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  1.  (10613.21)
    My nutcase alarm is inevitably triggered by people posting their deepest and darkest thoughts in the "DISENCHANTED" category, created specifically for discussion about a webcomic which doesn't exist yet.
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      CommentAuthortaphead
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012
     (10613.22)
    I keep wondering if the OP likes to volunteer for for valid causes that help children.
    • CommentAuthorcjstevens
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012
     (10613.23)
    @Horrible Warning Si

    Apologies. I think I originally submitted this under 'Main Junction'. Whitechapel automatically selected 'Disenchanted'. Please feel free to change to any category you see best. Additionally, your current run on Crossed online is fantastic. That is all.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012
     (10613.24)
    Ahem. This is Whitechapel, yes? It is a haven of taste, decency and reason, yes? Things may get arbitrarily maggotted if they get out of hand but there is no snarking, yes?

    Good, just checking.
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      CommentAuthortaphead
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012
     (10613.25)
    Okay, see, when I see something like

    I strongly disagree. I believe that there is a steady rise of terrible art-not just literature but music, film, probably poetry and contemporary dance whatever the medium or form, more than ten or twenty years ago. I guess it rises exponentially with each passing day.


    my nostalgia allergies kick in something fierce.

    If you seriously consider bestseller lists a valid gauge of the current state of "civilisation", you're already looking at things all wrong. From where I'm standing, pop-culture-wise, we are currently going through what is pretty much the most tremendous change in bridging the gap between creators and consumers, and what that's been bringing about is an absolutely mindblowing number of grassroots events and cross-pollinating cultural movements.

    (Then again, I'm an unrealistic left-wing Socialist/Communist, as evidenced by my disguised elitism.)
    • CommentAuthorSteve Toase
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012 edited
     (10613.26)
    Couple of factual points. My 'day' job is an archaeologist, specialising in prehistory.
    I mean 2000 years ago only the wealthy educated elite could get there hands on some papyrus to scrawl some theory or art let alone get it distributed to the public. I guess if you wrote/drew or performed something you thought was brilliant and your King/Queen/Pharoah did not like it, you and your family would be viciously murdered

    Rubbish. Art, music and story sit at all levels of society. There has always been transgressive art and shit art, which brings me to your next point.
    The porn frescoes at Pompeii would now rightly be classified as 'valuable'.
    Schoolboy error for anyone looking at the historical significance of art. You've taken imagery from Roman society out of its social context and applied a modern concept of pornography to it. These were worn for good luck and ubiquitous in Roman Society

    Glass phallus



    Retrospect is a very good shit culture filter.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012
     (10613.27)
    You guys, I just...I don't.

    No. I'm not joining this.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012
     (10613.28)
    Wait for me oldhat...phew!
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      CommentAuthortaphead
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012
     (10613.29)
    (Apologies for the snark. I'm ill, old, and cranky.)
  2.  (10613.30)
    hmmph
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      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012
     (10613.31)
    @cjstevens - I wonder if you'd mind editing the author's name out of the title of the thread? It works fine without it and just seems gratuitously personal as it stands. I realise you are being flippant but long negative self-proclaimed ranty OPs on whitechapel don't bring out the best in anyone. However, you have copped it sweet despite being grievously wrong on almost every possible level, so in that spirit of jocular engagement:

    if you wake up extra early every day and spend each second trying your hardest to make a pound note the law of probability dictates that sooner or later you will become rich.

    No, no it really doesn't. There's no law that dictates that. I'm no expert but the root cause of your frustration may have something to do with this misconception.

    I believe that there is a steady rise of terrible art-not just literature but music, film, probably poetry and contemporary dance

    "Our tastefully constructed culture is being misappropriated by the common folk and they're doing ghastly things with it!" as though until just yesterday it was all bards in Lothlorien and now suddenly it's hobbits fisting orcs in the Big Brother house. There's no historical metric I'm aware of but I'm pretty sure people have always been full of shit. There was never any golden age when the art and literature was all perfect and wonderful and classy and challenging. There's always been an awful lot of crap out there, because people A) are annoying and all have some stupid shit they want to say, and B) are intolerant, snobbish and dismissive of the stupid shit that anyone else says. This leads to the universally perceived truth that the world is brim full of annoying stupid shit which can for the most part be safely disregarded.

