Decline and alienation

Maybe I’m just getting old, but it seems like recent decades don’t have a distinctive culture in the way past ones do. 40s, 50s,60s,70s,80s,90s etc all had an aesthetic and musical influence.

However ever since around 2007, I’ve felt that the internet/memes/gaming has supplanted pop music as the expression of a generation. And on the internet, you can be part of whatever weird interest or politics based subculture you want. Any obscure genre of music or w/e (this is also how you get weird political and conspiracy communities like the alt right, flat earth, tradcath, even leftypol itself). While you do have occasional GenZ icons like Tekashi, etc. These are nowhere near the “voice of a generation” type icons like Cobain, Jackson, Elvis, etc.

There is no mass youth culture like you had in the past. The meme of generational warfare and indeed generations themselves were started by a culture clash between the boomers and their more conservative parents, but people of all ages are being filtered into subcultures based on race, gender, etc. But mostly shared interests. This balkanization of youth cultures really means we have to abandon the idea of generational conflict, because “generational consciousness/zeitgeist” is really an american meme of the 20th century that now lives on long after its zombified corpse has become irrelevant.

The youth can consume media from both past and present, essentially obviating the function of media as the components of the zeitgeist of an era. While you cannot think of the vietnam war without credence clearwater revival, the music of today is the music of all times and all places. Past and present are collapsed into a single culture vortex through the internet. An ironic 21 year old anarchist shitposter can make a meme video on the Syrian conflict to the soundtrack of Queen, despite the fact that Freddie Mercury died long before he was born.

Also themes and tropes of decline and disintegration are very prominent in not just pop culture (post/post-post apocalyptic movies, etc.) but in general attitudes on both the left and right. The right sees cultural decline of traditional gender norms, religion, white majority etc. While the left sees the decline of wages and protections for the working class. Arguably the right-populist wave that has been sweeping the globe in the later half of the 2010s is a result of the confluence of both these interests.

There is a subconscious idea, which is expressed only in whispers and under seven layers of lacquered irony, that the neoliberal world we inhabit is a mild form of dystopia. A combination of economic inequality, the insatiable drive of neoliberalism to subject all forms of culture and aspects of life to the ruthless logic of the market, and mass technological alienation has produced a world in which the youth struggle to survive. The 1980s dystopian corporate controlled futures portrayed in movies like ROBOCOP and BLADERUNNER really have come to pass, but instead of just wall street types in suits, you can add to that robber baron billionaires such as Musk, Bezos, and the Zuck.

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Haha, keep crafting your TV show idea, I'm into it.

It is probably true that there is less generational identity, but i still think there are clear through lines that will define youth culture today that are different from the past (indie music, modern rap, SJW culture, Twitter/reddit memes, social media). I don't think any youth culture is ever truly unified. In our memories, things are exaggerated and the oddities stand out.


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the kardashians, kylie jenner, taylor swift, kanye west, cardi b, lady gaga, justin bieber

If you haven't already, I think you would enjoy reading Mark Fisher's capitalist realism and also see videos of him on YouTube.
Capitalism, and more vicously, neoliberalism, is replacing genuine culture with consumer culture. We're on avenger 8 or some shit, a Pokemon movie, a Sonic movie, more star wars coming soon, aladin remake, blade runner. It's all rehashing of old cultural symbols. In music, we have rehashing of music of the 60's where some popular music is indistinguishable from music of the original era.
We're shifting the zeitgeist, I argue, as we're slowly realizing that culture has been replaced by marketable symbols. Where being a star wars fan in the early millennia might have given people meaning and purpose, now that meaning has been stripped of it since people are more weary of big companies. As such, they are left without symbols to project unto, and are left in a meaningless dull existence. That's where the new nonsensical memes comes from, it's a projection of the internal sentiment. Why study, why get into debt, why work for my whole life for shit pay, why buy into corporate shit (eg. it's better seen to be a "hipster" or a culture non conformist), nothing makes sense, especially when we're headed to global ecological crisis in a few years.
With politicians failing everywhere, hope in politics is also dead, meaning that we are internalizing that even if we wanted to do something, we can't because it falls in politicians deaf ears.
The initial reaction to this was SJW and the alt right, which gave meaning to some for a while. But this shit is also dead since the alienation was so intense that it fragmented into nothing.
The message should be clear "No future" in the sense that nothing new will come (no VR will assuage the shitty work conditions), ecological collapse, no politician will save us from our current state, no new media will stimulate us (all movies now have the same formula, nothing makes us think anymore), no jobs, no saftey, no family (since parenting goes against the demands of work).
We've brought upon ourselves a Children of Men dystopia, and we're numbed by it's depressive "no future" undertone.

simpsons futurama did it.

Their relationship truly began in "Proposition Infinity", when Amy had split up whith Kif. Kif is hurt by her flirtations and attraction to "bad boys", which he is not. Whilst the crew was attempting to make her feel better, Bender repeatedly tells her to shut up and makes fun of her all night. (Kifs theory regarding Amys attraction to "bad boys" proves to be correct in the scene that follows.)

Amy: Bender, why do you have to be so mean to me?
Bender: Shut up, baby, you love it.
Amy: Don't tell me to shut up! You know what happened to the last guy that told me to shut up?
Bender: What?
[Scene: Amy's apartment. Amy and Bender are in bed together.]
Amy: That was great.
Bender: (sexfully) Shut up. [Amy climbs on top of him and they start kissing] Come over here.

