Friday, 21 November 2008

How Deep Is The Mainstream?

[DANGER!!! Rant-o-Saurus Rex In Road. WARNING!! Bile Hazard Ahead]

Here's some amateur sociology/psychology based on a number of personal (is there any other kind?) obervations by me, Prof. Angry from the University of I'Llbethirtysoon.

As reported here not very long ago, Irony was brutally killed off by Fallon London in a self-induced epi-fit of mediocrity that was as painfully narcissistic as it was crowd-pleasingly shallow. Likewise, I've also mentioned around here that the serpent of advertising doesn't just swallow it's own tail, it often sucks it's own cock too.

And so with Irony laid to rest, and popular culture locked in a cycle of auto-fellating self-reference, is it any wonder that (for example) we now have a class of people over the age of 7 who genuinely, seriously, and un-ironically believe that Girls Aloud are serious, credible artists.

It seems the gap between high and low cultures, popular and sub cultures has never been so narrow. In fact, it's largely evaporated completely over the last 10 years. Even goths, the last bastions of a conspicuous (if somewhat pathetic) "alternative", have been reduced to burbling uncontroversially about how controversial and peripheral they still are. But the periphery barely exists anymore. The media is so flabby and pervaisive, that almost everything is mainstream. Everything is "normal" because the media inevitably normalises everything that's exceptional. Don't believe me? Just watch the news. Death, murder, war, bum-rape, foreigners; different, new, evil, nasty, extraordinary events and atrocities drizzle over us every day. Time was when the internet was a fucking feast of the exotic and the apocryphal. It was weird and dangerous and full of lunatics. Now it's just full of wikis and lists. Web 2.0, as a fuctioning object, aint much more than a German kunnstkabinett - a cabinet of curiosities. Or rather, it's many millions of cabinets for many millions of users, to fill up with holiday snaps and home videos... and ill-considered contentions like these...

And then there's Facebook: the world's biggest, naffest popularity contest come data-capture form. You can practically hear the wind blowing through it, it's so hollow. With a billion and one "wacky" people all being "wacky" to eachother, not one of them ever stands out. And when everyone is (trying to be) different, everyone is ultimately the same; chaos and homogeniety are interchangeable.

So maybe that's where I've been going wrong - I've been following the old signs and the signifiers. I was enjoying Girls Aloud for the chaos of choosing which one I'd like to fuck. But because Irony is dead I'm meant to take them seriously instead. And since everyone else wants to fuck them too, we all just agree, homogenously, that they're a very serious band indeed.

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