They rejected Christendom, they rejected America, and they rejected reality. Now the cultural parasites have literally nothing left:
Modern pop culture is running on fumes, and its about to strand its passengers in the desert.
But the final straw for me, and it appears for many others, was the reveal of Ready Player One directed by an over the hill Steven Spielberg.
I think the best sum up of the reaction might have been this one. The pop culture atmosphere the original book was released in is much different than it is now. It’s amazing how fast the climate has changed.
What the criticism boils down to is that nerd culture is really, really embarrassing, and that this generation is starting to realize why. It’s the realization that we are little more than grown manchildren refusing to be adults. Our grandparents are gone, and no one is willing to step up to bat for them which leaves the Millennials and Gen X to make up for it. This is really about the growing self-awareness that “nerd blackface” (as a friend of mine puts is) has finally hit the wall.
This has little to do with liking geeky things. It was never about that. A lot of men like geeky movies, comics, and games, but those things are not their whole world. They have families, responsibilities, friends, and hopes for the future. Their entire world is not crying into their pillow about how much they miss the 1980s and their long gone youth. While this book might have been relevant to the zeitgeist when it came out, a lot has changed since 2011 and mindless wallowing in pop culture references have finally started to lose their luster.
People don’t want to hide in their man-caves and be talked down to anymore, and constantly reassured that their childhood is where they should stay. It was a nice, comfortable place to be.
But childhood is over. Star Wars movies ended in 1983. Chris Claremont doesn’t write X-Men anymore. Kurt Cobain is dead, and so is radio rock. Dr. Who has been treading water creatively since its reboot. These properties have had their stories were told. Now it is time for new franchises and new stories and for the baggage to be left behind. It’s time to stop pining for a childhood that is over.
Which brings us to the bigger point. What comes next?
This is where we realize we are standing in muddy waters.
As Razorfist pointed out above, there’s always a new trend coming along to replace the old one. It’s the way of the beast. But it’s different now. The industry has been working overtime to destroy legacy genres and franchises. They’ve been forcing PC doctrine into every script to make every set of characters interchangeable and every tired plot beat the same. It’s not the same as it once was.
If superhero movies do end, then what replaces them? There is no pleasant answer to this, but there’s only really one .
The answer, is nothing.
What replaces Pop Culture is Alt Culture. What replaces the Superhero is Alt Hero. Winter is coming and the wolves are howling. And it’s coming much sooner than you think.