If you’re like me, you’re probably tired of the steady stream of partisan politics being displayed across your social feeds and harped on every day in the media. Don’t fret, I have a prediction and I’m 90% sure it will come to pass.
Prediction: Moderate will be mainstream in the next 2 – 4 years. It will be a return to the 90’s.
Since 2008 and cemented in 2012, extremism has been mainstream. There are several reasons for this.
- The media’s need for clicks pushed hyperbolic tension.
- Globalized input on domestic affairs.
- Social media and internet celebrities
Basically, you’ve got multiple agendas trying to be heard in a time where anyone can say anything and Twitter is reported as news. Everyone is loud. Everyone wants attention and the best way to get attention is to be the most extreme person you can be. This is similar to any subculture becoming popular.
Geek Culture as a Barometer
“Geek” / “Nerd” Culture used to be very niche. While lots of people watched Star Trek and saw Star Wars growing up, the diehard fans were typically made fun of for displaying any sort of affection for it in real life. Lots of nerds escaped into ‘fandoms’ to find belonging, since they weren’t getting it from the social circles in the real world. These fandoms become more extreme with obscure sci-fi growing and fetish culture like Furry Fandom taking off. At a certain point in these subcultures, the fans stopped giving a shit about what normal people thought and began to ignore them. If one of these outsiders tried to intrude with “The Millenium Falcon made the Kessel Run in 10 parsecs” they were laughed at for being idiots.
This made Mr. Normal Person feel left out, because the attention he sought was no longer working and the fun of abusing the nerds had flipped onto him. So, he co-opted the fandom. It was important that he could fit in, so he watched the Star Wars films and played the board games and made certain to interject and make fun of people who made canonical errors.
This is partly the fault of the original fans for being such assholes to outsiders, but I understand why they were. You see, outsiders coming into a circle, bring their outsider nonsense into it. Things become more sterile and the magic becomes lost the more people think they have a say into things. Many games devs, film directors, book authors, try to make something new as soon as the masses latch on to their project. Looking to recreate the magic and not deal with the petty shit large fanbases bring with it.
While it’s great when hobbies go mainstream for capitalistic reasons (more entertainment, more games, more, more more) it becomes exhausting having everything become an argument. I don’t really give a shit about “Who Shot First” and I’m sure Lucas doesn’t either. You’ve got entire YouTube channels dedicated to poking holes in films and books. Everyone pretends to know everything and be the smartest nerd in the room. Now cosplay is cool and everyone makes sure to dress up as their favorite Chad Superman hero and MoneyGrab Con ’17, where advertising agencies premiere the next big Joss Whedon spectacle.
The fans that made conventions popular have long retreated from the nightmare. Perhaps going to observe and reminisce of old times, but the magic has gone. Everyone is now a critic and they make it a point to be. George Lucas has wiped his hands of Star Wars – leaving it dead, to be picked away by Disney Vultures.
The old fans hide away in corners of the internet – creating a new culture for themselves. A moderate one.
Subcultures that are now Mainstream
- Children’s Cartoons
All of them.
The great political LARP
@TimCast is an unrecognizable man without his beanie, but that doesn’t matter. With the beanie, Tim Pool makes some great points. I think Tim is a great example of what’s happening with extremism. A journalist, attending events across the world, most caused by extreme ideologies clashing. Slowly changing his world perspective, but remaining objective. It’s a hard thing to do. His streams have become more balanced and with it comes frustration. It’s hard to be objective when everyone is insane. First he’s hated, then he’s loved, then he’s hated by the people who loved him but then loved by his haters. Objective reporting is not equal to subjective opinions. In his revival on-site independent journo world tour, he’s having to teach his audience what the word “journalist” means. Basically, he should just be a lens for the audience to draw their own perspectives. Not a voice for others to form opinions from. Domestically, people seem to prop him up as a hero or a villain, when all he does is argue (increasingly with more accuracy) from the middle ground. During his Boston coverage, he commented that he thinks everyone is LARPing (Live Action Roleplay, or essentially costume play). He’s right.
