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Saturday, June 01, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (June 2019)

The 2018-19 TV season is history, so here’s [Deadline’s] annual list of summer premiere dates for new series and new seasons of returning shows. It covers hundreds of broadcast, cable and streaming series bowing from mid-May through August in various dayparts.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 01, 2019 at 07:30 AM | 1297 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   201. Lassus Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:01 PM (#5848365)
I wanted it on the new page, because I'm self-centered.


15 Historical Complaints About Young People Ruining Everything

It goes back to Socrates, BTW.


Also, as far as bad writing or stupid lyrics, well...
“The Chairman alluding to the problem of young people and their English said his experience was that many did not seem able to express or convey to other people what they meant. They could not put their meaning into words, and found the same difficulty when it came to writing.”
Unable to Express Thoughts: Failing of Modern Young People, Gloucester Citizen, 1936


Ill-informed voters!
“Cinemas and motor cars were blamed for a flagging interest among young people in present-day politics by ex-Provost JK Rutherford… [He] said he had been told by people in different political parties that it was almost impossible to get an audience for political meetings. There were, of course, many distractions such as the cinema…”
Young People and Politics, Kirkintilloch Herald, 1938
   202. Davo Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:02 PM (#5848366)
Shocked to learn he’s also a Pinker-ton!
   203. BrianBrianson Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:05 PM (#5848369)
You're in academia, correct? Or am I remembering that wrong? It sure sounds like you're in a STEM field or otherwise surrounded by that top X% who really are doing that. Or you're taking an extraordinarily long historical view and saying we're more demanding of facts than we were when the humours ruled medicine and such.


Yes, I'm (nominally) a professor, but I'm not making these judgments by looking at the people around me, I'm making them by looking at how people acted historically (admittedly, being in a STEM field where experiments are usually impossible and observations extremely limited, I'm probably more cognizant of these kinds of selection effects than more people).

But - I don't think we disagree much if any about the state of the current day. But I think you're taking a wildly ahistorical view of the past to conclude things are on a downward direction of behaviour.

The idea that we have never been more “demanding of facts and evidence” is a bit hard for me to swallow, as our species balances on the precipice of a global catastrophe and does nothing, literally nothing, to stop it—in fact, we’ve chosen to hasten our descent!


We are, of course, doing a bunch of things (even if you're American and it may feel like you've taken a bit of a step back - but a lot of that is driven by how much was done in America making people feel unduly safe about it). Whether we'll do enough, is hard to say. But this isn't remotely a decline from our previous behaviour - it's really only a reflection of our technical abilities (and numbers). That kind of short-sightedness goes back at least to the first people to settle Australia and the Americas who kicked off the Holocene extinction.
   204. Panik on the streets of Flushing! (Trout! Trout!) Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5848372)
Not being au courant on contemporary music, I take this to mean that Miley Cyrus is an absolutely ####### awesome singer.


I enjoy Cyndi quite a bit more than I do Miley, myself. I was trying to come up with a quirky female pop star that would be comparable. Definitely open to suggestions, no matter how pointless the exercise is.
   205. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:10 PM (#5848374)
But - I don't think we disagree much if any about the state of the current day. But I think you're taking a wildly ahistorical view of the past to conclude things are on a downward direction of behaviour.
Sounds like I'm taking a somewhat shorter historical view. I suppose I agree if you want to compare to centuries ago, but I don't really see how that's particularly relevant.

Young People and Politics, Kirkintilloch Herald, 1938
Again, the persistence of an argument that a thing is getting worse doesn't mean that it isn't actually getting worse.
   206. Davo Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:13 PM (#5848376)
But the Anthropocene and its extinction-level consequences has only become possible due to our technological “progress” and the spread of global capitalism—the two forces which are supported by the overwhelming majority of humans on the planet, all of whom choose to ignore the “facts and evidence” that foretell the hellscape that awaits us as a result of this short-sightedness.

I get that you’re an expert here and I’m a layman. But damn man it’s experts who got us into this mess!
   207. Lassus Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:14 PM (#5848377)
Again, the persistence of an argument that a thing is getting worse doesn't mean that it is't actually getting worse.

If people have been complaining about how much worse everything has been getting since Ogg complained to Grog about his stupid kids, I'm going to take the current complaints a lot less seriously.
   208. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:19 PM (#5848382)
I'm not making a "damn young'uns" argument though! See #182.
   209. Lassus Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:24 PM (#5848386)
I get your reasonable parsing, but the implication is still present. Difficult for it not to be, as you admit.
   210. BrianBrianson Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:25 PM (#5848388)
Hmm, I haven't read Pinker, but the linked article certainly reads like "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When all you have is a critique, everything looks like it needs to be criticised".

It's an entirely backwards interpretation of the facts (how much Pinker really says "so be happy", I don't know, but in Robinson is disingenuous a bunch in that article, so I don't trust him).

That everything is the best its ever been is a compelling reason to continue to work to improve things: because you know its possible. If everything is really getting worse and always has been, it probably doesn't make any sense at all to work to change things for the better, in that case it would almost certainly be impossible and a foolish waste of time.

Of course, this may be personal. But I work a lot more productively when I've accomplished something, things seem possible, I can see how to make progress, than I do when I've accomplished nothing, everything is a disaster and getting worse, and the only action is to lie on the floor, try not to cry, then cry a lot.

I'm not surprised he'd draw a lot of hostility. People who're ideologues* are invested in narrative control - the moment you try to start with facts, you undermine that. It's a bit odd to assert this is an attack on the left - "Actually, the past sucked hard, and the things we're doing today are the best things we've ever done, and we're making all this progress by doing rational, scientific, and progressive things" reads far more like an attack on the right than the left.

*Yes, empiricist is an ideology. Especially when I'm happy to reject logic & reason ;)
   211. Davo Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:28 PM (#5848392)
Whatever changes led to adults classifying the patently obvious statement “Star Wars and Indiana Jones are boring, brainless, stupid pieces of shit” as a condescending observation—Yeah, that’s the issue, that’s the refuge in mindlessness. And it’s by and large adults who’ve done that, not “the youths.”
   212. BrianBrianson Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:37 PM (#5848397)
But the Anthropocene and its extinction-level consequences has only become possible due to our technological “progress” and the spread of global capitalism—the two forces which are supported by the overwhelming majority of humans on the planet, all of whom choose to ignore the “facts and evidence” that foretell the hellscape that awaits us as a result of this short-sightedness.


The lower human impact on the environment* of yesteryear was driven by ~50% child mortality rates, and lot of war, famine, and disease to keep pounding down the adult population. Like, no duh it's supported by the vast majority of humans on the planet. You can't offer them an alternative that overlooks that and expect them to take it. It's a hell of a lot better to take a chance on a technological solution to Global Warming than to revert to a million humans with stone age tech (where I'd have almost certainly died in my first week of newborn jaundice - failing that, of viral encephalitis when I was about 10).

