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Contains spoilers for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier.

"I worked out with Kevin that one of the subtexts in Volume Three is not the government control of the imagination, but more the decline, whether intentional or otherwise, of the imagination, the popular imagination. We start out in the first episode in 1910, which has still got the kind of grandeur of the Victorian and Edwardian imagination on display...When we get to the third volume, which is set in 2008, it will become plain that the current landscape of fiction in comparison with what has gone before is a very sparse and relatively dull place. Orwell was almost exactly wrong in a strange way. He thought the world would end with Big Brother watching us, but it ended with us watching Big Brother. And it's that kind of culture and the popular imagination that is a very strong subtext in Book Three."
-Alan Moore, interviewed by Adi Tantimegh


I think Moore is right only to the extent that he talks about mainstream culture: what you see on TV and in the movies, what's cranked out by "literary" authors like John Updike, Jane Smiley, etc., and the music pimped to us by the big media conglomerates. This has all become increasingly dull and uninteresting. Fortunately, we can all tell each other stories without having to sift those stories through the filter of the NY/DC/LA media. It's become easier to make music, write stories, and do videos than it ever has been before, and you can share all those things with millions of other people. Sure, 90% of that new freelance media is crap, but that remaining 10% is every bit as awesome and inspiring as the classics.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
nornagest
Jan. 13th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
This is true for most mass media, but interestingly it doesn't seem to be true for television. I don't watch much of it, but what I do watch seems to be vastly more interesting and less intellectually shallow (though I still wouldn't call it "deep") than the Eighties/early Nineties shows I grew up on -- and the expressions "boob tube" and "idiot box" are much older than that, so I suspect this process has been going on for a while.

Reality shows are an admitted exception, but I'm pretty sure those are just a flash in the pan, popularity-wise.
wombat_socho
Jan. 14th, 2008 02:16 am (UTC)
There have always been a handful of good shows floating on the ocean of crap that is network television. Now that there are 200+ channels out there, the chances that one or more of them will have good shows that catch your interest are a lot higher than back in the days when it was just ABC, CBS, NBC and the BBCPBS.
stuckintraffik
Jan. 14th, 2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
Really, isn't it just the 10% rule still in effect?
wombat_socho
Jan. 14th, 2008 12:46 pm (UTC)
Sure. But 10% of 200 is a lot better than 15% of 4, and I'm not willing to go that far to give the old networks the benefit of the doubt.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )