Is cynicism destroying our pop culture and our emotions?

Discussion in 'Serious Chat' started by RapidGunner, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. #1
    RapidGunner

    RapidGunner The Catalyst

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    I'm tired of this sh*t.

    A few days back, Coldplay released a song for the soundtrack of the new "Hunger Games" movie sequel. It's a piano ballad with an explosive ending, called "Atlas".

    Now I'm sure that many of you, just after reading the above words, instantly imagined some "boring", four chord ballad by the "talentless" British lads. "You know how I know you're gay? You listen to Coldplay?", right? Well, you're wrong. It's one of the most beautiful f*cking songs I've ever heard.

    [video=youtube;Lh3TokLzzmw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh3TokLzzmw[/video]

    Yet, we see the usual coldplay-bashing in every decent pop culture site. ("Gay tweens would love this" - said a top comment on The A.V Club). And I'm pretty f*cking sure that 70% of them haven't even heard the damn song!

    I don't even need to go to Coldplay as an example. Since 2007, Linkin Park is the "emo band that has gone mainstream". No matter what we here at LPA think, that's how the band is seen by most people out there who are not dedicated fans. Let's go beyond music. Movies involving pure, unironic romance are immediately dismissed. Superbly made, emotional movies are criticised for apparently being "Oscar-bait".

    The point I'm trying to make is pretty simple. People have grown REALLY cynical towards everything, especially regarding pop culture. Every one just complains about everything. This "cynicism" BS started out in the US/UK and has now moved on to the rest of the world.

    I guess the main reason why this is happening is because we, as a society are slowly being taught not to express our emotions. Tell me, when is the last time you saw a leading male actor crying in a Hollywood movie? Actual crying, with tears? Because of this so called "emotional repression", we are growing grumpy and cynical. We are hating on TV sitcoms, dismissing them as stuff made for "dumb people". We are hating on hollywood blockbusters for being unrealistic and overly dramatic. According to us, every movie/song/videogame should be dark, "gritty", violent and have a depressing ending. The only people who are still emotionally "pure" are teenagers (who are stupid, so they don't count) and people living in backward/developing countries, where pop culture isn't as evolved.

    Why should we have to enjoy TV shows like "Mad Men" in order to be "intellectually superior"? Hell, Stephen Hawking's favourite TV show is The Big Bang Theory (the so called "backward", anti-nerd sitcom)!

    I'm sorry for this unstructured, rambling rant. But I'm really pissed off right now. :/ What do you guys think? Am I overreacting?
     
  2. #2
    travz21

    travz21 Muscle Museum LPA Super Member

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    We've been cynics ever since we've existed. Well, the first few probably weren't because they didn't understand other humans yet.
     
  3. #3
    RyRy

    RyRy LPA VIP LPA VIP

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    What the fuck do you do all day, read TMZ? Who are you directing this to? Not very many people think/act this way that you're talking about.
     
  4. #4
    RapidGunner

    RapidGunner The Catalyst

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    I read/watch the same stuff all of us do. And I doubt that any sane human being reads TMZ. :p

    I don't have to look around for cynicism/negativity in particular places. It's everywhere.
     
  5. #5
    Filip

    Filip god break down the door LPA Contributor

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    Coldplay :wub:
     
  6. #6
    Erica

    Erica Meh LPA Über VIP

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    I try to steer clear of popular opinion these days. I take the art for however I take it. I don't see anything as Oscar bait or mainstream or whatever. I only see genuine creative effort or uninspired dribble. For example the other day I quoted a Dr. Who episode and my friend (a total whovian) was like "yeah, among the fan base that's like the worst episode ever." Before that moment it had never occurred to me what anyone else's opinion on it was. There was nothing there to affect my soil my opinion. And even now, now that I know it still doesn't mean anything to me.
     