But I'm not an historian, or a climatologist or anything. Being an astronomer probably makes me a bit of an expert at dealing with lousy data sets, selection effects, and such, but you shouldn't just listen to me when I assert things. Ask yourself why you think what you think, google up data on your own.

*Well, humans have been driving large numbers of animals to extinction since our technological progress was naught but sharpening rocks. So this whole noble savage comparison is a little dubious.
   213. BrianBrianson Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:45 PM (#5848404)
Sounds like I'm taking a somewhat shorter historical view. I suppose I agree if you want to compare to centuries ago, but I don't really see how that's particularly relevant.


I don't know the timescale where the noise overpowers the trend, but I don't think it's that long. I'd be skeptical it's as long as a decade. People will no doubt argue data is the plural of anecdote.
   214. PreservedFish Posted: June 04, 2019 at 05:06 PM (#5848414)

TLDR: A lot of challenging movies are challenging for general audiences because they employ formal strategies that are not used in Hollywood movies. But the main reason they're challenging is for the overarching reason in that they demand the audience think about what they are seeing and why they are seeing it....and that has nothing to do with the existence of Hollywood continuity style.)


I actually considered Man with a Movie Camera as an exception to my statement before I pressed submit. And I should have broadened "Hollywood" to encompass storytelling traditions more generally.

Hollywood narrative conventions developed in a predictable way because they were trying to scratch the same itch that people had been using the novel, the play, the opera, the epic poem, the myth, etc to scratch, for millenia. People like stories.

The idea that art is trash if it doesn't challenge this tradition, or cultural hegemony, is total bullshit.
   215. PreservedFish Posted: June 04, 2019 at 05:07 PM (#5848415)
Whatever changes led to adults classifying the patently obvious statement “Star Wars and Indiana Jones are boring, brainless, stupid pieces of shit” as a condescending observation


Except Phantom Menace, that one's solid. Formally daring and bravely unconventional.
   216. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5848419)
Except Phantom Menace, that one's solid. Formally daring and bravely unconventional.
Is it considered a "convention" for a movie not to be a big fat steaming turd with a peanut in it?
   217. BrianBrianson Posted: June 04, 2019 at 05:54 PM (#5848431)
And, of course, calling Star Wars boring and stupid gives the impression you're challenging for the sake of challenging, which isn't worth much (if anything). What the hip kids would call a pizza cutter - all edge and no point.

The Hollywood story conventions are tools - tools that can make it easier to communicate with your audience, to tell the story you want to tell without having to lay all the unimportant bits out. Experimental art mostly fails - that's fine, experiments mostly fail. But when you learn what works, disgarding it for its own sake is silly. Like you do experiments to learn what works, so you can do that in the future</scientist>.

Like, neither Hollywood nor anyone else is perfect at it, but I get so irritated when I go to the Tate Modern gallery, say, and ~95% of the art there is bad because they want to make art that's challenging without worrying about whether it's good. It's tough, I get it, because painting is a solved problem so now you sort of have to be inventive or stylin' or something to make a name. But - ugh.
   218. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 04, 2019 at 06:49 PM (#5848453)
The 3 stations I listen to most are Little Steven's Underground Garage, First Wave (which is indy hits from the 80's though their definition of "indy" I would take some exception with) and XMU which is supposed to be contemporary indy music. ...The Underground Garage is hit and miss but when it hits it's a lot of fun. I wish they wouldn't play any Beatles or Stones or Springsteen, though. They have whole channels for those bands if people want to hear them!


Little Steven once said that the format of the Underground Garage was "The bands that inspired the Ramones, the bands that were inspired BY the Ramones... and the Ramones." That's not really the case, but it's a great mission statement and a very good channel.
   219. Mike A Posted: June 04, 2019 at 06:51 PM (#5848454)
But it's fun to think about if Emma had figured this out also, and therefore bet zero...

Emma touched on this in an interview with Vulture:

"I thought James was going to bet zero because that’s the logical thing to do in that situation. I thought, Do I have to wager anything at all? But when I saw that the category was Shakespeare-related … if there’s a dream category for me, it’s Shakespeare. James had been making so much money, and if he made a huge wager, I didn’t want to lose if I knew the correct response but didn’t wager enough to beat him. I figured I bet on myself knowing the answer, and wagered accordingly."
   220. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 04, 2019 at 07:01 PM (#5848458)
Cyndi Lauper and Miley Cyrus both have tremendous pipes and iconoclastic personalities, though I also can't think of the perfect analogue for Cyrus in the 1980s.

Maybe a rocker like Chrissie Hynde or Joan Jett would be more apropos in spirit, though not in content. Madonna's a better stylistic fit but I'm not really feeling the equivalence. Split the difference with Pat Benatar? That seems like a misfire, also. A puzzlement!
   221. Davo Posted: June 04, 2019 at 07:18 PM (#5848461)
217 - I agree with basically everything you say, which is why I don’t think it’s helpful to portray this dispute as a dichotomy between experimental vs narrative/Hollywood films—and not only because that’s throwing out a ton of great experimental films that do utilize narrative (even late Godard includes narrative),

The dichotomy is that between movies that perpetuate existing cultural ideology (the ideology of Hollywood is “don’t think too much, it’s just a movie, it’s just meant to be entertaining, just consume the product and move on”) versus those that contravene that ideological basis by encouraging contemplation.

It’s predictable that the Hollywood blockbuster has swept over our culture the way it has (this flattening is a nearly inevitable consequence of the spread of global capitalism), but critics and artists shouldn’t cheerlead such a decay, and it’s right to castigate those (like Vaughn) who do.
   222. Omineca Greg Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:01 PM (#5848467)
Deborah Harry.

So, lots can go wrong making macarons.

I would say the three most common issues are:

a) beating the whites: they shouldn't be too soft...or too stiff.

b) overworking the nuts into the whites

c) overbaking/ underbaking time.

I know these aren't really too helpful, but that might be the best I can do from a distance. The one thing that's interesting about meringues, is that due to commercial considerations, what the platonic ideal (no really, he loved his μαρέγκες) of a meringue is, has shifted towards a drier and airier take on the item.

Air is free. Bakers love selling air. The fluffier your meringue, the more air in it, the higher the yield. If you're supposed to get 40 macarons out of a batch, and you only get 36 because you had to drop them at a higher weight to get the size you need, potentially there's your profit...gone. As a customer, you might actually like a slightly denser, more chewy meringue, but if you buy them either mass produced or from bakeries, you'll never get to know.