After this, Amy and Bender discover a mutual attraction for each other and engage in an active sex life. They enter into a taboo robosexual relationship, keeping it a secret from their co-workers. Eventually Bender and Amy get caught making love by the entire crew. Professor Farnsworth immediately disapproves, whereas the rest of the crew accepts Bender and Amy's relationship. The professor attempts to end the relationship by sending Amy away with her parents and calling the Robot Pastor for Bender. While at her parent's Mars ranch, Amy is saved by Fry, who poses as her new beau. Amy saves Bender from the camp the Robot Pastor sent him to. They go back to the Planet Express building, where Bender proposes to Amy.

Bender: Listen up, everybody, I love Amy and I'm tired of pussyfootcupping around! I finally found someone I want to spend the rest of her life with. Amy,
[He lowers his body and pulls a ring out of his chest cabinet. It has a tag that says exhibit A.] will you marry me?
Amy: Yes! Yes!

The Professor reminds them that robosexual marriage is illegal in New New York. To fight against this, Bender and Amy launch a campaign, Proposition ∞, for the legalization of robosexual marriage. In days before the election, Prop. ∞ support slumps in the polls. Amy loses hope, but Bender says they'll win following his debate tonight against Professor Farnsworth. Bender gives a heartfelt speech and the audience applauds.

Bender: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I... Oops. Sorry, force of habit. I support this proposition because I love a goopy, flesh-and-blood woman, and not surprisingly, she loves me. This is a simple matter of justice, which I'm not normally for. So, please, vote yes. After all, our love isn't any different than yours, except it's hotter, 'cause I'm involved.

The next day, Prop. ∞ is approved. Amy is ecstatic, saying she and Bender can have a normal, monogamous marriage now. Upon hearing the word monogamous, Bender leaves Amy for two robot hookers, while Amy goes back to Kif, who became a bad boy for her. Returning things to normal.

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I suspect that the lack of a generational divide in terms of art is due to media companies having found their most profitable formulas. Nothing novel receives any investment, because investors already know what will sell, and even when some odd creation does manage to break out of its mold and strike some popular chord it is then managed to maximize profit potential within the expected life-cycle of the medium. There is no more Sub-Pop or Death Row Records picking up the local talent that the big labels miss. That morass of creativity on the part of unknown individuals has now been completely subsumed into mechanical commodity production. Every generation after X has thus been kept from every finding a voice. All it can do is to consume the endless remakes of those icons that were original in their parents' and grandparents' day.

The younger generation should have its version of a cultural "fuck you" directed at its parents. The Boomers said "fuck you" to their parents with rock and roll, beat poetry, long hair, flower power, and disco. Gen X in turn said "fuck you" to the Boomers with punk, heavy metal, violent video games, gangsta rap, hard drugs, grunge, and nihilism. The only "fuck you"s that the current generation has been afforded are those that previous generations have already leveled at their respective predecessors, general angst that their parents and grandparents fucked everything up before they were even born. It's a fucking shame.

which endlessly repeat older gestures of rebellion and contes-tation as if for the first time. 'Alternative' and 'independent' don't designate something outside mainstream culture; rather, they are styles, in fact the dominant styles, within the mainstream. No-one embodied (and struggled with) this deadlock more than Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.
Capitalist Realism may have become the first item in the pseudo-intellectual radlib library but these passages still resonate a lot.

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t. didnt read OP

It’s like pastiche irony and nostalgia are the only cultural currencies still worth anything . Look at vapor wave it’s like the only thing this generation can make is a ironic or unironicall rehash of precious authenticity

he's in jail until he's 69 now though

implying 80s consumer culture was any more authentic than today's

I'm old enough to remember early 90s mall culture so vaporwave is very weird to me. Speaking of that, if I'm that old, why am I posting here?

Cuck Philosophy (a really stupid name) has a fantastic video on this sort of topic. Hauntology as a whole is a really interesting idea IMO, and there was a cool thread to read about it on halfchans /lit/ a couple weeks back. And of course, Mark Fisher, who was great to read if you were interested in this sort of stuff.

You're defin6 getting old if you don't think post 2008 isn't a distinct era.

those voices of a generation folks were filtered through the media as the most profitable bullshit. At least these days it's filtered through an incredibly obfuscated internet filter

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the 80s may have been commercialized and cheesy but it still produced great movies and music

Dunno about "pop" genres but metal (specially death and black) has never been better. With sites like bandcamp and youtube, a lot of them don't even need record labels anymore. We live in an age were getting millions of views on youtube is more valuable than selling CDs in a physical store.

What the fuck happened to the internet?

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its got way more ironic and racist

People wanted to stand out, and the only way to do that was to make wacky lol ECKS DEE random memes that made no sense, problem is that everyone does that and normal memes that actually make sense now stand out.

Is this neo sincerity?

Proof that the only way forward for internet culture is dialectic materialism

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there's a "haha le your mum fat" and a "haha le womans loud" joke in the Epic of Gilgamesh, literally the oldest piece of literature in existance. With the amount of content being uploaded to the internet every day, and with how accesable it is, people just ran out of jokes to make, everything simply got boring. Fist people turned to irony. Than that got old and people started making surreal shit, that simply make no fucking sense, because there's nothing else to laugh at.

I have seen some slow revival of unironic rage comics here and there, so very possibly.
We've become too angry for irony.

Case in point, there's actually stuff like this very slowly starting to trend on KYM.

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The way forward for the Internet is for the shadow of OGAS to take over and start 'randomly' pumping neurotoxins through ventilation systems worldwide until world socialism is achieved.

Op watch this video

And the oldest known standalone joke in history is about how women don't fart.

This is fine

I actually like the ebin vapor wave tho