I think there’s only so much of skinny rich kids in ninja costumes screaming about persecution and the proletariat and ‘roided out bros holding torches in the dark of the night in front of old statues chanting that normal people can handle until they check out. Just like Lucas could only handle so much pointless yelling about Watto and Jar Jar Binks before he checked out with a large paycheck.
Remember Glenn Beck? He’s apparently going through some sort of existential crisis where he regrets all the years of shouting about FEMA DEATH CAMPS. He’s been on several left-leaning media shows, including Samantha Bee and various NPR programs.
He’s now an advocate for calming the fuck down, apparently. He’s telling celebs that they are just being him from the past. He says he’s trying to repent for polarizing the country. We’ll see if he means it, or if he’s just trying for a new audience since he old one hates him.
Speaking of Glenn, this is happening all over YouTube. Internet Celebrities like Laci Green, Ian Miles Cheong, JonTron, PewDiePie, EgoRaptor, Boogie, etc etc etc keep swapping ideologies left and right. Some go left, some go right. Here’s the thing – neither extreme is habitable. The same reasons you’ll hate one side, is the same reason you’ll hate the other. So, after exploring the other perspective – most of these peeps just chill out and say “Fuck it”. I doubt the explorations are for the money, though it’s fun to be a conspiracy theorist about it.
One thing that needs to happen and is happening, is that we should stop propping celebrities up as “speaking for us”. They speak for themselves. Politics has just become a good way to get clicks and the soap opera appeal is why many people are so into them now.
We all come from different backgrounds, cultures, and moral compasses. Entertainment doesn’t need to be political, but right now it is – because that’s what sells. The more it’s pushed into our faces, the faster we’ll check out. Believe it or not, people are pretty reasonable once removed from the vacuum of their social and media bubbles.
It’s okay to be Moderate
There was a time, during Clinton and sometime into Bush II, that things were pretty okay. Sure, there was politics, but in general most people left each other alone. There were injustices and policy fuck ups and more – but the common man had a little bit of money, comfort, and enough CD’s to require sleeved books.
If you talk to ‘whatever side’, they’ll say being a moderate or centrist is a cop-out. I don’t agree with this. No one is truly center anything. You can lean left, right, or upside-down. You don’t have to sacrifice your integrity in being openly moderate. I think what most people complain about is the perceived high ground that ‘middle-line’ people take. “Oh you think you’re so great because you’re shitting on everyone, but that doesn’t accomplish anything.” This is also right. This goes back to admitting we know nothing. Being an asshole is what draws more people to your subculture. You don’t have to be an asshole to be a centrist. What it should mean is that you’re willing to listen or check out of the conversation.
This is what people are doing. They’re checking out and as they check out, the ‘figureheads’ have taken notice and are checking (or pretending to check out). If Trump’s presidency has done anything for the USA, it’s made everyone so sick of listening to shit, that they don’t care. This is bad and good, but as long as you remain diligent in your civil duties and voice your concerns to your reps – you can do whatever else you want, I guess. To be honest, I’m as tired of talking about this as you are of reading about it all the time. Moving forward, maybe Robek.World can evolve into something a little bit less “preachy”. Someone told me once that it’s an effort in futility to try to express these particular views, because other people don’t think this way and it doesn’t accomplish anything.
I agree with this, but everyone else is doing it – so maybe it accomplishes at least filling the search engines with delusions of bipartisan shitposting. At the end of the day, all I really want to do is shitpost in peace.
Anyways, I predict distancing from extremism will become the new mainstream thing to do (obviously, as history is cyclical). And for a time, it will be mainstream and we’ll have 4-8 years of glorious quiet. Then, as it always does – extremism will become a larger counterculture, leading to another 8 years of bitching and moaning. We’re destined to repeat the loop – so just hang in there.
At least this is what I hope, but if the media has anything to do with it – they’ll keep pushing their reptilian illuminati plans through discordia until we’ve drowned in the underground cities of our truly flat earth.
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Also published on Medium.
- @ May 15, 2017 6:48 pm