In a real pastry shop, the baker is going to take his macaron mix and pipe it into different shapes. Discs and squares for cakes and pastries, little blobs for macarons. In a cake/pastry application, the meringue should be as light and crisp as possible, that's the whole point of introducing that layer into the item in the first place; this is not a matter of taste. However, for the stand alone macaron, it is a matter of taste, airy isn't necessarily better, and although it needs a certain crispness, it doesn't necessarily need to be as dry as a popcorn fart (yes, that's a real baking term!). But no shop is going to make two textures of macaron, what a waste of time, especially when there is no real consensus what they should be like, so very dry and very airy it is. We bakers have manufactured a consensus, just like Noam Chomsky said we do (stop giving away our trade secrets, you cunning linguist!).

Here's some real concrete, useful advice when making meringues or any of their variations: pull some out of the oven at different times, so you get a varying set of bakes. And then taste compare, you may be surprised at which ones you like best. A little difference in bake time can make a huge difference in what the final product tastes like. And relax and don't worry so much if you are or if you are not getting maximum volume out of a batch. If something goes wrong and it's not as fluffy as you were hoping, don't sweat it too much; go ahead and bake them; you'll get something different than what you'd buy commercially, which is what you want anyway...why waste your time and effort trying to replicate a bakery made macaron? If that's what you want, you should just buy them instead. Enjoy the imperfection of creation, and know that you've made something that isn't wrong as much as it's just not as versatile and profitable as professionally made ones.
   223. Baldrick Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:01 PM (#5848468)
Davo in 16th century Florence: "All these works by Raphael and Michelangelo by are just perpetuations of the existing cultural ideology - worship God, know your place. It's all boring garbage."
   224. bunyon Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:20 PM (#5848473)
The lower human impact on the environment* of yesteryear was driven by ~50% child mortality rates, and lot of war, famine, and disease to keep pounding down the adult population. Like, no duh it's supported by the vast majority of humans on the planet. You can't offer them an alternative that overlooks that and expect them to take it. It's a hell of a lot better to take a chance on a technological solution to Global Warming than to revert to a million humans with stone age tech (where I'd have almost certainly died in my first week of newborn jaundice - failing that, of viral encephalitis when I was about 10).


Right. The past was not glorious. A hellscape may be coming but that isn't a reason to intentional retreat to a known hellscape. Or, if you're one of the billions still living in a hellscape, not to try to improve your lot.

What's coming is going to be bad but humanity can survive it with technology and, quite possibly, continue to improve standards of living for a large segment of the population. Which is not to say we shouldn't be trying harder than we are to attenuate the coming disasters. However, it isn't politically possible to tell people to go back to a non-technological agrarian lifestyle and it isn't possible to maintain our current living standards with wind and solar alone.

What I imagine will happen is we either solve the technological issues to maintain our living standards through climate change and in the far future Earth re-equilibrates and we adapt, OR, we don't solve the technological challenge and, at some point, experience a massive die-off, to the point where the survivors can re-establish what we call a "modern" civilization in a more sustainable manner (due to their being fewer people) and Earth re-equilibrates. The third possibility is that the die-off is complete and Earth re-equilibrates without us. Life will start over. With the bees, perhaps.
   225. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:28 PM (#5848476)
Cyndi Lauper and Miley Cyrus both have tremendous pipes and iconoclastic personalities, though I also can't think of the perfect analogue for Cyrus in the 1980s.

Maybe a rocker like Chrissie Hynde or Joan Jett would be more apropos in spirit, though not in content. Madonna's a better stylistic fit but I'm not really feeling the equivalence. Split the difference with Pat Benatar? That seems like a misfire, also. A puzzlement!
Exactly - because there is no analog to Miley Cyrus from the '80s, which is my point. There isn't anyone from the '80s you can point to as being as controversial and utterly devoid of content. Empty controversy. Madonna was controversial in the '80s, but there was at least some content there, although not as much as a lot of people seemed to think. That makes her an excellent analog of Lady Gaga. But there is no '80s Miley, just like there is no '80s LMFAO or Lil Pump or Post Malone.
   226. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:41 PM (#5848482)
223--That's awesome. But curious on why people respond. He thinks everyone here is a complete dumbass and only he can bring the light to your darkness
   227. Omineca Greg Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:42 PM (#5848483)
GG Allin?
2 Live Crew?
   228. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:47 PM (#5848484)
GG Allin?
2 Live Crew?
Eh, not really seeing the similarity, but even if they are, they were never mass-market popular.
   229. Omineca Greg Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:48 PM (#5848485)
Mitsou! NSFW...
   230. Omineca Greg Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:50 PM (#5848486)
Eh, not really seeing the similarity, but even if they are, they were never mass-market popular.


"There isn't anyone from the '80s you can point to as being as controversial and utterly devoid of content. Empty controversy."
   231. Omineca Greg Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:52 PM (#5848488)
"As Nasty As They Want To Be" went double platinum.
   232. Omineca Greg Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:54 PM (#5848489)
NOOO!, I'm posting like I'm on discord! But with more tits!
   233. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:00 PM (#5848494)
"There isn't anyone from the '80s you can point to as being as controversial and utterly devoid of content. Empty controversy."
Fair enough. But the "mass popularity" threshold requirement is important - you can probably find an analog to anyone or anything in a small niche market, but I'm talking about stuff that really reflects/influences where the broader culture is at.
   234. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:02 PM (#5848495)
"As Nasty As They Want To Be" went double platinum.
That really wasn't all that much in the '80s, though. Different era. The truly mainstream mass-popular artists sold 5+ million regularly.
   235. Lassus Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:02 PM (#5848496)
Thank you, Omineca Baker G.
   236. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:04 PM (#5848497)
Thank you, Omineca Baker G.
You down with O.B.G.? Yeah, you know me!
   237. Davo Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:10 PM (#5848500)
226- Oh no! I’m a Utopian—I think all people are capable of wondrous feats! I don’t blame people in the slightest; I blame the potpourri of apparatuses that dissuade people from pursuing their higher pursuits.

David Foster Wallace’s essay on the television industry includes a claim I believe in strongly: “People tend to be really similar in their vulgar and prurient and stupid interests and wildly different in their refined and moral and intelligent interests.”

Our current environment is one that is very badly suited for people to pursue those more scarce tastes, and it’s getting worse; the preferred consumer is dumb and happy and utterly convinced a better world is impossible, and thus we are bombarded with the “it’s just entertainment you’re not supposed to think about it” message repeatedly reinforced, with predictable results.

