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#1
I was reminded of a couple things because of the Loot Crate thread Rapture made. This article here does a great job: https://www.adbusters.org/magazine/79/hipster.html


Basically, it's the idea that our generation doesn't create cool, it aggregates it. It's become easy to apply culture to ourselves than to actually participate in it. The biggest example that comes to mind for me is 'gaming culture.' I cringe pretty hard when I go to some of my night classes and I see 20ish year old walking around wearing shirts with video game and comic book logos on them, as nerd culture has gone the way of the Big Bang theory where it's something you can assume rather than have had participated in.

A lot of it is, I think, perpetuated by junk media, like buzzfeed, 9gag, icanhascheesburger, and all those other sites that encourage you to like, click and forget.

Maddox writes a bunch on this here:
http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=ranker_sucks

He's also rips buzzfeed a new one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lni1b3Lw1U


My wife and I go out of our way to not watch reboots, unnecessary sequels, cash-grab video game movies, and other things of the like. We rarely find any movies we're interested in as a result.

Even today's top music is almost exclusively not produced by the artist. Here's more info:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/10/hit-charade/403192/


Do you think our culture no longer values original compositions?
Do you think that this is a trend that will continue?
How bothered are you by the lack of emphasis on original, valuable content?
Why do you think this has become the norm?
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
Last edited by JustRooster at Oct 14, 2015,
#3
I think it's just another cultural paradigm; I don't see any inherent good or bad qualities. While creation has its own merits, synthesis does too. There's been a trend of revisiting pieces of media or reinterpreting them. It's pretty standard Post-Modern shit. There's also a rising prosumer, a consumer that effectively dictates what is produced so they can consume it.

nerd and gaming culture aren't any different from other cultural movements that became more mainstream. It's been kind of nice because I can talk about a lot of my hobbies without having to explain a bunch of stuff. A lot of nerdy subjects are getting movies and shit like that. I don't see why it's immediately disingenuous for someone to wear a shirt associated with hobbies they enjoy. I'm a little pompous to assume that you know their level of dedication or whatever.

I think we're growing to appreciate more easily accessed forms of media. The sites you listed allow people to participate, as you mentioned, in a lot of movements they may not be invested in. Sure, it makes a lot of people assume an identity that isn't really true, but those people would find something to adopt anyway.

I think originality is a romanticized concepts that ultimately is given importance by people who don't know enough about that particular subject. That's usually my experience at least. Humans have essentially done all the basic shit by now; the only thing left is how to express or implement those things. The same chord progression can be played in tons of different styles. At what point does it stop or start being original? It's usually a matter of how the audience construes its meaning, and that's some Post-Structuralist shit from like the 60's.

The "norm" is hard to establish when we experience so little of the overall narrative.
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#4
I am mostly bothered by people who cannot distinguish creation from aggregation and who do not give credit where it is due. But I don't think theres anything inherently wrong in cultural aggregation.

I have LOTS of thoughts on this subject but I may write more when I'm not this tired. Good thread idea
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#5
TIL Maddox is still puttering around
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#6
Never heard of Maddox before, but I like him after that video. Anyone who hates Buzzfeed is cool in my book.

Do you think our culture no longer values original compositions? Kind of. I think there's less value put on it than before, but I don't think that we no longer value original compositions entirely. I think it's part of a product of the eras: the 1990s when most younger generations came up in and/or identified with were a decade of ridiculous prosperity in the west, not to mention technological innovation, as well as the Cold War being over.

The last 15 years since the end of the 90s have been a very different story. The economic boom has disappeared with multiple countries falling into recessions and experiencing financial hardships, most western countries have seen a dramatic decrease in full-time employment opportunities, the peace after the Cold War has been replaced with a fear of terrorism and what seems like a neverending, fruitless struggle in the middle east, the vague threat of nuclear annihilation we understood so poorly we thought ducking under desks would save us from it has been replaced as the biggest thing we're scared of from other parts of the world with real people being beheaded, raped, tortured, and all sorts of other grotesque things on-camera that, while also horrifying, are much more within the average person's ability to comprehend.

Where the 90s seemed peaceful, current times seem hectic and dangerous. The 90s were profitable, while China could very easily collapse economically within the next few years, taking a large part of the world's economy with it. People from the current generations are quite understandably nostalgic, they want to go back to a world before 9/11, before the middle east caught fire again, before the economy fell to pieces. Revisiting old products that feed that desire isn't anything unusual, especially with how escapism-centric a lot of mediums can be.

