Fear: How Our Culture Has Shifted So Far
Hell Yeah! We're actually watching stranger things right now!
And yes movies in the 80s had a sort of "bigness" to them. That 80s bigness is missing in movies now. The stories are too dumbed down.
Ask yourself, how many times you've been watching a newer movie, and thought to yourself, "Where's the back story?" It’s hard to be drawn into something when there's no story! It's just a video then. You're just watching shit happen. It's like watching a surveillance tape.
I'm not a movie voyeur. I want to experience a story.
And yes, everyone is scared now, and kids can't go outside and ride bikes miles from home, because the parents know that someone will cause trouble for them. Hell, it's like leaving your 10+ year old kid in a locked running car for 5-10 minutes. If you do that you're liable to have some dumbass call the police on you.
People have been trained to fear freedom. That's how I feel about it. People are taught that freedom is dangerous! You need to just stay inside, and let the government deal with what's on the other side of your front door.
I say FUCK THAT! Kids need adventure. Without all the cool stuff I did as a kid, I might have grown up with low self esteem or something. Testing yourself is how you grow. There aren't many "tests" to be had at home.
That video was so incredibly nostalgic for me because I was born in 1973. In Canada, we had all the same programming plus some Canadian movies and TV shows as well.
I noticed as the stream of cultural TV moments, one show that popped up in particular. It was Family Ties. It's a family, Mom is an architect and Dad works for PBS. They have three kids, then a fourth at some point. Part of the humour was that their eldest child, played by Michael J. Fox leans conservative in his politics, but his parents obviously do not. The show is funny, the characters are sweet, the family is loving and the show clearly was a show everyone in the family could watch. What I find difficult in today's culture is the inability to be friends with someone who has a different opinion. People are shutting out their friends for different beliefs and I think that is weird. I used to have opposing views from some friends but then we would move on, learning something about the other person's position. So maybe that's where it's gotten serious.
If you want to watch a Canadian Show from the 80s, I recommend Degrassi Junior High. The original one, not the newer ones.
Great article! Thank you for reminding me to be grateful I had the opportunity to bear witness to a much more simple, fun and carefree time instead of lamenting knocking on 50. 🥳
Excellent article. Yes, times have changed. I grew up in the 1960s and 70s, so the 80s was "young adult time" for me. Our culture has changed. You have made several excellent points.
In the 60s and 70s children did have adventures. Our parents didn't know where we were most of the time. Yes, if we were gone too long they wondered where we disappeared to and eventually started searching for us, but nothing like today.
Fear, the past four years certainly has ramped up the "fear factor" in the world. Why do people allow themselves to be scared? We seem to lack the courage to say "no" to the actors that are creating more fear. However, fear is not new. Even in the sixties there was fear of evil people tampering with Halloween candy and injuring children.
We do have progress though. The technical quality (resolution) of our video (TV) entertainment is staggeringly better! Our entertainment choices are far greater now. We can play games with people around the world. We have massive amounts of information available at our fingertips (even if we can't trust it). We can communicate long distance with people for "free". Digital photography allows us to document our travels and lives in stunning quality!
Censorship! Wow, censorship and propaganda just weren't a thing fifty years ago. I'm sure they existed, but not outright and overt! (maybe I just wasn't looking?)
We have to be careful though when we look back on the "good old days". Much of the difference is simply that we have lived longer and our outlook has changed! I'm reading a book currently that was written in 1971 about the state of our culture and if you didn't know when it was written it could have been written yesterday! No change! The same concerns are being voiced! Only in 1971 it's a book read by relatively few people, now we have the Internet to engage and discuss everything with everyone!
The problem with a lot of "content" produced in the mainstream these days is that the people making them don't believe in heroes and they don't think you should either. Further, they don't believe in any of the ideals a hero would have (and, again, don't believe you should either). They wish to continue using the same basic archetypes character wise and story wise they know people are attracted to (and also because from a story telling perspective almost all stories rely on a central hero or group of heroes going through their arcs, it's difficult to get away from this, so the only option for someone who actually hates them would be to pervert and degrade them) but the heart has been thoroughly cut out because that heart is something their ideology can't accept as being good. The most concrete belief they have is the contempt for whatever came before. I think it's way nostalgia (and 2nd or 3rd hand nostalgia) for the 80s has lasted for so long in such a tangible way. It was sort of the last time that we, on a society based level, were "allowed" to feel good about ourselves. It's steadily declined since then, I believe. I wasn't alive for the 80s, I was born mid-90s and only have reliable memories of the early 2000s. But I think it's noticeable too. The stories of the time were about shared ideals. Not a condemnation of them or being berated for having them. The ones these days are propaganda about why you shouldn't have them, almost. It seemingly pervades everything. (And I'm also not entirely convinced it's not a purposeful demoralization tactic. I don't think everyone in the "system" thinks consciously of it that way but I'm not naive enough to think that number is zero.)
I think the seeds for all of these was planted long ago. But the rot hasn't begun to show in a very obvious way until recently for the majority of people.
It's strange that these days that people are obsessed with keeping The Youth away from physical danger but mentally they're subjected to such trash constantly. To say the very least of it.
I've been trying to curate a list of old TV and movies I'd like to watch. They're not nostalgic for me because I wasn't alive during the time and I never saw most of them. But I think the quality is undeniable. The relief of it not being a thinly disguised act of contempt against western culture vaguely and American culture specifically. The way the actors and actresses are touched up but not manufactured. Even the sets and costumes are better (it's true that a lot of costuming looks incredibly cheap even in productions that have high budgets, it's odd). And I think the "lower" quality filming actually helps with the atmosphere. All stories are purposefully crafted experiences. To this end there's always something "unauthentic" to them. But they're genuine to themselves and meant to give the audience a good time. Whatever feelings they give you are meant to be good for you to have had. Happiness, fun, a cathartic sadness, something to think about, etc. With new(er) stuff there is this constant, deep hesitance to be genuine, a self-loathing projection, and a suffocating self-consciousness.
A messy dump of a post. But I do genuinely think there is a lot more to all this than just nostalgia bias that a lot of people have previously written stuff like this off as. And I wonder sometimes if a part of it is because a lot of the new-blood in the industry hasn't really...lived? Like they don't know how to write or portray characters who are really living because they themselves don't understand what that is, what is looks like. It's hollow cynicism all the way through. There is a shit ton of people who do a lot of thinking about this living thing but they don't understand it. Because it's not a strictly concrete idea. It's a feeling, an experience, and you have to just know it because you've done it, because you've seen it in others. All they've got to substitute that with is hedonism.
The worst fear we face today is fear of other people, the flesh-and-blood family members and people in our physical environment who would be shocked and shun us if we told them what we really think of Wokeness.