If I blamed individuals for this, I wouldn’t care: “Bad people like bad things.” It’s because I know we are all equal in our ability to enjoy intelligent/moral art that I get so upset by the cultural forces that discourage us from reaching those heights.
   238. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:18 PM (#5848501)
   239. PreservedFish Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:32 PM (#5848504)
Have you heard Miley Cyrus' psychedelic album she did with the Flaming Lips? It's not amazing or anything, but it's a pretty bold move, and she clearly gave zero ##### about mainstream appeal or the international hit-making machine when she made it.
   240. BrianBrianson Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:36 PM (#5848506)
What I imagine will happen is we either solve the technological issues to maintain our living standards through climate change and in the far future Earth re-equilibrates and we adapt, OR, we don't solve the technological challenge and, at some point, experience a massive die-off, to the point where the survivors can re-establish what we call a "modern" civilization in a more sustainable manner (due to their being fewer people) and Earth re-equilibrates. The third possibility is that the die-off is complete and Earth re-equilibrates without us. Life will start over. With the bees, perhaps.


Well, no, there's a case in between, where "modern" civilisation was a dumb luck chance that Europe could dump off excess people due to disease depopulating the Americas/Australia that can't be repeated, and we end up back in a long term up and down off empires that never has the post-1750 takeoff we're in. So just re-cycling ~5000 BC to 1500 AD again and again, with no way out of the establish, grow, collapse civilisations.
   241. Baldrick Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:59 PM (#5848513)
Exactly - because there is no analog to Miley Cyrus from the '80s, which is my point. There isn't anyone from the '80s you can point to as being as controversial and utterly devoid of content. Empty controversy

This is just absurd. I refuse to engage in this conversation anymore. I guess you win.
   242. Omineca Greg Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:02 PM (#5848515)
I'm talking about stuff that really reflects/influences where the broader culture is at.

GG Allin was on Geraldo! And Springer! Apollonian and Dionysian! And poop! Don't forget the poop.

I dunno, 2 Live Crew was a pretty big deal. There would be very few people who listened to music in 1989 who didn't know who they were. But I think you're saying they were an outlier, rather than where everybody was at? And I think that would be fair. But if I didn't have kids, I wouldn't know who Post Malone and Lil Pump were, pop culture is too different now to make direct comparisons like that. What's popular, what's known.

I think there's two parts of this conversation; "relative popularity to each other", which could be defined in a few different ways, and "devoid of content", which again is nebulous territory. Is there a time in rock/pop (say post-1956) when there hasn't been considerable dross on the charts? And I like the dross a lot of times, gives a good snapshot into what was culturally important at the time. If you only listen to the really good stuff, you only get a great artist's interpretation of their time. In many ways it isn't as representative as the crapola.

I love 60s country music. Usually it's completely commercial, but in its quest for money, it's a window into what a certain type of people were thinking...and dreaming of. Very interesting. The commercialism is so transparent, it's culture by plebiscite. Geared to an audience that hasn't left a huge artistic legacy otherwise.
   243. PreservedFish Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:04 PM (#5848516)
This is just absurd. I refuse to engage in this conversation anymore. I guess you win.

It is absurd. Elroy's argument isn't an argument, it's just an opinion, and a lazy ill-founded one at that: that kids these days make shitty music.
   244. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:13 PM (#5848521)
You guys wanna go to the mat defending the musical and songwriting virtues of Miley Cyrus, be my guests. Is Post Malone the postmodern analog to Bob Dylan? I agree with not discussing this anymore.
   245. Omineca Greg Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:21 PM (#5848525)
Our current environment is one that is very badly suited for people to pursue those more scarce tastes

I don't agree at all. Now is the time you can download the rarest and most esoteric films, television and music at the drop of a hat. It's perfectly suited for those with more scarce tastes. The best time ever.
   246. flournoy Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:30 PM (#5848530)
It’s because I know we are all equal in our ability to enjoy intelligent/moral art that I get so upset by the cultural forces that discourage us from reaching those heights.


Specifically what heights would you say that you have achieved here? I'm curious whether your performance art here in this thread should be considered high art or low art. I think low, but various cultural forces have impeded my ability to make that call.
   247. Davo Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:35 PM (#5848531)
246- Likely none (the Internet is terrible for conversations like these, generating more heat than light), but, it’s always possible it’ll help someone someday.
   248. Howie Menckel Posted: June 04, 2019 at 11:34 PM (#5848544)
For a movie that everyone but one person here will admit to watching because it's totally in this demographics hot zone Wrath of Khan has two secondary characters who could not be more different in what they bring to the movie.

I so want to think this is me (I've never seen a Star Wars movie. that said, I try and almost always succeed - I think - in not crapping on entertainment that other people like. whatever floats one's boat....)
   249. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 04, 2019 at 11:52 PM (#5848547)
Let's be honest. If Childish Gambino or Kendrick Lamar were to release a song with the emotional and political heft of "Born in the USA," Elroy wouldn't be aware of it.


Quite possible, which is exactly why I'm asking if you have counterexamples. I'm sure there are some. But how many, relatively speaking?


IF?

How can you have a conversation about the quality of current pop music while seemingly being unaware of one of the biggest hits of the summer last year?

There is tons of powerful, political music out today. Janelle Monae's last album was fantastic and almost entirely a political statement about sexual and racial freedom. Gary Clark Jr.'s last album has plenty of powerful political music. I'm aware of this stuff and I don't even listen to much new music and I'm certainly not tapped into anything.

Pop culture, pop music especially, is fractured, personal and amazing. It can be anything you want it to be right now, you just have to spend like 10 minutes or so looking for it on the internet. Coulda done it while you were making these overly broad statements.

I don't agree at all. Now is the time you can download the rarest and most esoteric films, television and music at the drop of a hat. It's perfectly suited for those with more scarce tastes. The best time ever.


Per usual, this dude gets it.
   250. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 05, 2019 at 01:51 AM (#5848552)
I don't agree at all. Now is the time you can download the rarest and most esoteric films, television and music at the drop of a hat. It's perfectly suited for those with more scarce tastes. The best time ever.


Agreed. To use a hypothetical example, it would have been much harder (i.e. virtually impossible) for someone living in the US, and not travelling overseas, during the 1980s to be a diehard fan of, say, Japanese female-fronted indie rock bands, because the ability to hear those bands, see their videos, and read about them in any English-language publications would have been virtually non-existent. Sure, the occasional band such as Shonen Knife may have been featured on a US compilation or written about in a couple of fanzines, and made a few US fans that way, but it would have been virtually impossible to get a comprehensive view of the scene as a whole, especially without speaking or reading the language. Nowadays, I'm sure that a hypothetical fan of that scene would still miss some important acts because of the language barrier, but would also be able to find out about many acts to enjoy that would never have had any inroads into the US at all in previous times.
   251. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: June 05, 2019 at 04:14 AM (#5848555)
It is for the most part a better world for the film/music fanastic wrt access of rare, old, lost works, but we're backsliding there. The physical media market used to be so much larger and libraries were incredibly diverse. Now everything is a franchise, everything is streaming, everything is ephemeral, no individual works are designed to make a lasting impression on the cultural consciousness.

