We have come to a crossroads in human existence which is swiftly splitting between two polar opposites. A conceited, power hungry elite and a growing apathetic underclass that passively permits this same elite class to alleviate their boredom by concocting ultra depressive mass media for them to consume. You might ask what is ultra depressive mass media? It's the news, hollywood movies, advertising, radio, newspapers, magazines, internet, social media like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube. Why is it depressive? It isolates people into singular activity.
In just my lifetime we have gone from a society that cherished community to one that is becoming obsessed with consumption and personal wealth by any means. In other words, people are striving to upgrade their status from outsider to insider, in turn, gain access to a luxury world reserved for inner circle players.
Mass media is essentially content. Images, movies, words, sounds, all of which fill our many household screens and devices. Those that build that content quickest and most effectively belong to that elite group. We see their brands when we switch on the TV, go watch a movie, browse on a smartphone, drive past a billboard. Their enablers are brands like apple and samsung that build the devices that deliver this content. Together these brands are the elitist companies selecting how and what we are passively consuming.
This has been the status quo for decades now but something has changed. I, like most anyone living in today's world consume this same content, it's hard to avoid it. What I've noticed happening is a very dark theme gradually threading its way through many of the stories I admired growing up. It's insidious. As the title image alludes, the movie Bladerunner2049, is an instance of this change I've noticed. Very simply, the elite class that deliver this content have run out of ideas. The stories are bleak, dark, grim and horrific. From shows like Westworld and Mr. Robot to movies like 'Bladerunner2049', 'Alien: Covenant' and biopics like 'Lion' we are immersed in a cold realism that reflects our already diminished world split in two; have and have-nots.
Even one of my favourite sci-fi tv shows Star Trek has been infiltrated by this "Elon Muskian" elitism with the release of Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix, reinventing a much loved series into a dysfunctional starfleet locked in a war with cannibalistic Klingons?? What is that except the end of ideas...maybe for them but not for the rest of us. Every one of these stories lack an aesthetic that their predecessors enjoyed. It is possible to write about bleak tech junkyard futures, you know, and make it interesting to human imagination, Ahem! Star Wars released in 1977. It's also known as hope.
And therein lies the problem. These content builders have lost all hope. Stories are meant to add to culture not blankly reflect and diminish it. Addition through imagination. This is the key to good storytelling. The illness plaguing our digital devices is an intense lack of imagination. The elite class are dawdling and flailing about in a murderous madness of their own making. Why is that? Well, there is a simple ingredient that they do not have, a soul.
The underclass on the other hand does have one, the litmus test is seeing people walk out of any of the movies already mentioned, only in disgust. So what do we do about it? In this blogger's humble opinion; we learn to create our own worlds and build communities we want to share our human culture within. We tell our stories and build our own content. We embrace it because it has an imagination and a soul that is intact and fully operational. We turn our backs on cordoned off celebrity status and access to inner circle trite. Instead, we form our own elite circle that values aesthetics, imagination, hope, has spirit, recognises what is good and most importantly is inclusive.