[ExI] it was the best times, it was the best of times

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Thu Oct 10 21:44:08 UTC 2013

On Wed, 9 Oct 2013, Adrian Tymes wrote:

> On Oct 9, 2013 1:23 PM, "Tomasz Rola" <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:
> > Judging by contents of contemporary movies, we are already in deep 
> > crisis - the mean density of intellectual content is dropping down 
> > like dead bird, at least this is how I see it. If what we see is 
> > really what people want to see, we are dead man walking.
> This is a well known error in perception.  You see much crap today, yet 
> the surviving works of the past - and your memories of them - are 
> generally not crap, therefore the past must have been better, right?  
> Actually, wrong.

Ok, this may be an error in my perception. It's quite easy to agree with 
such statement, especially that it ends discussion - "oh, so it's nothing 
so wrong with nowadays, it is just I am growing old and envious"... On the 
other hand, perhaps too many people, too often agree with such explanation 
and dismiss the other answer out of mental lazyness?

> For the most part, the best of the past will be preserved, the rest 
> recycled and destroyed.  This leaves little evidence it was there. 
> Likewise, memories focus on the important - often including good or 
> personally bad (which movies rarely are) - and delete the (literally) 
> forgettable dross.  (Many children of the 1980s remember the 
> Transformers. How many remember the Gobots, especially without 
> prompting?)

I don't remember Transformers and those other guys. I remember Star Wars 
*without* dinosaurs, and meant to be watched by adults. Or at least 
wannabe adults.


> Further, as a person matures, the unsubtle storytelling techniques that 
> amused them in their youth wear out their novelty, and further works 
> with the same objective quality are subjectively perceived to be more 
> mundane, boring, et cetera.  (There are ways to fight this effect, but 
> it takes effort to pick out and potentially enjoy the novel components.)

Well, perhaps.

I recently started to enjoy B movies a lot. They don't have pretentious 
posturing to be something more than they really are. Some are truly 
catastrophically made, but some are quite good. On the other hand, after 
watching Avatar (on my cable), I decided to not watch it again for a 
while, maybe five or ten years. I wasn't totally disgusted but if I was to 
measure the worth of cultural good by my will to buy it, then Avatar and 
many others are not on the list at all. Of sf movies, I will buy Kubrick's 
"2001" (Hyams' "2010" I could buy too, if not very pricey), maybe 
"Clockwork Orange", then Scott's "Blade Runner" and then I really have 
nothing to buy. At least nothing that would've been obvious choice, 
without some intense thinking. However, of noncinematic movies, I have 
bought me a "Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles". But I'm not sure if 
I would buy T3 and T4. Well T3, maybe. T1 and T2, too. I may consider some 
sf movies made in Eastern Block, they feel and look very nice compared to 
certain abovementioned titles (like, Avatar, Next, Inception or whatever 
else I watched and forgot).

Of non-sf movies, full set of Kurosawa and Scorsese's "Taxi driver" are
obvious buy. Then, I don't know again.

This night my cable serves "The Helix Loaded", a "Matrix" B-ripoff.


AFAIK I have never before watched a movie with imdb rating so low (1.7). I 
am so excited!

> See how each generation expresses an opinion that the one or two after 
> it have no taste in literature/music/culture, going back every 
> generation to ancient Greece.

I don't remember how it was in ancient Greece, I was very young at the 
time. I believe your word, however.

Perhaps the real problem I have with today's culture is that some time 
ago, if I'm not mistaken, children wanted to be adults. Or at least it was 
something normal. And I don't mean children working in coalmines. Nowadays 
it's adults who want to be children and salespeople jumping out of their 
skins to help fulfill this dream.

Another explanation is, I expect to see nuts and bolts. It looks like most 
folks don't want to bother, so they're served some "coming of age" or 
"feeling" stories packaged and repackaged, with nuts and bolts being 
merely part of decoration. Heck, there are even remakes of films made 
elsewhere, because... why, viewer is unable to keep attention on a plot 
while being distracted by cultural differences, even between two _western_ 
countries? Heck2, there are even remakes of films made in the same 
country, 20-30 years earlier, maybe even only 10 years earlier...

Yeah, I know. If something earned money to some other guys, then lets 
remake and earn money too. But it really makes a, say, cultural landscape 
rather miserable to look at.

Ewww... Ewww...

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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