Thank god for Karagarga.

Anyway, I just spent the last couple of nights watching first Blade Runner and then Alien. A better one-two punch may not exist.

It's it's incredible in Blade Runner how we're only ever given glimpses of 2019 LA for the most part, with so much of it set inside cramped, dark, heavily chiaroscuroed interiors and derelict back alleyways littered with debris and the fossils of conspicuous consumption and industrialization. Everything about it feels inspired and totally weird yet right - like how the burlesque bar where Deckard tracks and kills the first female replicant is a roaring-20s bar, like everyone is either totally oblivious to the irony or simply so cynical they don't care, or how JF Sebastian's apartment full of animatronic toys recalls a forgotten antique shop, or the magician's parlor in Fanny and Alexander, full of magic we don't understand and which is a little bit frightening despite how seemingly innocuous it is. Yet it seduces you into taking it all at face value by shooting the whole thing like a tragic, melancholy noir, complete with the most intensely haunting electro-jazz score ever. And that's all just background to its theological underpinnings of LA as a fallen Babylon, where the humanity is doomed to suffer through no sin of their own - including the replicants, whose suffering is more acute because their god even more flawed.

And then Alien is just the perfect combination of art film and genre. What I noticed more than ever this time is how intense and beautiful the cinematography is - as dark as The Godfather, its portrayal of the labyrinthian Nostromo calling to mind abandoned sewers, access tunnels, mine shafts, caves: dark, unwelcoming, confusing, claustrophobic, frightening. Yet every frame is beautiful and clear and perfectly composed even when the film is at its most frantic and visually assaulting (Ripley's attempted escape during the self-destruct sequence).
   252. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 05, 2019 at 04:53 AM (#5848556)
I don't agree at all. Now is the time you can download the rarest and most esoteric films, television and music at the drop of a hat. It's perfectly suited for those with more scarce tastes. The best time ever.


Perhaps that means, conversely, that there is less need to shine a light on the esoteric film, television, and music, because barriers to entry and access to any potential markets are lower. Film critics don't need to influence movie theaters to show art films as urgently if they're available by streaming for those who care. Cultural commentators who want to enhance discovery of favorite talent can target demographics of interest more directly through social media rather than shouting it out to anyone they can reach that 'you really need to try this album, the zither riffs are a startling deconstruction of Prussian architectural hypocrisy!'

So I agree with the sentiment, but from afar, maybe the depth of creative variety is more hidden from view because the niches in question are carefully targeted. An iceberg, if you like.
   253. PreservedFish Posted: June 05, 2019 at 06:10 AM (#5848558)
IF?

How can you have a conversation about the quality of current pop music while seemingly being unaware of one of the biggest hits of the summer last year?


CP, just to be clear, I was thinking of "This is America" specifically when I made that comment.
   254. PreservedFish Posted: June 05, 2019 at 06:25 AM (#5848559)
Now is the time you can download the rarest and most esoteric films, television and music at the drop of a hat. It's perfectly suited for those with more scarce tastes. The best time ever.


Sorry, this just doesn't fit with Davo's thesis that late stage capitalism ruins everything. But what else would we expect from an avowed shill for the hegemonic forces of 1960's Nashville?
   255. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 05, 2019 at 07:14 AM (#5848562)
CP, just to be clear, I was thinking of "This is America" specifically when I made that comment.


I thought you were, and my comment was more directed at Elroy, but it was late and I was tired (and incredulous) so subtlety was beyond me. Thanks for fighting the good fight.
   256. Omineca Greg Posted: June 05, 2019 at 07:57 AM (#5848567)
But what else would we expect from an avowed shill for the hegemonic forces of 1960's Nashville?

The old man turned off the radio
Said, "Where did all of the old songs go?"
"Kids sure play funny music these days!"
"They play it in the strangest ways."
Said, "It looks to me like they've all gone wild."
"It was peaceful back when I was a child"
Well, man, could it be that the girls and boys
Are trying to be heard above your noise?
And the lonely voice of youth cries

"What is truth?"

[Verse 2]
A little boy of three sitting on the floor
Looks up and says, "Daddy, what is war?"
"Son, that's when people fight and die."
The little boy of three says, "Daddy, why?"
A young man of seventeen in Sunday school
Being taught the golden rule
And by the time another year has gone around
It may be his turn to lay his life down
Can you blame the voice of youth for asking

"What is truth?"

[Verse 3]
A young man sitting on the witness stand
The man with the book says - "Raise your hand!"
"Repeat after me, I solemnly swear"
The man looked down at his long hair
And although the young man solemnly swore
Nobody seems to hear anymore
And it didn't really matter if the truth was there
It was the cut of his clothes and the length of his hair
And the lonely voice of youth cries

"What is truth?"

[Verse 4]
The young girl dancing to the latest beat
Has found new ways to move her feet
The young man speaking in the city square
Is trying to tell somebody that he cares
Yeah, the ones that you're calling wild
Are going to be the leaders in a little while
This old world's waking to a new born day
And I solemnly swear that it'll be their way
You better help the voice of youth find

What is truth?

And the lonely voice of youth cries
What is truth?

Cash
   257. Lassus Posted: June 05, 2019 at 08:23 AM (#5848569)
It’s predictable that the Hollywood blockbuster has swept over our culture the way it has (this flattening is a nearly inevitable consequence of the spread of global capitalism), but critics and artists shouldn’t cheerlead such a decay, and it’s right to castigate those (like Vaughn) who do.

It's really pointless to respond at this point, but movies are LESS popular now than before. 2017 was one of the lowest box-office years in three decades, and movie stars do not come close to dominating popular culture they way they did in the golden age of Hollywood. Nothing has "swept over" anything.
   258. BrianBrianson Posted: June 05, 2019 at 08:44 AM (#5848571)
No, don't you see how much richer and deeper culture would be if we went back to the era where everyone went to see Gone with the Wind in theatres every week for ten straight years?
   259. jmurph Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:12 AM (#5848577)
It's really pointless to respond at this point, but movies are LESS popular now than before. 2017 was one of the lowest box-office years in three decades, and movie stars do not come close to dominating popular culture they way they did in the golden age of Hollywood. Nothing has "swept over" anything.