With that said though, it's not about just bringing back old material and old storylines. You have your TV shows that are just cheap cash-ins on old favorites, your movies that are just cash-grab reboots, your video games that are literally the exact same thing from 2002 but with better graphics, but you also have a lot of new takes on old stories.

What Nolan did to Batman gave the character a different feel than past iterations, venturing away from the cheesy silliness of movies like Batman Forever and returning more to the dark, complex story you saw in the original Burton film, and the result was not only at least two and arguably three really good movies. Iron Man wasn't just a fun silly cash-grab using a famous superhero, it was an entertaining modern recreation of the character that, for all its fantastical elements, was grounded at least somewhat in reality, and was focused as much on Tony Stark's moral conflict after seeing his company's weapons used to kill clashing with Obadiah's desire to keep the money flowing as it was on being a special effects show, and the result was springboarding the rest of Marvel's movies, which haven't all been that great, but have certainly given us plenty of very good films.

I'm harping on movies so much here because that's really the main place other than music that I think it exists. If you look at TV, original content is about as accepted as ever. Breaking Bad, The Blacklist, Parks and Recreation, and Veep are all original TV shows, and all are staples of the last five or six years of TV. Sure you have your retellings like Gotham and your crappy spinoffs like The Cleveland Show, but TV is as open as ever to new content.

Music and games I'll get to down below in why I think it's happening.

Do you think that this is a trend that will continue? Yes and no. While I do think that it's in part so prominent because of the time we're in, I also think that, as I say below, it's something that's been happening for decades before now, and there's always going to be copycat imitations made to try and cash in on the latest trends. We're overwhelmed with superhero movies trying to cash in on Marvel's success just like we were overwhelmed with disaster movies trying to cash in on the success of Titanic and Independence Day in the late 90s, or hair metal bands trying to cash in on Van Halen's success in the 80s, or anything else. People will always be trying to latch onto trends. The fact the current trend is superhero movies and the ultra-polished, highly-processed music production style kind of lends itself to cookie-cutter rehashing and nostalgia grabs, but that's just the current iteration, not anything new.

How bothered are you by the lack of emphasis on original, valuable content? Not very. It still exists, you just have to look to new, different places for it. I'd like to see more mainstream content that's original and new and unique, but it's hardly surprising. Or new. After the outstanding piece that was the original Rocky, Sly Stallone cashed in on four ridiculously-similar sequels before the 80s were over. It's stronger than it is now, but this is nothing new or unusual.

Why do you think this has become the norm? I think what we're seeing is less of a devaluation of original ideas, and more a natural product of the declining role of gatekeepers. Between Youtube, Soundcloud, and Steam, anyone with an idea and the time and skills to make it can put together and publish their own content now. Where you once needed a record label or a major studio to back you, now anyone with an idea can hire independent freelancers to do whatever they can't do themselves, create the content themselves, and use the infinite power of the internet to spread it like wildfire. You can find ungodly scores of independent movies and albums and games on Youtube and Bandcamp and Steam, and while plenty are absolute garbage, you can also find a lot of great work out there if you dig.

The result is that the big-money studios have to bankroll what they know is going to work, because A. they've lost a ton of their leverage now that independent channels are so accessible and technology is so advanced-yet-cheap, B. they have to compete with every smash hit indie idea that pops up(How many games do you think EA has released in the last year that were outsold by Goat Simulator? How many big-time movie releases were seen by fewer people than Kung Fury?), and where independent creators don't lose anything but time if their idea is a flop, big publishers and studios lose literally millions on a flop, so much greater risk means much more conservative gambles, and C. a lot of creatives don't want to deal with them. Especially in the music scene, there's a lot of anti-establishment sentiment, where a lot of up-and-coming content generators, both to maximize their profit from their craft and to maintain creative control, simply don't want to sign onto a big label or a big studio, and would rather make a tenth the profit in exchange for full ownership and full control. If the people with the cool new ideas don't want to send them to the mainstream, they're not going to get there.

Again, because of all this, the big-time operations that supply most mainstream content have to play it safe, because the democratization of content publishing means that their margin for error is smaller, the people with ideas come to them less often, and they can't afford as many risks as they used to. And that's a good thing, because even if it's a pain to dig through, opening the content market up to anyone with an idea, good or bad, is a good thing. It means fewer great ideas will be lost to the annals of history.
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#7
The fractured/divided self is a pretty integral idea to postmodern cultural theory. Nothing new.