  7. #7
    minuteforce

    minuteforce Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance. LPA Team

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    Nope. :rolleyes:
     
  8. #8
    Louis

    Louis Message me if you need to talk. We love you all. LPA Team

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    RapidGunner,

    I appreciate your passion over your feelings about a song, but I want to respond to your thoughts:

    Cynicism is not the right word for this. Being cynical means you believe that everyone acts in their own self-interest and do not act in altruistic ways. What you're describing are comments that, derived from some opinion of a band's music, are very rude, mean, and derogatory towards the band and their listeners. I'm more concerned with people who decided that "gay tweens" would love this, and somehow seem to believe that liking this song means that, and that being a "gay tween" is somehow a bad thing. That is not cynical, that is hateful. And in it being hateful, we have a much larger problem that presents itself often on the internet - people can hide behind a screen and say such mean things about any piece of art, not realizing that what they say is actually hurtful towards certain groups of people. This is a big problem, which is why we run into more seriouscases of trolling and cyber-bullying that have even led some people to hurt themselves, others, or commit suicide.

    Even at the core of this, it's important to understand something else - people have their opinions, educated or not. I would like to think that people can listen to a song or read a book before they express opinions about it (i.e. when people bash the Twilight series not having ever read it), but people these days aren't wired like that. It isn't cynicism, really. It's hard to describe what actually it is - perhaps a desire to fit in with what they feel is a common opinion. Or perhaps, they know of someone they don't like for whatever reason with those particular interests, and as such bash those interests thinking that everyone who has that interest is the same. It's uneducated, it is unreasonable, but at the same time people can formulate the opinions they want. I wish people wouldn't associate interests with some negative quality in the people around them, and instead be able to say plainly that they don't like a song. For example, I'll tell you right now that I love the chord progression of this song, but I think the song is boring and doesn't have the explosiveness you say it does. That is just my opinion as someone who is a fan of Coldplay. I think it's perfectly okay that you love this song - you have every right to.

    But it's important to note that there is nothing hateful about what I just said. And I think you can't get mad at people either for saying that they don't like a song, or that they think Linkin Park is an emo band that went mainstream. We can sit here and say perhaps that they're wrong, and that emo is not the genre that Linkin Park's music fits into and that they're arguably not mainstream the same way that someone like Miley Cyrus is, but if that's what people want to think, it's their right to think it and say it.

    What isn't right is how people implement some sort of hatred or derogatory commentary into their opinions. It's not that people are being cynical, it's that they're being mean. And I don't think emotions are being discouraged. Instead, I think what is being discouraged is expressions of certain identities, and people tend to associate identities with interests. This isn't necessarily fair, and this is why people perhaps feel uncomfortable expressing themselves as you describe. I know of so many homosexuals who feel trapped because they feel being who they are is unacceptable, and the same applies for people of certain races, sexes, backgrounds, cultures - you name it. Hatred is easy, but it is so powerful and people don't necessarily realize when they're saying something hateful. Sometimes, people say jokes that have hateful impacts. People don't realize that their intent can be far different than their impact, and people on this forum too are guilty of this error.

    I do believe cynicism is a problem too but you fail to address it here in the right way. Cynicism is a part of this, because I genuinely do believe that people don't address issues of hatred because they're not the ones being hated on most times. People who are victims of hatred are discouraged and disempowered to respond in most situations, and sometimes aren't taken seriously. Yet, for some of us who don't necessarily get hated on for our opinions, we fail to stand up for other people because it's not really our problem. And when other people see this, they become cynical. Cynicism allows hatred, in many circumstances, to persist. Cynicism disables us from addressing some of the most trying problems of our society, because we're inclined to think that other people simply don't care. Cynicism is a rational response - "If other people don't care, why should I bother?" But some people lack resilience against cynicism. The people who are resilient against it are leaders of social change, and the ones who do the most to convince others to care. We need more of those people.

    - - -

    tl;dr What you're addressing is a much bigger problem than cynicism - it is hatred that is unreasonable. Keep in mind that people are allowed to have their opinions, and that ultimately we should be discouraging associating identities with interests in a negative way, and encouraging educated, mindful expressions of opinion and interest.
     
