Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .

Can I Be Offended When a 20 Year Old Hasn't Seen Pulp Fiction?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

this entry brought to you by yeah yeah yeahs, "subway"

I was on break with a couple of guys who are 23 and 21, and the 23 year old mentioned that he went to Amsterdam and had smoked some weed.

"How was it?" I asked.

"It was fine," he said. "Not as mind blowing as I had expected."

"Now my shit, I'll take the Pepsi fuckin' challenge any day of the week. But this one here is a Madman," I said, paraphrasing.

He looked at me blankly.

I almost got offended that he didn't recognize the Pulp Fiction quote. I mashed two quotes together, in fact, to make what I was quoting that much more obvious, and I still got blank stares.

But can I even be offended at anyone below the age of 25 anymore, when I'm talking about movies over 10 years old? Of course, you could say, We watched all sorts of older movies when we were young.

Yes, we did. But we didn't have as much of a choice when it came to television. I've seen a lot of amazing classic movies, but I've seen a metric shit ton of awful, awful movies from the 80s that, if I'd had the choice, I wouldn't have watched. When we were kids there was a joke that there were 500 cable channels. But that was comedy. There were 80 cable channels. If you had Satellite TV you had 100 channels and about 200 channels of foreign stuff. Nowadays there are literally 500 English language channels.

Moreover, every channel is trying to make original programming. Granted, they'll play their original programming 20 times a day, 7 days a week, but the point is, each channel is trying to make its own identity. USA, TNT, TBS, all these channels nowadays are trying to get their own identity. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, TNT, TBS, USA-- these channels didn't give a fuck about making their own identity. They just played reruns of shit, without any regard to popularity or obscurity, just anything, and would play it with commercial interruptions.

Do kids even watch movies with commercial interruptions anymore? I can't imagine why the would, especially when there are a whole slew of channels with their tastes in mind just a channel click away. When I was a kid, there were huge chunks of the day where absolutely nothing that anyone my age would care about. And when I turned to HBO, if I didn't like whatever movie that was on, well, I had Showtime, and Cinemax. But nowadays, if someone doesn't like what's going on on HBO, they have HBO 2, and HBO 3, and HBO Family...

I haven't had cable since 2000, and have found ways-- easy, legal ways-- to consume movies since then. It occurred to me that I don't even know for sure if HBO shows non-original programming anymore. Do they play movies? I haven't had HBO in over 15 years. And part of my brain says, dude, of course they play movies. Of course. But the a large portion of my brain literally has no idea. People come up to me and say "Oh my god, are you watching Game of Thrones?" People will tell me that they started watching The Sopranos from the beginning and it is amazing. I have literally not heard a single soul say that they caught Enemy Mine on HBO last night. Nobody has told me they were bored and caught the last half of some shit with Patrick Swayze but were too lazy to get up and look up what it was. Not a single damn person tells me they were masturbating to soft core porn on Cinemax last night. Modern softcore porn is Spartacus. Do they even call Cinemax "Skinemax" anymore? Is there an equivalent to Skinemax? Does the Spice Channel still exist?

This isn't to say that things weren't totally awesome when I was a kid-- they were. We had so much choice, we had so much good stuff to watch. But we watched a lot of stuff just because it was on. I have probably seen every single episode of Saved By the Bell. I did not like any episode of Saved By The Bell, but I watched it because it was on at five on weekdays, and it was either that or the news. By 5 o'clock even Nickelodeon was playing, like, Hey Dude, a show I liked even less.

But people consume things differently nowadays. How many DVDs do you own? I'm betting a lot. I have about 100. I literally knew no one that had an extensive store-bought VHS collection. Everybody had piles and piles of stuff recorded off of TV, but nobody bought a home video that wasn't Disney unlocking a vault classic. And it's gotten true of DVD as well-- nobody buys DVDs anymore. Everybody Hulus and Netflixes.

There was a certain language we all spoke back in the 1980s and 1990s, and it was because cable only had access to certain movies, and so they showed certain things a lot. There was a certain time where we could yell at each other for-- gasp!-- not having seen some awesome shit, but that's because there was a time when you would have to go about your life actively avoiding popular culture to not have seen it. Your parents had to have been complete Mormon assholes if you hadn't seen all the awesome movies everybody else had seen, and also known no one but other Mormon assholes because you lived on a commune; even people whose parents were strict had friends with cable and parents who didn't give a shit. It's not that I've gotten old, it's that technology has diversified stuff so much that I absolutely have no idea how people younger than me consume things. Check that-- I know how they consume things, because I consume them in the same way, I just don't know what they're consuming because we're all consuming things in our own walled-off gardens. We all watch non-stop awesomeness if we so choose, and nobody has any idea the things we're all watching. Even within the same house every individual person can have absolutely zero overlap with the taste of everybody else in the house.

I know for sure people that have grown up in the 2000s have watched movies from the 2000s. But how am I supposed to get mad at a kid being 20 years old not having watched something that came out when they were three? I watched a whole lot of movies that came out when I was three, but I absolutely couldn't avoid it.

with love from CRS @ 2:47 PM 


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