Frederic Jameson wrote on this, saying contrary to typical assumptions about postmodernism being a Marxist construct, it is infact the ultimate neoliberal tool, as it allows for a historically irreverent combination of aesthetics and styles that gives a further impression of freedom and creative expression; perfectly exploited and a far cry from the original ideas of the movement(s). As such postmodernism is the ultimate marketing tool, as it can shift and accommodate in ways other theories of aesthetics and culture simply cannot. It's given precedent for a 'second wave' of P-M to be distinguished.

Whether you/I agree with that is another matter, but it's an interesting view. Frankly I find it highly questionable that postmodernism is an inherently leftist movement in the first place, certainly not Marxist. I can't imagine dialectical materialism and/or historical materialism sitting comfortably with p-m AT ALL.

EDIT: this popped up on my feed just now. Rather appropriate. http://thegentlemansarmchair.com/comic/escape-the-9-to-5/
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Last edited by Banjocal at Oct 14, 2015,
#8
Today I learned that the reason that there are so many sequels may or may not be marxism.
THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

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2017 NFL Pick 'Em: 24-7
#9
I was referring to the creation vs aggregation thing. The OP starts by mentioning that fractured thing. I simply link it to the marketing element there; culture nowadays, trends and those nerd t-shirts, is defined and influenced by advertising and media coverage as opposed to more direct discovery. Thus, the business element to the fragmented self. Like above posters have said in a better way, a lot of brands and labels are worn without genuine interest (Ramones t-shirts, Big Bang Theory shite, band patches, superficial liking of bands, defining yourself by the shows you watch, etc etc).

you can't really separate the two at this point. Culture is defined and shaped by market movement, which is controlled by part the public, by part the shareholders. Whether that's good or bad is a different matter.
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#10
When you put it like that it makes much more sense. It being 3 AM may have to do with that though.
THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

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2017 NFL Pick 'Em: 24-7
#12
Do you think our culture no longer values original compositions?

Why would it?

Do you think that this is a trend that will continue?

Duh

Why do you think this has become the norm?

Everyone in the west basically has the same experience of life. How would you have an original idea?
#13
Quote by JustRooster

Basically, it's the idea that our generation doesn't create cool, it aggregates it. It's become easy to apply culture to ourselves than to actually participate in it. The biggest example that comes to mind for me is 'gaming culture.' I cringe pretty hard when I go to some of my night classes and I see 20ish year old walking around wearing shirts with video game and comic book logos on them, as nerd culture has gone the way of the Big Bang theory where it's something you can assume rather than have had participated in.

How much participation does "gaming culture" require? Does there even need to be a culture? Surely if you play games, you're part of it.

Tangentially related rant incoming:
The thing about "nerd culture" that bothers me is not whether they create new content, but the competitive and elitist attitude that the community seems to foster. I'm not saying every member of the culture has this attitude, but it's hard to ignore the ones that do.

Being a nerd used to be something shameful. Then it gradually became cool. All the big media companies are now pandering to nerds, because they've grown up and have disposable income, and an obsession with their intellectual property. This has pushed formerly "nerd-exclusive" things into the mainstream.

Instead of being happy that people are finally showing an interest in their hobbies, nerds have started turning more people away. Now you're expected to prove your dedication to rightfully earn the title of "nerd". Oh, what's that? You haven't built a gaming PC? You can't recite the entire script of every Final Fantasy game from memory? Filthy fucking casual.

That false sense of superiority really shits in my cereal.

As for aggregation, there has always been derivative content. Although Hollywood and the Top 40 Pop Machine keep churning out identical content that's guaranteed to sell, the rise of the internet has put indie creators on a level playing field with the big guys. Indie music, indie games, indie everything has exploded over the past decade.
#14
Do you think our culture no longer values original compositions?

To an extent, yes. It is quite simply less financially risky for corporate culture to reboot something that already exists, then to create something entirely new. People associate with a name or a brand they recognise much more readily than one they don't know, and so they're a lot more likely to cash in on it. This has most likely come out of a need for financial security since the global recession.

Millennials are very nostalgic because biases aside, the 90's were indeed a relatively prosperous decade. The Cold War had ended, the Soviet Union collapsed, the Berlin Wall fell, Margaret Thatcher was ousted and the western world underwent a bit of an economic boom. People want to escape back to that time.

Do you think that this is a trend that will continue?

I think that over time, it'll ease up. It'll never go away though. People have been imitating one another since the dawn of time. There were a lot of successful franchises that rehashed the same formula over and over in the 90's too, with disaster movies.

How bothered are you by the lack of emphasis on original, valuable content?