  9. #9
    Erica

    Erica Meh LPA Über VIP

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    ^What that guy said :p
     
  10. #10
    minuteforce

    minuteforce Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance. LPA Team

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    What Louis said is pretty much it. If it's cool to express disdain for music anything that's popular among teenagers, then, that's what people will express. It then becomes a competition to express the most hatred or disdain for something in order to outdo (and, thereby, impress) everyone else in the crowd.
     
  11. #11
    Qwerty19

    Qwerty19 Well-Known Member

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    Must say, Louis's post was an interesting read. I agree with pretty much all of it..
     
  12. #12
    ernieball003

    ernieball003 Well-Known Member

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    I do find the words "Coldplay" and "boring" to be synonymous, and that song is no exception.

    And being cynical would be me adding "Well, who'd they decide to rip off this time?"
     
  13. #13
    Jesse

    Jesse Out of the abyss. LPA Über VIP

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    Dear presumptuous inquirer,

    The forum entry you have submitted has left me with a few inquiries of mine own.
    First I must inquiry as to how ones sexual orientation has any bearing on ones musical taste?
    My second inquiry revolves around the incomprehensible. Why fault ones adolescence when it is a
    trait every living adult has experienced? Thirdly, I ask why you are so presumptuous to declare
    that others the world-round are as cynical as others without efficaciously acquiring the forethought for
    acquiring such an accusation.

    It seems that in your quest for answers for the cynicism of the world,
    you have increased the very thing you inquire against.
    People will like what they like, and as long as it hurts no one or is immoral, what need to question it?

    Your flummoxed inquirer,

    Jesse G. Tree
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  14. #14
    Filip

    Filip god break down the door LPA Contributor

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    :help:
     
  15. #15
    Hybrid

    Hybrid Meow! This cat has claws! LPA Team

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    This.
     
  16. #16
    Lee

    Lee Well-Known Member

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    I'm queer, I'm a teen, and I like Coldplay, so the "popular opinion"(?) is spot on for me.
    People have different tastes, opinions, and ways of listening to new music. Some people are close minded, and refuse to listen to music by an artist if they heard and disliked one song, by the artist, before. \Some people are willing to try anything and may find a song they love by a band they hate. My mum's friend is like this. She usually hates most songs by Slipknot. I got her to listen to Wait and Bleed. It is now one of her favourite songs.
    ALSO: If you haven't experienced a song/film/show/etc before, instead of judging wether or not to listen/etc to it based on the "popular" opinion, listen to the opinions of someone with similar tastes to you.
    For example: I like zombie films/games/etc. My friend does not. He watches a zombie film I haven't seen yet, and says it's utter shit. Instead of thinking "Oh it must suck, I won't bother watching it", I think "Hey, he usually hates zombie films anyway. Maybe I'll like this film"
    Most people I hang out with would try any film/song/etc regardless of it's genre or artist. Except for Bieber or One Direction. We've heard enough of their songs to hate them.
     
  17. #17
    minuteforce

    minuteforce Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance. LPA Team

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    Paragraph breaks, G :)

    I'm like that whenever my favourite artists put out new music. With LP, for example, if the fanbase is confused and "doesn't know what to think of it", that generally means that the song/album is great and that I will love it :p
     
  18. #18
    Hybrid

    Hybrid Meow! This cat has claws! LPA Team

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    For some reason, the hipster mentality of liking something before it was cool and not liking it now because it is cool spread like wildfire throughout most cultures, not only here in the US, but throughout the world. I hate this way of thinking. It has, however, taught me to venture further away from what other people think and it has allowed me to become my own person. I'm not living for anyone else's opinions or views, and quite frankly, I'm happy with that. That way, no one can ever take that away from me.
     
  19. #19
    SuperDude526

    SuperDude526 Well-Known Member

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    Mad Men is my favorite show on TV, thank you very much. Despite what Louis said, I would say the two big branches are cynicism and apathy. And tbh, it was much more pervasive, at least in America, during the '90s. You can thank grunge for that.
     

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