…and the generator says…
How does one anticipate culture? That’s the billion dollar question. But no matter how many magic eight balls you have, this is just as unattainable as predicting where you might wake up after a drunken night out on the town. “Hey. I have to go. Last night was fun, um, I’m so sorry. What was your name again? Magdalena Jo! Oh shit.” If you could anticipate culture, then you would be a gazillionaire. You would be able to foresee what high heel shoes are going to sell. The action movie that will break all the box office records. The shameless porn star that society will accept. “I love Cherry Blossom! She is like a starving frog, man! No load goes astray!” But this is the world we live in as we are bombarded with trailers, billboards, magazine adds, commercials and any other suggestion that would make our lives more culturally interesting. A world where I’m judged not by individual interests, but one where I blindly follow the blind into the Batman premier. Trust me. Christian Bale doesn’t need your hard-earned money, but Bobcat Goldthwait does.
I love the starving artist. That includes every single form of creativity. I try to partake in those endeavors that fly beneath the radar. I even fancied myself a prophet of good culture and tried to turn people onto the “correct” things they should be listening to, watching, reading, and, ultimately, supporting financially. “You went to see Duran Duran last night? Why!?! Sunny Day Real Estate also played last night, but you thought D & D was a better investment? That’s it! Give me back the mix tape I made for you! AND, you can forget about the jazz festival at UCLA! I don’t even know you anymore. And to think, I invited you to our “Taxi Driver” theme party. Now get the fuck outta my face.” And then I would shed one single tear and pour a little of my forty on the curb for the soul of my friend that was murdered by the live rendition of “Union of the Snake.” See you in hell, you poor bastard.
Little I was to know that my cultural battle was a doomed cause. How could I anticipate Justin Bieber? The ill-fitting, hang from the boxer, skinny jeans. Baseball hats wore like a pirates eye patch. American Idol. Fuckin’ American Idol! How many cookie cutter, generically trained voices are those Hitler lovers going to churn out? Just because you sing in key and sort of sound like a poor man’s Christina Aguilera, it doesn’t make you super talented. I hope you choke on your crappy cover song.
I want identifiable singers. I want to say, “That’s Bowie, or Petty, or Prince.” I like it when I can identify the traveled roads of unmistakable pipes. Here is a short list: Macy Gray, Phil Lynott, Isaac Brock, and Bob Mould. But those kind of singers wouldn’t make it. Which sucks. I guess it’s safe to say I hate you very much, American Idol. I hate you like a pedophile hates adults. Now get out of my windowless van and give me back my Laffy Taffy!
As far as Hollywood is concerned, those people haven’t a clue how to anticipate culture. No matter how many test episodes or demographic research they do, they miss the mark horribly. I read somewhere they lose money on 90% of their releases and survive on the 10% that are successful. That’s a horrible average. AND, I would venture that success rate is dwindling quickly. I believe they are so shell shocked by their failures they are turning to old successes in an attempt to revive the industry. Maybe they are not familiar with the concept of diminishing returns. For example, if I told the same hilarious joke over and over again, eventually you would roll your eyes and, perhaps, even get angry at my attempts at laughter. You might even tell me to shut up mid joke. I think it’s time to tell Hollywood to shut up. Here is a list of upcoming Hollywood remakes. Ready? (Deep inhale.) Red Dawn, Carrie, Evil Dead, Robocop, Pet Sematary, Point Break, The Crow, American Werewolf in London, Barbarella, Child’s Play, Dirty Dancing, The Never Ending Story, War Games, Time Bandits, The Birds, Death Wish, Lethal Weapon, etc and etc and on and on into infinity. This is the asteroid age of Hollywood. Enjoy your sunless death as you accidentally fall into an unforgiving tar pit. We will exhume your bones and place them into a museum no one will ever go to. Well done.
The great equalizer is modern technology. The internet is single-handedly destroying the great oppressive monarchies and placing the powers in all of our hands. Think of all the creative outlets we have today. Podcasts, Youtube, Soundcloud, Tumblr, Word Press, Facebook, Pinterest, and even Instagram. Though, I might try to remove my head with a butter knife if I see another picture of clouds, or painted finger nails, or someone’s new offspring. “I just posted a picture of my new baby in a sepia toned Instagram.” “Good, because a new baby in color is fuckin’ disgusting.”
We have reached a point where everyone thinks they are talented and they get the opportunity to prove it by uploading whatever they do onto the net. Which is great! All though most of it (around 99%) is total crap, the cream is rising to the top. Perhaps it’s cream that would have spilled from the bucket before, but today it get’s a chance to be sumptuous, beautiful butter. Mmm, butter. I have discovered more fantastically creative things currently as an unmotivated alcoholic slob in these modern times than I ever did as an active cultural snob. Which tells me two things: 1. It eliminates any one person from making a billion dollars. and 2. It allows us all a chance to make a creative living on a modest level. So, good-bye big companies and say hello to the bastards. BTW, have you seen my new YouTube video? I strangle a homeless prostitute behind a Chick-fil-a. It has one million views.
Trying to anticipate culture is like farting into a swirling wind. I can’t predict who is going to get the brunt of my “Curry House” special. I can say I don’t want to be forced into your advertisement elevator as you shut the door and release last nights whiskey double bean and cheese burrito. “What if we invent shirts that play our “Spiderman” trailer on an endless loop? We can place people all over the city and really push this remake!” “How much are these shirts?” “We can probably make a thousand for, say, around five million dollars.” “That’s interesting, Matthews.” “OR, we can use that money to make a small, independent film that has some fresh, clever, and poignant ideas!” “We can’t afford to try anything with new ideas.” “Green light the shirts.”