Monday, July 14, 2008

Aktion Fünf: Kultural Kuru


Johnny Gutts is on a tear:

“Hark! Jobbernowls and ye gormless, lend me thine ears! Hear out the spumid stultiloquence of the local Scribe of That Which Is Hip. Hent thee upon his bombastry, where he swasiviously divulges all that is Cool. Mandatory irony: Check. Childhood TV references: Check. Faux-Prole fashions: Check. The credenda you need for the gulpins to heed! The nupson and ragabash have not the sense to swallow your suppalpations, for they already walk your talk with thelematic precision. And your pogonophilic womenfolk already swoon o’er your sleathy earthiness, for your watered-down, bletcherous bohemianism they find ludibund if not novel, and quite for the sake of itself...”
Okay, okay, Johnny, we hear you. Here, have a relaxant.
He does seem to bring up some good points, though.

Some say excessive nostalgia is a symptom of cultural decline. Could it in some way instead be the cause?
Currently, Nostalgic Turnaround curves are flattening (NT -- The amount of time expired before nostalgic tendencies set in) and society is running out of things to be sentimental about. We see an increase in the phenomenon known as Futro (the way the future was supposed to have been -- think jetpacks and bubblecars), but Futro is merely a mirthful variant of Retro.
With non-original source material (rendered cultural by-product) being scarfed and regurged at increasing rates, perhaps society is at risk of some kind of Meta-Taint.
As we know, Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease, kuru, et al.) spreads when livestock are fed the processed remains of same-species livestock. Perhaps there is a cultural cognate of this malady?

Aetiological agents identified thus far by Psyopsy range from the longest of scarves down to the tiniest of soulpatches. But these quantised agents are not the problem in and of themselves. The concern is the propagation and re-rendering of these memes to the point where they become socio-degenerative Cultural Prions (similar to Infotoxins).
Society once had the luxury to nostalgically laugh at past memes and fashions that barely had a 20-year shelf life.
In the ‘70’s, we said, “Look how silly we looked back in the ‘50’s.”
In the ‘90’s, we said, “Look how crazy we looked back in the ‘70’s.”
Today, thanks to prionic memes, we can simply glance about and say, “Look how stupid we look now.”

Culture Vultures have always been with us, but now we have Cultural Cannibalism -- hipsters who binge on the art and music of others yet don’t do the proverbial homework, resulting in massive amounts of content-less effluvia. There’s a reason why those Man-Purses are so big -- they’re colostomy bags.

Solution? In today’s hand-wringing victim culture, legal recourse is a dead end. Old-fashioned ridicule is a great disinfectant for any cultural contaminant, though. Better yet is a shunning indifference. That way, when you’re forced to acknowledge them you can just look at them, shake your head, and say, “Like you matter.”
Give it a go, Johnny -- much easier on the blood pressure.