It depends on the context of what it is that's being imitated and how.

Why do you think this has become the norm?

It always has been to some extent. Its just more now than ever for reasons already mentioned.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Oct 14, 2015,
#16
We live in an age of nostalgia

because the hope for the future has been destroyed by the generations preceding us

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#18
Do you think our culture no longer values original compositions?
What do you mean when you say "our culture"? For the sake of discussion, I'll assume you mean the West (although globalization is creating an exponential hodgepodge-culture worldwide). I think the world has reached a point where there is no need to create and value something intrinsically new because all the permutations of previous ideas have not been assembled yet.

For example:

  • All permutations of mixed-genre music
  • "Old" clothing fashions leaking into "secluded" areas of the world.
  • The trickling effect of technology becoming accessible to lower socioeconomic rungs.
  • All possible linguistic arguments to be hashed out online.


Someone could make the argument that a permutation of cultural symbols and artifacts are something "new" in their own right, but I just think that's being intellectually lazy. Ultimately, there is nothing new under the sun; we've just become faster at playing the same game of the human experience.


Do you think that this is a trend that will continue?
Yeah. Always has been, always will be.


How bothered are you by the lack of emphasis on original, valuable content?
I'm ambivalent about the entire subject. There's beauty in new things, and then there's the cynical foresight to see how an idea will be mass produced and become banal in a short amount of time.


Why do you think this has become the norm?
Beats me.
#20
Honestly Rooster good thread it was what I had in mind when I made Loot Crate thread but couldn't articulate it properly

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#21
Do you think our culture no longer values original compositions?

I think we value them, but the market is focused towards nostalgia and geek culture thing. Geeks like things that are familar to them, and I think that tactic has been extended to wider society.

Do you think that this is a trend that will continue?

For the medium term, yes, but eventually people will be sick of it. Also as children now grow up they will yearn for new things as they have only had regurgitated or reimagined properties, so they will have no nostalgia to live off and they will make new things.

How bothered are you by the lack of emphasis on original, valuable content?

I have a problem with it, because new things are cool and fresh and feel great.

Why do you think this has become the norm?

People would rather pay £10 to see a movie of a property familar to them, or a sequel with actors they know and enjoy rather than take a risk on something original. Which is a shame.

longing rusted furnace daybreak seventeen benign nine homecoming one freight car
#22
Quote by EndTheRapture51
Honestly Rooster good thread it was what I had in mind when I made Loot Crate thread but couldn't articulate it properly



Referenced ya in the OP
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
Last edited by JustRooster at Oct 14, 2015,
#23
Do you think piracy has played a role in homogenizing big-budget productions?
Movie studios, game devs and major record labels are less likely to take risks when sales are already at an all-time low.
#24
Quote by sashki
Do you think piracy has played a role in homogenizing big-budget productions?
Movie studios, game devs and major record labels are less likely to take risks when sales are already at an all-time low.


Movie ticket sales have been largely stable for the last 20 years and revenue has doubled, you might want to rethink your mischaracterization?
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#25
Quote by sashki
Do you think piracy has played a role in homogenizing big-budget productions?
Movie studios, game devs and major record labels are less likely to take risks when sales are already at an all-time low.


For movies - yes, but I've got to the point where I'd rather pay to see an "original" movie like The Martian than yet another Marvel sequel.

Games are different and they take different approaches. I personally think that piracy causes DRM, but it's more the huge risk of a big budget new game, so companies would rather invest in something they know will sell - which is usually old IPs.

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#26
Good thread, enjoying reading.
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#27
I mostly can't see why this is an issue
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#29
Quote by JustRooster
I enjoyed this video.

Yeah that whole channel is pretty great

I think innovation comes in small steps at a time, most of anything we create will just be slightly rehashed ideas taken from all over the place and moulded into something else, which will inspire further iteration and so on. In the process new ideas evolve in the social consciousness/culture.

I don't think a lack of originality exists or at least it's pretty hard to quantify it and compare it to the past. That being said, economic factors definitely encourage mainstream media to stick to their guns and consumers to seek the familiar. Also what we remember as unique and original from past generations is the result of years of this iterative process where only the best are held up and remembered.

cool thread
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#30
Producers and mainstream practitioners are few and far between. I think people are very complicit to consume what little is branded to them, regardless of how much access they have now to original content in comparison to the past.