I don't think this really engages with this particular argument from Davo- you don't need to point to box office (though you certainly can) to make the case that the Marvel movies, to return to the obvious, have "swept over our culture."
   260. jmurph Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:14 AM (#5848578)
Speaking of past pop culture, anyone watch/watching Fosse/Verdon? It's... great? I consumed both seasons of Fleabag recently and am now halfway through Fosse/Verdon, and they're two of the better things I've seen in years (Fleabag more so, it's transcendent).
   261. BrianBrianson Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:25 AM (#5848580)
I don't think this really engages with this particular argument from Davo- you don't need to point to box office (though you certainly can) to make the case that the Marvel movies, to return to the obvious, have "swept over our culture."


It's a valid point, because inflation adjusted, the highest grossing movie of all time was released in 1939, to an America that had less than half the population it does today, made no overseas money, the inflation adjusted cost of a movie ticket was ~$4, and Davo's trying to make the point that movies sweeping over culture today is a recent change, which is totally ahistorical.

It was probably a valid point in 1918, of course. Movies hadn't been sweeping over culture for very long then.
   262. Lassus Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:29 AM (#5848581)
the case that the Marvel movies, to return to the obvious, have "swept over our culture."

I suppose, but comic books have been vastly popular for 75 years (and, like movies, probably less so now, sales-wise), and the Superman movie came out 40 YEARS AGO. (I.... need to sit down.) And the argument wasn't for MARVEL MOVIES in particular, but Hollywood blockbusters in general.
   263. jmurph Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:36 AM (#5848582)
It's a valid point, because inflation adjusted, the highest grossing movie of all time was released in 1939, to an America that had less than half the population it does today, made no overseas money, the inflation adjusted cost of a movie ticket was ~$4, and Davo's trying to make the point that movies sweeping over culture today is a recent change, which is totally ahistorical.

I'm not really reading his argument that way, but fair enough.
   264. Wayne Newton's pet monkey (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5848584)
comic books have been vastly popular for 75 years (probably less so now, sales-wise)


Precipitously so. Fifty years ago the top sellers reported sales in the 1 million range. These days, 1/10th of that -- which would've pretty much ensured cancellation back in the day -- is a rarity.
   265. PreservedFish Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:45 AM (#5848586)
Guys, Davo's entire argument is that capitalism makes everything progressively worse, therefore movies are getting worse. It's not based on evidence, it's theology.
   266. jmurph Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5848589)
Guys, Davo's entire argument is that capitalism makes everything progressively worse, therefore movies are getting worse. It's not based on evidence, it's theology.

Right I think the clearest indication of this is the avowed hatred of "television" as if it were a specific genre or something, and not just a means of consuming visual storytelling. I'm pretty sure most people who saw "Mind the Gap" (one of the Oscar-nominated docs last year, and an all time great one in my view) did so on PBS or the PBS streaming app, not in the theater, where it barely played. There's nothing about the format or structure that makes it cinema vs television.
   267. BrianBrianson Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5848606)
In any event, I have to agree with 251 that Alien is essentially a flawless movie. The immersiveness is so effective, in a way that makes me cranky about overuse of CGI. Indeed, I could gripe about a lot of movies where lousy CGI ruins the believability, and models & such would've been so much better. I'd make exactly the same old man speech about Predator.

And perhaps that I should see Bladerunner.
   268. Davo Posted: June 05, 2019 at 11:31 AM (#5848627)
The most popular movies this year are all gonna be crowd-pleasing action-adventure movies based on existing IP. They’ll all be carefully scrubbed of any controversial elements (no sex, no politics, no religion), and they’ll all hint at a sequel. They’ll all have extremely costly advertising campaigns.

That’s the cultural “flattening” I’m referring to.
   269. PreservedFish Posted: June 05, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5848632)
It is a shame that Hollywood movies have become more homogeneous over the last decade or two, although it's easy to see that it's at least in part a reaction to the rise of television as a vital medium, among other things, like the rise of video games and of Youtube and of the millennials with their supposedly short attention spans and preference for multitasking, all of which should prompt us to wonder whether the culture as a whole has flattened or if only one (significant) aspect of it has. The big studios are nervous about declining ticket sales, and so they've decided to consolidate their offerings and double-down on their advantages. But it seems to me that the culture as a whole is significantly spikier (is that the opposite of flat?) than it likely ever has been.

To bring the two discussions together, the music industry is arguably seeing the same thing happen - that the top popular hits are becoming increasingly homogeneous (and disposable). I don't know if it's true, but if it is, it doesn't really say much about the state of music as a whole, because it's a direct consequence of the fact that there are now so many niches, that alternative scenes are so marvelously accessible, and that the market for mainstream pop has actually shrunk. The music scene hasn't flattened in the slightest, even if the Top 40 has.
   270. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: June 05, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5848640)
And perhaps that I should see Bladerunner.


The Workprint Cut is the classic.

The Ultimate Electric Boogaloo Director's Cut makes me want to kick Ridley Scott in the balls (for the unicorn) and the original US release is a phoned-in VO nightmare (with the beyond stupid happy ending) ...
   271. Lassus Posted: June 05, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5848646)
I watched Ridely Scott's Gladiator-led Robin Hood last night. It did not seem that good.
   272. Davo Posted: June 05, 2019 at 01:00 PM (#5848655)
   273. Lassus Posted: June 05, 2019 at 01:06 PM (#5848658)
You should post more trailers of movies you'd rather people watch.
   274. BrianBrianson Posted: June 05, 2019 at 01:40 PM (#5848667)
It's probably a tautology that the most popular movies are crowd pleasing.

Hmm, if I go back to the year I was born, of the ten highest grossing films, two were direct sequals, two were adaptations of Broadway musicals - the other six do appear to be originals (though two of them were written by the same guy, who more than anyone else is probably responsible for blockbuster movies, the expensive advertising campaigns, etc, that Davo is griping about).
   275. BrianBrianson Posted: June 05, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5848669)
A Disney/Fox space adventure starring Brad Pitt doesn't exactly sound like it won't be a crowd pleasing action adventure film without any controversial elements.

But given my application for an Ad Astra fellowship was rejected today, I think it'd be bad mojo for me to see that film.
   276. Nasty Nate Posted: June 05, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5848671)
But it's fun to think about if Emma had figured this out also, and therefore bet zero...


Emma touched on this in an interview with Vulture:

"I thought James was going to bet zero because that’s the logical thing to do in that situation. I thought, Do I have to wager anything at all? But when I saw that the category was Shakespeare-related … if there’s a dream category for me, it’s Shakespeare. James had been making so much money, and if he made a huge wager, I didn’t want to lose if I knew the correct response but didn’t wager enough to beat him. I figured I bet on myself knowing the answer, and wagered accordingly."
Cool, thanks.
   277. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 05, 2019 at 05:54 PM (#5848741)
Lately I've been reading a lot of contemporary women writers. Rachel Cusk, Rachel Kushner, Emma Cline, Debra Levy, Deborah Eisenberg, Francine Prose, Jennifer Egan, Sally Rooney. Some of the books I've liked a lot, some I've respected without liking as much. But I'm glad that we as a civilization have reached a stage where we don't just reflexively dismiss the potential of half the population.

Not that that dismissal doesn't still happen, and isn't still pernicious. But at least it's no longer the default option.
   278. PreservedFish Posted: June 05, 2019 at 06:07 PM (#5848746)
The Cusk books keep catching my eye in bookstores - I like the cover design - do you recommend?
   279. Wayne Newton's pet monkey (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: June 05, 2019 at 06:09 PM (#5848747)
Lately I've been reading a lot of contemporary women writers. Rachel Cusk, Rachel Kushner, Emma Cline, Debra Levy, Deborah Eisenberg, Francine Prose, Jennifer Egan, Sally Rooney. Some of the books I've liked a lot, some I've respected without liking as much. But I'm glad that we as a civilization have reached a stage where we don't just reflexively dismiss the potential of half the population.


I've noted more than once that for whatever reason, my favorite mystery & suspense writers (I have no real interest in any fiction other than genre works) the past few years have been female -- Jennifer McMahon, Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen, Linda Castillo, Tana French, Megan Abbott, Lisa Unger & at least a couple of others whose names aren't coming to mind just now. The foreshadowings of that trend started around the mid-'90s for me, when I discovered the novels of Sharyn McCrumb & Lia Matera.
   280. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 05, 2019 at 06:30 PM (#5848749)
It is a shame that Hollywood movies have become more homogeneous over the last decade or two, although it's easy to see that it's at least in part a reaction to the rise of television as a vital medium, among other things, like the rise of video games and of Youtube and of the millennials with their supposedly short attention spans and preference for multitasking, all of which should prompt us to wonder whether the culture as a whole has flattened or if only one (significant) aspect of it has. The big studios are nervous about declining ticket sales, and so they've decided to consolidate their offerings and double-down on their advantages. But it seems to me that the culture as a whole is significantly spikier (is that the opposite of flat?) than it likely ever has been.

To bring the two discussions together, the music industry is arguably seeing the same thing happen - that the top popular hits are becoming increasingly homogeneous (and disposable). I don't know if it's true, but if it is, it doesn't really say much about the state of music as a whole, because it's a direct consequence of the fact that there are now so many niches, that alternative scenes are so marvelously accessible, and that the market for mainstream pop has actually shrunk. The music scene hasn't flattened in the slightest, even if the Top 40 has.
OK, so it's apparently fine, and even acknowledged as true, to say that popular movies have by and large become more formulaic and less thoughtful. But when I say the same thing about popular music, I'm being a stupid absurd bitter old a**hole. Got it.

You guys keep mischaracterizing my argument as "the youngz only make sh*tty music," but I've never said that. I have always acknowledged that there is plenty of good music out there for people to find, made by people of all ages. Of course there is, and yes, it's now more accessible than ever for those who want to seek it out. But that's not, by and large, the music that's playing on the pop radio station when I get in an Uber. I've always been arguing only about pop music, definitionally.
   281. BrianBrianson Posted: June 05, 2019 at 06:38 PM (#5848750)
Naw, I'm thinking about it, and I suspect it's far more the case that sequels are good now, whereas historically they were typically lazily put together #### to squeeze a few bucks a la Ghostbusters II. There are still lots of good, new movies making a few bucks. But they're eclipsed, without much declining, by sequels.

Well, and some drama-type movies are moving to TV, which is usually a better format for them anyhow.
   282. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: June 05, 2019 at 06:58 PM (#5848751)
You guys keep mischaracterizing my argument as "the youngz only make sh*tty music," but I've never said that. I have always acknowledged that there is plenty of good music out there for people to find, made by people of all ages. Of course there is, and yes, it's now more accessible than ever for those who want to seek it out. But that's not, by and large, the music that's playing on the pop radio station when I get in an Uber. I've always been arguing only about pop music, definitionally.

I've spent the past few minutes looking at Billboard charts from the '80s. There was an awful lot of mindless crap back then, too.
   283. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 05, 2019 at 07:05 PM (#5848752)
I've spent the past few minutes looking at Billboard charts from the '80s. There was an awful lot of mindless crap back then, too.
Sure. I'm just saying that there's more of it now, and it's more uniformly so. In the '80s you had artists of substance like U2, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, (insert any number of others) who topped the charts and sold huge numbers of albums. Today it's much rarer to find an artist or song of substance in the Top 40. Not impossible, but rare. And I'm pretty sure there wasn't anything analogous to the worst of it, like LMFAO or something, in the '80s.
   284. Omineca Greg Posted: June 05, 2019 at 07:13 PM (#5848754)
The Cusk books keep catching my eye in bookstores - I like the cover design - do you recommend?

I've read Saving Agnes, her first novel. I didn't love it, but I didn't like the protagonist, so that made it rough. I think the ideas in her writing are feminine, you know, some authors you could guess their gender, some are tougher; she'd be an easy one. Lots of people love her writing though, so don't let me dissuade you. I'm sure H&U has some more up to date information anyway. Saving Agnes is 25 years old now...and she's written a lot since then.

I'll lazily continue my ongoing saga of Dalmatian food by linking to the website of Paški sir, Cheese from Pag. Salty island in the path of the bora, inevitably the landscape is described as "lunar". Salt resistant sheep eat salt resistant plants, the ewe's milk has a distinctive taste. That's the short version, but the link is better.

Just a lovely cheese, the younger ones have subtle but still distinctive flavours, not bland. The older ones are stronger, eventually the salt crystallises just a bit. It's not a salt bomb, even the old ones, but if you don't like salty cheeses, it won't be your thing. I loved it. Got it at every meal where it was available, and eventually lucked into a supermarket where they had big wedges of it for half-price, which was kind of weird as it's a gourmet food with limited production and is in high demand, but whatever, don't look a gift cheese in the rind, they always say.

Beverage pairing: Sparkling wine with lavender juice. They make this with moderately sweet sparkling wine, very floral the whole thing. Great pairing, salty, sweet, dairy richness and acidity, floral and herbal. When I get around to it, I'm going to make some lavender juice and see what it can do for Baby Duck, a total garbage wine from my (and seemingly every Canadian's my age) youth. Maybe see how it goes with some Velveeta slices. When people think of me and the Mediterranean, normally they're thinking Mediterranean Avenue.
   285. BrianBrianson Posted: June 05, 2019 at 07:23 PM (#5848756)
Naw, you're still condensing a whole decade, cherry picking what you like, and comparing to a vague impression of the instantaneous current chart.