    Kenyon does not represent any kind of existential threat to some vague notion of artistic worth. She is a woman who has written (I just peeked) a helluva lot of books. I imagine she worked pretty hard, made sacrifices, paid her dues, and banged out several million words that a lot of people apparently enjoyed reading. I don't get why you think she would be deserving of special ire on this board because any of us might not feel thrilled by her work. That's not really what goes on here.

    As for Lil B:
    he is a mediocre American Rapper who has proved that you can basically be very rich and successful from repeating the phrase 'I fucked your bitch' and 'Swag' over and over again. /snip/ I have actually a lot of respect for the guy

    What significant difference do you feel there is between the success of Lil B and the success of Kenyon that would account for why you respect one and deride the other? Is it the swag or something else? Again, I can't help feeling that reflecting on possible answers might help shed light on the origins of the adverse reaction that drove you unwisely into whitechapel's snarky-loving arm-jaws.

    I have no time for unrealistic left-wing Socialist/Communist theory as I believe it is elitism is disguise

    ahem *sips water* Permission to treat the witness as hostile?
  3.  (10613.32)
    @City Creed.
    Do you think he doesn't like Kenyon because there aren't any hobbits fisting orcs?
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012
     (10613.33)
    I know that's why I don't like Kenyon.

    DON'T YOU JUDGE ME!
  4.  (10613.34)
    Puts wig, gavel and jury back in the Acme Instant County Judge box.

    (Picturing very disturbing Crossed LOTR crossover now. Thanks, no really!)
    • CommentAuthorcjstevens
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012 edited
     (10613.35)
    OK I caved, I edited -you are right city creed it was slightly negative-as I originally stated I meant no offence or ill-will it was just a gut reaction and I needed a platform and some intelligent response.. However, I stick to my guns.

    The reason I had to bring writers into the discussion was the amount of awards, critical acclaim and praise she had legitimately won. By contrast Lil B has only been nominated for 2 awards (that I'm aware of). I guess the Romans did not award the phalli-smiths (new terminology?) with vast sums of money, huge praise or believe what they were wearing round their necks was profound or aesthetically valuable, thereby encouraging them to make new variations of phalli that would saturate their world...? The analogy has now confused me...
    I also refuse to believe that anyone can discount the fact that there is clearly now more of an abundance of just 'bad stuff' everywhere; Bad-Stuff 4.0, Bad-Stuff Rebooted, Bad-Stuff The Musical etc. Fine as it stands but from my perspective the 'bad stuff' is rated as high or higher than the 'good stuff' and the people who make the 'bad stuff' are therefore encouraged to make more 'bad stuff' and it permeates our culture and overshadows the 'good stuff' until more people believe that the 'bad stuff' is 'good stuff' and people choose to create more 'bad stuff' as that is the quickest/easiest way to make money and the cycle continues..

    Don't get me wrong I have my guilty pleasures, I think Abba are the shit...
    Oh yeah before I forget @Ben Gwalchmai, I have to admit I saw P.O.T.O four years ago in New York. To be fair I thought it was pretty entertaining, it was just an enjoyable spectacle. The music, the dance, the SFX were pretty impressive, my memory is a bit hazy but at one point the Phantom was swinging on a huge chandelier above the audience and singing and it was actually just quite fun! Over-rated? Probably, but fun nonetheless!

    Last thing RE: Socialism/Communism..I only studied Politics at A-Level, I am no expert. I read history, I read the news. I have nothing against anyone who has left-wing views, I just think if you look at the evidence and the history books it seems that 'Socialism' or 'Communism' is an economic theory that is promoted by the elite to convince the masses that they will be getting a fair society when in reality it just strips the individual of all rights/property/cash/assets and redistributes it to officials who are as evil and corrupt (arguably more so) than the capitalist pigs they claim to despise. I think it is something to be very very suspicious of.

    OK I think I'm done now :)
  5.  (10613.36)
    Not more shit. More media telling you about more shit round the world. See the thread about global immediacy.
  6.  (10613.37)
    Ahh. Am I crazy, or is there something bizarre about a person posting screeds about the collapse of Western Civilization into a horrifying morass of Less Good Art, while simultaneously deriding leftist politics as being... elitist?

