"Could you look under the hood? I think it's something to do with the culture-- it's been knocking and sputtering when I press on the gas, and sometimes the power just cuts out without any warning."

See image at: https://www.edwardkoren.com/well-theres-your-problem-cartoons-by-edward-koren/

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If the article's author wanted to prove the case that alternative "culture" was virtually entirely worthless junk pandered to and lapped up by tasteless, credulous fools, then he has succeeded marvelously.

Present-day culture, compared to virtually anything (literature, music, film, painting, architecture, fashion) 100 or more years old, is _CRAP_.

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In my view, the nagging question that this well written article and personal observation/experience raises is whether or not we are moving at light speed to a culture lacking substance, depth and character?

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There is churn that runs through culture, a natural, free-form evolution that produces a wide range of content. Some of it is good. Some of it is bad. Some of it might actually, in the fullness of time, become great.

If anyone in the culture industry thinks it is anything other than the attraction of eyeballs, they should either practice the patience of a Job or be in some other business.

It saddens me that this us conversation that we are having to have in our country because there seem to be so many that cannot accept the churn as fundamental to a free society.

It might be useful to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to hold some of the more perverse players of the past few decades to honorable account for their actions or inactions.

Names need to be named and heads need to roll to cleanse rational discourse.

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As the creator of her own mini publishing imprint, thank you so much, Ted, for backing us up. I adore this Substack and am happy to see many flocking to the real romantics and idealists and artistic thinkers of our time. It's soothingly refreshing to absorb all these statistics coming from an optimist's perspective.

Thank you.

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Comments section here is... wild. In any case, really great perspective on Mr. Beast and influencers. I actually recommend that, before people go on tirades against influencers, that you actually watch the content. It’s incredibly well-produced, sometimes pretty insightful, and ostensibly more “genuine” than the reality show, corporate television and web content that preceded it. I completely agree with the author’s point- these old cultural institutions are dinosaurs fumbling around to stay alive.

If you don’t want to end up in that camp, then do some homework on the platforms and content that you’ve villainized. You’ll see that the content isn’t so scary, and the potential for creators young and old is remarkable.

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The Babylon Bee has hacked your web site. This cannot possibly be a real post claiming "culture is just fine, look at this"

• A hundred thousand songs are uploaded daily to streaming platforms.

• In the last year, 1.7 million books were self-published.

• Every minute, 2,500 videos are uploaded to YouTube.

• There are now 3 million podcasts—and 30 million podcast episodes were released last year.

• About 86% of youngsters want to grow up to become influencers, and they contribute to these impressive numbers.

Contact Babylon Bee immediately!

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Here in Abilene Texas we have a Children’s Art and Literature festival every year in early June. It was created to celebrate the literature Available to our kids and encourage them to read and talk about it. By using very creative readers fun art projects and a festival atmosphere the kids find out just how fun reading can be. It has grown each year with visitors from all over the United States. The impact is seen in our schools.

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“The Disney business, previously built on creativity and bold new ideas, was now just an umbrella for the regurgitation of familiar brand franchises. These tried-and-true stories are seen as surefire winners. Nobody ever needs to take a risk on something bold and original ever again.”

Man, this hit home for me. I used to love going to the movies and haven’t felt compelled to see a new release in the last 5-8 years. I think the author aptly captures this lack of motivation; in a world where the next Marvel movie is almost guaranteed to offer ROI for the films producers and investors, what incentives exist to innovate? Produce the same tried and true CGI battle scenes, couple that with carbon-copy story arch’s and you have the cinematic equivalent of a savings CD; something that won’t move the needle too much much but is guaranteed to allow Disney to make a tidy profit. The only problem with this type of media? It’s boring. It lacks any of the originality and risk that make truly original films great. I see this happening with Disney’s takeover of Star Wars as well: spin as many side series off as you can, douse everything in CGI and offer a couple characters that can go viral, and you have yourself a cash cow. It feels hollow and unconsidered, the media equivalent of fast food. Couple this with a general cultural environment where original or controversial thought is marginalized due to fear of cancellation or missing out on capital funding, and you have the perfect recipe for mediocrity. Here’s hoping the new environment the author describes changes things for the better like this site has! mahalo.

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Negative, sir

Keep this in the hands of the artists, the grifters, and the hungry and keep the suits out of the kitchen by any means necessary.

Mr. Beast, Breaking Points, Substack, and Rogan, Chapelle became great by rejecting the man in the head office and getting their worth on an open market - at some personal sacrifice and risk

You underestimate the tools in the hands of the likes of Iger, EU 'misinformation' boards, and faceless Amazon executives who's names you will never know. Replace the words 'Artist' with 'conservative' and see how long your app stays on the store or your YouTube can be monetized if it challenges real power or a solid enough pretense can be invented to rip it root and stem out of the ecosystem. The Twitter files become Payolla in 10 years.

Bill Clinton's famous 'nailing Jello' comment on China proved prescient- watching the Stasi lose East Germany under the administrative burden of a survaillence state, it's counter-intuitive to see the we were handing the CCP the perfect technology to create automated oppression.

The AI revolution is vastly more likely to empower Iger's umbrella to churn new ideas at exponetial rates, identify cultural trends, and probably will be spent on cost-saving measures that replace the physical space (expensive) with AI generated CGI. And if Mr. Beast does become a major competitor, the guys who Iger works for will always be able to afford him when the time comes - actually the more expensive the better, for Disney's stock price.

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"About 86% of youngsters want to grow up to become influencers..." This is like the 2023 version of 1963 when everyone wanted to be an Astronaut. Or 1983 when everyone wanted to be a rock star. Good luck, y'all...

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I think much of the success we see on Substack is still connected to legacy institutions. Bari began with traction, thanks to her legacy press connections, which were probably thanks to her legacy elite university background. The only reason we read this writer here was through Bari, who, as I say, had the foundation of legacy institutions. We are not yet truly in a situation where all the cream will rise to the top without assistance.

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I’m speaking from the uncomfortable middle of the pack. I’ve sold maybe 30,000 books, and given away 250K free ebooks. I think I have enough reviews and sales to show my stuff isn’t garbage. Twice, I’ve had strangers recognize me as the author of my books. And yet, I’m buried by the big players from one side, and the sheer number of Indie authors from the other.

I appreciate the optimism of this article, but, at least when it comes to writing novels, the number of people who actually read books is fairly small, and YouTube won’t remedy that. “Video killed the radio star.” It is also killing authors.

Without money or prior celebrity, it’s very difficult to cut through the noise, at least as a novelist.

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Hmm, I wonder if Disney’s decision to produce highly politicized content pushing a radical left-wing/progressive agenda on its audience had any affect on its business?

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This article confuses culture with content. Yeah there’s a lot of content out there but is it culture? What is culture?

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I think this clearly points to a subscriber-based culture, as well as a frictionless one, in which anyone with a phone can produce content, using in combination their camera, mic, and/or keyboard.

The one thing this ignores is how Gen Z evolves as they get older. Will any of them eventually migrate to the legacy institutions?

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