These are the key indicators that you might be living in a society without a counterculture:
– A sense of sameness pervades the creative world
– The dominant themes feel static and repetitive, not dynamic and impactful
– Imitation of the conventional is rewarded
– Movies, music, and other creative pursuits are increasingly evaluated on financial and corporate metrics, with all other considerations having little influence
– Alternative voices exist—in fact, they are everywhere—but are rarely heard, and their cultural impact is negligible
– Every year the same stories are retold, and this sameness is considered a plus
– Creative work is increasingly embedded in genres that feel rigid, not flexible
– Even avant-garde work often feels like a rehash of 50-60 years ago
– Etc. etc. etc.
This is a deep matter, and I won’t try to unlock all the nuances here. I will now simply share 14 tweets that capture the stale taste of life without a counterculture. Some of these tweets are my own, others from total strangers—but they all paint the same overall picture.
The 1950s are often derided as a period of conformity and stifling sameness, the decade that lead to the explosion of 1960s counter-culture. I think that is an absurd characterization of the 1950s given the history of that decade, what if its purported character better describes our present decade?
Does hyper-connectedness necessarily lead to hyper-sameness? Has it, in practice?