De-evolution of Pop Culture
Has pop culture stopped evolving?
This has been an observation I’ve been mulling over lately and I cannot tell if is because I’m a 43-year-old man who’s gotten old or if there really is a phenomenon worth observing.
I was going to say no until you pointed out the 20 year difference thing between various 20 year points. That made me think a bit but I still think it's a no. It's just evolving differently and slower.
There has to be a set point and I think we got there around 1999 exactly. We mostly aren't racist or sexist as a population. We mostly don't think wars are good and try to avoid them at all costs (sure, Iraq but that almost immidietely soured and no one is clamoring to actually stop what's happening in North Korea ... Like at all, in any way what so ever). We're mostly cool with everyone.
How much more can we evolve? In the future Star Trek Utopia I'm hopeful for, we're mostly going to be the same as we were in 1999.
As far as pop culture, same idea. Marilyn Manson's Sweet Dreams and NiN's Pretty Hate Machine blew my fucking mind when I was 10. If I were 10 again Lady Gaga would've done the same with the same detractors. There's probably a few GG Allins roaming around America as well today.
I also think most pop culture 'peoples' were simple. Quit your job (or don't have one), smoke weed, and wear flowers and you're a hippy. Wear black and you're goth. Talk about the system, spike your hair, and you're a punk. Whatever is happening in that Vox article, same principle.
Hot take: the internet and social media has turned us from interesting people who want to learn to mildly retarded boring assholes. I imagine the amount of people who think they are always right has never changed, but now they are being told they are right constantly.
And this has a subtle influence on culture. I'm not ready to understand what yet, because we're in the middle of it. And I constantly think I'm correct and TheMotte and many places like it pat me on the head and reaffirms that it's true so im deep into not trying to be that mildly retarded, boring asshole I feel many people are becoming.
So I think it'll be interesting seeing what people become when they are growing up being constantly reaffirmed for being right, which I think is the past few high school graduating classes as the real beginning of all in from childhood being online.
Bringing it back to your post, this is why we have VSCO girls and why they are basically just goths but probably smell better and won't drop out.