Monday, October 6, 2008

The Decline of the Creative Class: A Generation Lost?

Some time in the past few years it dawned on me that my desired career choice would be in the creative arts: Journalism, writing, comedy - or teaching some or all of the above. I now am fairly certain that I was born at least ten years too late because so many of the opportunities that were abundant as hell during the second half of the twentieth century have seemingly disappeared.

As a member of Generation Y, I was too young to capitalize on the 1990s tech boom. And arriving at a working age in the post-dot-com era meant that while Internet journalism grew, print journalism (one of my passions) has rapidly disintegrated.

And then there's that terrible force known as Reality TV. I need not explain the proliferation of this phenomenon (but first and foremost DAMN THE BRITS for exporting that crap to us), but all who know me know that I can't stand the thought of it, as it has replaced much of the more intelligent scripted fare that I am most passionate about. One needs only to look at the poor ratings of 30 Rock and the tragic fate of Arrested Development to know that America has become a nation of dummies!

Books, books, books. Americans don't read like they used to. They barely read at all. And when Americans do read, it's mostly grocery store/beach read kitsch that raises as many philosophical/life altering questions as one would experience in watching an episode of Flava of Love.* And if it's not fiction nonsense, it's books written by celebrities/pundits giving some type of scandalously selfish views about their lives...

And music. Today musicians must compete with everyone else on MySpace and such because the leaders of this arrogant and greedy sector chose to screw themselves forever (by not lowering CD prices and such) rather than sacrifice small chunks of change. It is a sad truth that many brilliant modern artists will never make it big or have their work shared with the mainstream...I-tunes and the remnants of Napster may be the world's last hope...

As we enter an uncertain age of economic downturn, essentially capitulating to forecasts that the Chinese will surpass us as the next great world power, I wonder if my generation (our generation) will become lost in the throngs of history and contribute next to nothing to the creative world.

*I have never watched Flava of Love. but I can only imagine how mind-numbing it is!

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