I think Netflix is taking over now that it produces its own content. It can find out what you like in very generalized, superficial constraints and produce more shit that fits within those constraints.
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#32
Quote by JustRooster

Do you think our culture no longer values original compositions?

has it ever? retroactively yeah, but in the moment did it? The Rite of Spring was not praised for its original composition (at its premiere). Van Gogh died virtually penniless. John Keats sold 200 copies of publications.

To an extent I agree that there is a movement towards rejecting the 'now'. But a lot of it is also to find the undiscovered greats in the past.

Do you think that this is a trend that will continue?



How bothered are you by the lack of emphasis on original, valuable content?
not really, because how can you define "valuable" for things like music taste and sense of humour?
Why do you think this has become the norm?
because it always has been. Romeo and Juliet, or Gnomeo and Juliet, or Rome-Leo (diCaprio) and Juliet, or West Side Story, it's all the same. She's The Man is Twelfth Night. Oh Brother Where Art Thou is the Odyssey. About half the world is either Christian or Muslim which both have the same beginning. This is the way culture has always gone, and it always will, but whatever original content is determined by the observer and nothing more.
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

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#33
Do you think our culture no longer values original compositions?
i mean i think we do -- or at least certain corners of our culture do --- but i think we value the profit margin above all else -- why invest in something new when you can sell people the same stuff over & over again? you know, its not like most people have super refined artistic sensibilities.

and you know i think the whole "new sincerity," "post-irony" whatever-you-wanna-call-the-zeitgeist schtick has something to do with it -- "millennials" wanna share "that feel" with their friends, not be the cynical snob scoffing at 20-somethings who are psyched on nicktoons.

or maybe youre above that -- no naive sap -- & you cannot wait to tell everyone what the 100 best albums you listened to this year were -- as if this is not just an exercise in conspicuous consumption (& aggregation).
Do you think that this is a trend that will continue?
not when bernie turns america into a socialist utopia #feelthebern baby
How bothered are you by the lack of emphasis on original, valuable content?
idk -- its annoying, but i kinda just try to do my thing y'know.
Why do you think this has become the norm?
social media, fast capitalism, savvy marketing scumbags, &c.
#34
Quote by neidnarb11890
Do you think our culture no longer values original compositions?
i mean i think we do -- or at least certain corners of our culture do --- but i think we value the profit margin above all else -- why invest in something new when you can sell people the same stuff over & over again? you know, its not like most people have super refined artistic sensibilities.

and you know i think the whole "new sincerity," "post-irony" whatever-you-wanna-call-the-zeitgeist schtick has something to do with it -- "millennials" wanna share "that feel" with their friends, not be the cynical snob scoffing at 20-somethings who are psyched on nicktoons.

or maybe youre above that -- no naive sap -- & you cannot wait to tell everyone what the 100 best albums you listened to this year were -- as if this is not just an exercise in conspicuous consumption (& aggregation).
Do you think that this is a trend that will continue?
not when bernie turns america into a socialist utopia #feelthebern baby
How bothered are you by the lack of emphasis on original, valuable content?
idk -- its annoying, but i kinda just try to do my thing y'know.
Why do you think this has become the norm?
social media, fast capitalism, savvy marketing scumbags, &c.


There is nothing wrong with creative destruction, you smelly hippy
.
#35
I think now that BuzzFeed has been developing and picking more regular staff, it's been producing way more content than it previously did rather than simply aggregating it (though it still does that a lot)
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#36
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There is nothing wrong with creative destruction, you smelly hippy

oh man
#37
Quote by eGraham at #33637296
I mostly can't see why this is an issue

yea
___

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#38
Quote by vintage x metal
I think now that BuzzFeed has been developing and picking more regular staff, it's been producing way more content than it previously did rather than simply aggregating it (though it still does that a lot)

HANG THE FUCK ON

Didnt you use to be a mod? Im fucking sure you used to be a mod. Im back from a hiatus, and your name rings all sorts of bells. Either you were a mod or I disliked you for some reason, one or the other, or maybe both.
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#39
Quote by METAL_MAN135
HANG THE FUCK ON

Didnt you use to be a mod? Im fucking sure you used to be a mod. Im back from a hiatus, and your name rings all sorts of bells. Either you were a mod or I disliked you for some reason, one or the other, or maybe both.

You just disliked me probably
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it's official, vintage x metal is the saving grace of this board and/or the antichrist




e-married to
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tateandlyle
& alaskan_ninja

#40
Quote by vintage x metal
I think now that BuzzFeed has been developing and picking more regular staff, it's been producing way more content than it previously did rather than simply aggregating it (though it still does that a lot)


No Buzzfeed is still awful

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