In my pretext as a professional freelance writer who is, at the moment, producing his primary full-length book (cheap plug!), I requested of my favorite client that we diversify out a little from tech news/reviews and into more media, arts and leisure areas. He was cooperative and gracious enough to offer the madcap idea a go and I set about cobbling together some film and song reviews.
This was when it hit me; We have no idea what is hot, who’s doing it, or why I should care!
A decade ago, when I used to be a film undergraduate, I might have advised you who the cinematographer was on even the most obscure, little-seen indie film. Heck, I can probably have taken a guess about who delivered him his morning coffee on the shoot, but today I’m afraid I’ve no idea whatsoever.
It isn’t totally my blame. Having graduated from University three years ago and moved out of my parent’s home soon afterward, my long-suffering girlfriend and I haven’t exactly been rolling in cash. I selected what I could by doing extra writing (and occasionally cleaning homes) and shopped a children’s book around the publishers (with lower than even a polite whiff of notice, it should be said). She ultimately landed a pretty good job and simultaneously my fortunes enhanced a little, but modern culture passed us by while we were busy doing our weekly purchasing with a calculator and developing yet another hundred and fifty uses for tinned meat.
Its hilarious, I always wondered why my Dad’s record compilation wholly ceases to increase further sometime in the late 1970’s and does not pick up again until a small collection of (franky terrible) ‘Trashed/Mashed/Bashed/Crashed (delete as applicable) in Ibiza’ CDs in the 90’s. Well, now I know. It is a gap in the fossil record of popular culture; it is, basically, a record of the cash-induced cultural extinction event that occurred at more-or-less exactly once he moved out with my Mum.
So, with that in mind, I made a decision to check out what was around in the interim by focusing on what was trending on Amazon, in the hopes that there might be something I could speak about with some confidence.
Now, I don’t want this post to read like an addendum to ‘is it just me or is everything shit?’ crossed with an episode of ‘Grumpy Old Men’ (even through I do know full-well that its likely to), but there is not a great deal of stuff that I can even connect to, much less get excited about.
For me, it’s a case of ‘seen it’ almost every time. Sure, the films probably only come out last week, but I read the novel that prompted the screenplay when I was at Uni, or I saw the little known French movie it had been according to whilst studying at college.
Oh, this band are somewhat like an updated type of (evoke holy name of the divine 70’s punk/New Wave act here), except they lack the creation, the innovation as well as the talent that made the originals great. In any other time, I would have ideas and opinions to express with the pop music of today, but now I can’t even name the celebrities so as to slag them off.
‘If you prefer that, you will love this!’ No, I won’t Amazon. And do not think I don’t see what you’re trying to do, you sneaky bastards…
Oh, this TV show is about a teenage vampire, well, that is novel, especially bearing in mind that it was not even innovative when ‘Twilight’ did it (Sheesh, it wasn’t even original when ‘Buffy’ was doing it).
Oh, this bestselling book series is fanfic according to that other book? What? I’m sorry, WHAT!?
…Since when was ‘find/replace’ a profitable model?
(Sigh) Since now, I suppose.
If there’s a point to all this bitter and twisted ranting (and remember, I said ‘if), it’s that I’m getting old and that’s cheaper than therapy. If there is an alternative, perhaps more salient point, its that you ought to probably scrape together a tiny bit of money, go check out Amazon’s latest hit lists and buy something, if only just to keep from ending up like me. Here, I will even link it for you.
So, in the long run, if my own (hypothetical) lad or daughter flicks through my CDs/DVDs and asks why the most recent albums are (disgracefully) ‘Noctourniquet’ by The Mars Volta (2012) ‘Brothers’ by The Black Keys (2010), ‘Only Revolutions’ by Biffy Clyro (2009), & Q-Tip’s ‘The Renaissance’ (2008), I will just grin and say “you’ll see” and leave it at that.
You’ll see. Just see if you do not.