    The sheer explosion of cognitive dissonance is making me feel like I'm at a Melt Banana concert or something.
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      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012
     (10613.38)
    Thanks for editing the title.
    So you're saying your real grouse is about the relative number of awards here? Really? So if Lil B won more awards would you hate him more or hate Kenyon less? Yeah, sorry, I really don't think that's it.

    The phallus inserted upthread (sorry) by Steve Toase was not an analogy I think, I'm pretty sure he was trying to make a point about the cultural attitudes of ancient Roman society towards sex and the risks of applying modern Western standards to that.
    I also refuse to believe that anyone can discount the fact that there is clearly now more of an abundance of just 'bad stuff' everywhere
    Again, as Steve points out, the underlying shit levels are the same, it's visible shit levels that have gone through the roof thanks to advances in shit-seeing technology. Sturgeon's Law prevails, and refuse to believe it if you will but this is me flatly discounting the notion that, proportionately, "there is clearly now more of an abundance of just 'bad stuff'."

    You could make an argument here about how increasing corporatisation of the big Hollywood studios hampers the efforts of creatives to bring their vision intact to the screen. You could argue that the big two comics houses are so dependent on their primary assets that they trap them in aspic and churn out endless remakes and rehashes that never move the characters or their stories forward one bit. You could claim that syndicated network television and Friends have so dulled audience expectations that literally any old shit with pretty people snarking at each other can get a few seasons in at the expense of complex and moving psychological dramas about the human condition. You could suggest that the popularity of celebrity autobiographies and ghost-written children's books has led desperate publishers down a path of inexorably diminishing returns. But you're not making any of these arguments. You're just pointing at Ms Kenyon's handsome collection of awards yelling "Doomed! We're all doomed! It's so bad!" Which comes off as not just shortsighted and mean, but utterly devoid of any analytical force.

    I'm not touching the politics discussion as I consider having a maggot-free urethra one of my finer qualities and I'm reluctant to surrender it. Suffice to say that worrying about hypothetical communist elites taking your stuff seems somewhat precious when there are actual capitalist elites currently fucking all of us into a hole in the ground. Also, what Keeper said.
  7.  (10613.39)
    You could make an argument here about how increasing corporatisation of the big Hollywood studios hampers the efforts of creatives to bring their vision intact to the screen. You could argue that the big two comics houses are so dependent on their primary assets that they trap them in aspic and churn out endless remakes and rehashes that never move the characters or their stories forward one bit. You could claim that syndicated network television and Friends have so dulled audience expectations that literally any old shit with pretty people snarking at each other can get a few seasons in at the expense of complex and moving psychological dramas about the human condition. You could suggest that the popularity of celebrity autobiographies and ghost-written children's books has led desperate publishers down a path of inexorably diminishing returns. But you're not making any of these arguments.


    I think this is my underlying problem with the idea behind this thread as well. I mean, I'm a fairly vocal critic (well, not on here, but elsewhere in my life) of the contemporary fine art scene. I think it's become ossified and tied to the heritage of Dada in a way that basically rips its fangs out and reintegrates it comfortably into the plush gallery system.

    But.

    On the other hand, I just finally read The Hunger Games for the first time, and while I wasn't blown away by the writing, I was blown away by the author's willingness to spend time detailing all the complex political nuances of the games and their multitiered, backstabby metagame. It reminded me, in some ways, of Dune For Young Adults.

    Now, I can look at just the rather limited fine art scene and say we're all doomed. Or, I can look at culture as a whole and say that while some media seem to have lost their teeth, other media seem to be picking up the slack. But just declaring the end of Western Civilization... well, that would just make my argument look kind of silly, and it detracts from any real institutional critique that you could give, especially because it ultimately dismisses a lot of creators who are putting out stunning material. (Have you ever watched one of Lady Gaga's ten minute long postmodern music videos, for example? Did you ever even consider giving one a chance?)

    If you're just howling that the end is nigh, your ability to create a fine-grained analysis of what media are failing us and why is totally compromised.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2012
     (10613.40)
    I am about to not make any friends.

    Will someone please kill this freshman level circle jerk of angst!?!?