century, and the next yayfad hasn't popped up yet.

Its coming though, we're in between right now, but it's coming. Then everything will be A-O-AWESOME, until we're let down again.

Do you think it's important to have something to look forward to and shout "yay" about?
#18
Quote by Cap'n Braid
It reflects our lives more than bright cheery stuff. We've become immune to the "yay, democracy!" fad of the 18th century, the "yay! nationalism!" fad of the late 19th century, the "yay! technology!" fad of the 20th century, and the next yayfad hasn't popped up yet.

Its coming though, we're in between right now, but it's coming. Then everything will be A-O-AWESOME, until we're let down again.

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#19
Quote by ErikLensherr
I agree, however that pony show is boring.
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#21
Quote by sashki
Do you think it's important to have something to look forward to and shout "yay" about?


It should be our own lives and potential, but most people seem afraid of that.

Surely you didn't gather from my post that the constant gullibility of the masses is a good thing?
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#22
Quote by Cap'n Braid
It should be our own lives and potential, but most people seem afraid of that.

Surely you didn't gather from my post that the constant gullibility of the masses is a good thing?

No, but I don't think it would hurt to have a feeling of purpose. However, that is something that can be easily exploited and lead to disaster.

It's hard to be anything but cynical when you're told that the world is going to shit and it's all your fault. Maybe if we believed there was a solution, we'd be more inclined to do something about it. Now that I think about it, our current generation's fad might be "Yay, eco-friendliness".
Last edited by sashki at Jul 15, 2011,
#23
Quote by sashki
No, but I don't think it would hurt to have a feeling of purpose. However, that is something that can be easily exploited and lead to disaster.

It's hard to be anything but cynical when you're told that the world is going to shit and it's all your fault. Now that I think about it, our current generation's fad might be "Yay, eco-friendliness".


Each generation does have a purpose, but the fads are rarely permanent answers to those problems.

However, maybe our generation will be the one that sees through the fads and can....wait....

The problem with all of them in the past though seems to be a resting on the laurels. Each of those things seemed to bring a sense of "and now the world is perfect!"

The solutions of yesterday can easily turn into the poisons of today.
I walk the line between fantasy and reality. One is more fun, the other is where the food is.
Last edited by Cap'n Braid at Jul 15, 2011,
#25
lol @ the people who think "the world" as a whole is just recently coming to understand the atrocities of war, suffering, etc etc
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#26
Quote by sashki
Yay, empty hope.


That reminds me of a conversation me and some friends were having a few days ago. Empty hope isn't a "bad" thing, any more than being filled with cynicism is. A balance has to be found if anything, at the very least in your personal life, is going to change.

Meh, we live once. Why not just do it, y'know?
I walk the line between fantasy and reality. One is more fun, the other is where the food is.
#27
Quote by Dreadnought
lol @ the people who think "the world" as a whole is just recently coming to understand the atrocities of war, suffering, etc etc


I'm not saying that, but of course the mass exposure we get now compared to what it was before Vietnam plays a big role in it. Plus it's just not warfare, it's the economy, the middle-east, etc.
#28
Idealistic heros aren't necessarily escapist. They can let some fiction give some kind of a solution to a problem, instead of pointing out that there is a problem and everyone's a bastard.

It might be because people are less ready to suspend their disbelief due to increasingly realistic special effects and sets and so on. And people expect everyone to be self centered because of what we know about evolution and whatnot - every time a "is true altruism possible" thread pops up on these forums, almost everyone says it isn't.
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#29
Quote by sashki
It seems to me that movies, music and video games (and probably also books, which I don't read as I am intellectually challenged) continue to become "darker and edgier". Every character is, or tries to be, a cynical badass anti-hero. Take Batman, for example. The Adam West-style Batman would just be percieved as ridiculous by today's audience.

A friend of mine recently mentioned that he expects more idealistic characters to make a return in the near future. He says people are getting tired of cynicism and will turn to more idealistic media as a form of escapism from their dull lives.

I actually think the My Little Pony cartoon and its surprisingly large male fanbase serve as an example of this.

What does The Pit think?

inb4 TS doesn't know what idealism is

EDIT: Just to clarify, I'm not saying that I prefer idealism over cynicism. I'm just making an observation here.




"A limited number of actors in the cultural industry means a limited amount of viewpoints and ideas making their way to the general public. It also means that a single message can easily saturate all forms of media to generate consent (i.e. “there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq&rdquo."

Read this and tell me what you think:


"Mass media is the most powerful tool used by the ruling class to manipulate the masses. It shapes and molds opinions and attitudes and defines what is normal and acceptable. This article looks at the workings of mass media through the theories of its major thinkers, its power structure and the techniques it uses, in order to understand its true role in society."

http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/mind-control-theories-and-techniques-used-by-mass-media/
#30
Quote by Arthur Curry


"A limited number of actors in the cultural industry means a limited amount of viewpoints and ideas making their way to the general public. It also means that a single message can easily saturate all forms of media to generate consent (i.e. “there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq&rdquo."

Read this and tell me what you think:


"Mass media is the most powerful tool used by the ruling class to manipulate the masses. It shapes and molds opinions and attitudes and defines what is normal and acceptable. This article looks at the workings of mass media through the theories of its major thinkers, its power structure and the techniques it uses, in order to understand its true role in society."

http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/mind-control-theories-and-techniques-used-by-mass-media/


Another vigilant citizen reader!
I walk the line between fantasy and reality. One is more fun, the other is where the food is.
#31
I'm totally fine with the "dark and edgy" bent that things seem to be going on lately.

I just wish people could find more creative ways to express it other than just being plain ol' dark and edgy.
#32
Quote by mental_zer0
I'm totally fine with the "dark and edgy" bent that things seem to be going on lately.

I just wish people could find more creative ways to express it other than just being plain ol' dark and edgy.

How about "dimmed and agitated?"
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


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#34
Look at ancient Greek gods and goddesses...not exactly the most ideally-heroic folks. Inherent human qualities don't change as much as people think.
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#35
Quote by Beautiful
Look at ancient Greek gods and goddesses...not exactly the most ideally-heroic folks. Inherent human qualities don't change as much as people think.

Heroes in Greek mythology were demigods, though.

/pedantry
#36
Quote by Holy Katana
Heroes in Greek mythology were demigods, though.

/pedantry

This reminds me of an interesting tid bit. Back when Shakespeare was writing, the only heroes (at least in plays) were of some kind of royalty, or at least some person of importance. But as time went on, there were written about regular people who weren't "heroes" at all, such as in Death of a Salesman.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#37
Quote by rockingamer2
This reminds me of an interesting tid bit. Back when Shakespeare was writing, the only heroes (at least in plays) were of some kind of royalty, or at least some person of importance. But as time went on, there were written about regular people who weren't "heroes" at all, such as in Death of a Salesman.

That's the birth of the antihero.

Willy Loman is anything but badass, but he's most certainly an antihero.