Yesterday, Coilhouse wrote about Patton Oswalt's Wired piece "Wake Up, Geek Culture, Time to Die"
. I've been thinking about it since reading it, to the point of dreaming about my own reactions to pop culture and becoming a punk in the 80's.
I agree with a lot of what both Oswalt has to say and what Joshua Ellis brings up in the linked Coilhouse article. Being a geek or a nerd (as it was defined in the 80's) isn't freakish the way it once was. But I also think that while pop culture may be reaching "Etewaf: Everything That Ever Was—Available Forever" there are still large numbers of creative types making new and interesting art, music, film, etc.
Remember how disturbed you were when you first heard Devo's music in a car commercial, or The Cure followed by Erasure while grocery shopping? I know it creeped me out a bit, but the music I listen to now is as outside of the mainstream as anything I loved in the 80's was then. And maybe in 30 years, I'll hear Aesthetic Perfection or Gogol Bordello at the grocery store, but by the time that happens, we'll all be dancing to something else.
The same goes with movies and film. There's always been a distinction in my mind between the two, and movies are all too frequently garbage (and have been since I was in college - my favorite film then was The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, Her Lover
; a decidedly non-mainstream film to this day). I think the last time I went to a mainstream movie theater was in December 2009. But there's lots of interesting stuff going on in independent film, and some films that have gotten wider release than just the art houses one would expect. And occasionally big Hollywood makes a great film in spite of the stupidity of the studio system (Moon
or Black Swan
The big thing I think both Oswalt and Ellis miss is that the things that made us freaks in the 80's and 90's are more mainstream, but there are lots of other subcultures that have not been co-opted. Hipster assholes are everywhere in LA, but we also have great small theatre, bands, independent film and web series, teenage freaks of many persuasions, and writers and artists who create new and interesting work regularly (including Coilhouse which is awesome and full of good stuff each issue).
Etewaf: Everything That Ever Was—Available Forever is not a death knell for creativity, just a warning that what made us (old farts now) freaks isn't the same things today's freaks search out. It's time to try something new, guys, and then Etewaf isn't a big deal. And the internet is often a good place to find fellow travelers, which is in some ways easier and in other ways more difficult (too much information; too many hard to find styles).