If I pick 1982 (when I was born), the top ten singles were:

1. Physical - Olivia Newton-John
2. Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
3. I Love Rock 'N Roll - Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
4. Ebony & Ivory - Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
5. Centerfold - The J. Geils Band
6. Don't You Want Me - The Human League
7. Jack & Diane - John Cougar
8. Hurts So Good - John Cougar
9. Abracadabra - Steve Miller Band
10. Hard to Say I'm Sorry - Chicago

I - a few off these bands have merit, but that's a lot of vapid catchy beats.
   286. Omineca Greg Posted: June 05, 2019 at 07:50 PM (#5848768)
Let the Baby Duck flow!

Just a second, just a sec. I get the very strong impression that she may, and I want to hedge a little bit here, but just maybe, she was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar.
   287. BrianBrianson Posted: June 05, 2019 at 08:12 PM (#5848770)
Well, if it has a Beatles heavy soundtrack, I might go or it. I certainly like Across the Universe.

But then, I'm watching The Boondock Saints, probably for the dozenth time. I have no taste. ;)
   288. PreservedFish Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:41 PM (#5848798)
OK, so it's apparently fine, and even acknowledged as true, to say that popular movies have by and large become more formulaic and less thoughtful. But when I say the same thing about popular music, I'm being a stupid absurd bitter old a**hole. Got it.


I went back and looked at your quotes on this. You are right, you've been more measured than I gave you credit for.

Except the Miley comment, which seemed to suggest that there is something fundamentally terrible about today's pop music that wasn't true a couple decades ago. I think that went too far and is false.

So, apologies. Sort of.

You guys keep mischaracterizing my argument as "the youngz only make sh*tty music," but I've never said that.


You know when you're coming at it from the angle of "kids today can't touch Bono and the Boss" you're kind of asking for it.

I have always acknowledged that there is plenty of good music out there for people to find, made by people of all ages. Of course there is, and yes, it's now more accessible than ever for those who want to seek it out. But that's not, by and large, the music that's playing on the pop radio station when I get in an Uber.


But I fear that if you heard a genuinely mindful song in your Uber, you'd scoff at it as just more modern garbage.

LMFAO and Lil Pump suck and maybe they don't have exact analogues from the 80s. But the 80s had plenty of inane #### on the charts. What's the 10's version of Kokomo or We Are the World or We Built this City or Ebony and Ivory?

   289. Omineca Greg Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:49 PM (#5848808)
There will never, ever, ever, be another Jive Bunny!
   290. Omineca Greg Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:00 PM (#5848820)
I nominate Morris Minor and the Majors for LMFAO and Trio for Lil Pump.
   291. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:28 PM (#5848849)
Well, We Are the World and Ebony & Ivory were at least attempts at thoughtful songs. They just weren't very good at it. But that's very different than being intentionally and stridently mindless.
   292. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:32 PM (#5848853)
Beverage pairing: Sparkling wine with lavender juice. They make this with moderately sweet sparkling wine, very floral the whole thing. Great pairing, salty, sweet, dairy richness and acidity, floral and herbal.
This sounds delightful, by the way.
   293. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:32 PM (#5848854)
I have always acknowledged that there is plenty of good music out there for people to find, made by people of all ages. Of course there is, and yes, it's now more accessible than ever for those who want to seek it out. But that's not, by and large, the music that's playing on the pop radio station when I get in an Uber.

I feel like your issue is more with the 96 Telecom Act, which led to mass consolidation in the radio industry and standardized playlists, than with the pop music being made.

However, the songs I referred to above were still on the radio last year. I have no idea what's going on in pop music this year.

That Lil Dicky Earth Day track tried to be important I guess, but it just sucked.
   294. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:36 PM (#5848857)
But I fear that if you heard a genuinely mindful song in your Uber, you'd scoff at it as just more modern garbage.
Come on, that's not fair at all. That's just an assumption you're making. I would love to hear a thoughtful song on pop radio - hell, at this point, it's a good Uber ride if I just manage to avoid Adam Levine and Drake for the whole time.
   295. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:38 PM (#5848859)
However, the songs I referred to above were still on the radio last year.
Again...I've never said that there have been absolutely zero thoughtful songs that have been popular lately.
   296. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:47 PM (#5848873)
Again...I've never said that there have been absolutely zero thoughtful songs that have been popular lately.

I feel you. I'm just saying, some of these songs very well could have been on in an uber you were in. Not likely, but possible. More of an observation than an attempt to argue.
   297. Omineca Greg Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:51 PM (#5848877)
But that's very different than being intentionally and stridently mindless.

Are you making me do the Agadoo?

The Agadoo is best left under its stone.

The world is safer that way.

But they say that sometimes the Agadoo must be released, if only to show those that things aren't as bad as they seem; they could always be Agadoo bad.

And Agadoo was very, very, popular.

It is chiselled on the stone, "This is the place where good taste goes to die. This is the place that makes Milli Vanilli seem organic, and Michael Bolton seem soulful. Do not disturb this stone...it takes 16 tonnes (and what do you get? Another day older, with no Agadoo threat) to hold the Agadoo in the bowels of the Earth where it belongs. We considered blasting the Agadoo off into space, but it could be interpreted as a war crime by alien races. Yes, I am tired of chiselling, but I get double time and a half for overtime; and danger pay being so close to the Agadoo. Yes, this was done when workplace protection was robust, and the public still appreciated a good chisel, thanks for asking."

Behold...THE AGADOO!

Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.

God forgive me.

EDIT: I believe the Agadoo on the right is stuffing his pants. Look and see...if you dare!
   298. manchestermets Posted: June 06, 2019 at 06:10 AM (#5848923)
God forgive me.


I hope you aren't suggesting Black Lace don't make thoughtful pop?
   299. Omineca Greg Posted: June 06, 2019 at 07:42 AM (#5848927)
I guess for awhile there, if you asked Google Assistant what her favourite song was, she answered with "Agadoo".

If somehow you have managed to convince yourself that AI exists to serve humanity and would never harm us, that should be the wake up call you need to see the truth.
   300. PreservedFish Posted: June 06, 2019 at 07:45 AM (#5848928)
Well, We Are the World and Ebony & Ivory were at least attempts at thoughtful songs. They just weren't very good at it. But that's very different than being intentionally and stridently mindless.


I think one issue here is that I really don't define "thoughtful" according to lyrical content. We Are the World and Ebony & Ivory are both extremely well-intentioned and espouse beautiful sentiments. But to me, they're thoughtless, because musically they are rancid treacle.

I mean, so what do you think about Kanye? He's probably past his peak but for 10-15 years he was a massive star with massive critical acclaim, had a constantly evolving musical style that was massively influential, and routinely took on overtly political and 'big idea' subject matter.
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