Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Five Cultural Trends That NEED TO DIE in 2018

Yeah, you get around the Internet enough and you see them: those ridiculous, obnoxious trends that seem to be everywhere. Everyone's doing them, and they're getting super popular, but you just can't get behind them. They make you sick. And I'm with you, man. They gotta go.

So, with 2018 just around the corner, I'm lining up the most annoying trends that have gotten popular in recent years that totally need to get dropped. Ready?

1. Expecting artists to work for free against their will.

Artists get to set their own price. If they want to do something free for a charity gig, or for fun, or for the opportunity to work somewhere or with someone specifically meaningful to them, they're allowed to. If they work gratis for a while and then need to start charging, they also get to do that. Lack of respect for a creator's pricing is deeply unattractive. Pay creators for their work in 2018 -- or if you can't or don't want to, shut the hell up about it.

2. Gatekeeping in fandom.

This is a tale as old as time that never seems to change. We're becoming more aware and willing to speak out, but it's still there. Fans who, because of a deep insecurity and fear of intrusion on something around which they've built their entire personality, dictate who "gets to be" a "real fan" and through which hoops they must jump to do so. What they don't realize is that doing this only exposes the frightened element of them. After all, people only fight when they have something to lose.

3. Weaponizing STEM against the arts.

There's something very grim about the fact that many believe the sciences can only thrive at the expense of the arts. STEM fields are extremely important,and I love science beyond what I can say. But putting science and arts at odds is disrespectful and short-sighted -- especially considering that there's a romance to science and a discipline to the arts that cross over. Encouraging STEM jobs is an admirable thing -- but vilifying actors and ballerinas and musicians along with it is a bit gross. Remember, Hedy Lamarr was an inventor and an actress.

4. Conflating personal opinions with objective fact

This is true in all areas, but in critical viewing of arts and entertainment, it builds an insurmountable wall. When your taste becomes your be-all and end-all for "good" versus "bad," you've effectively decided that you are the only audience that matters. And if you're not a reviewer or a creator? That's fine. But those who want to delve into the world of critique and review need to begin zeroing in on the idea that personal taste and artistic merit are often two very different lines -- and that two opposing viewpoint on one work can both be "right" as they are both reliant on the individual.

5. Trying to get industry professionals to "back door" you into jobs.

This is an old trend masquerading as a new one -- people outside the industry who either want an easy but prestigious industry job, or who just want to be seen with the right people and aren't thinking ahead to the world said "right people" put in (usually, anyway) to be where they are. You call it being a go-getter and being assertive, but it comes off as looking opportunistic and stepping on people for your own gain. Making contacts is an absolute necessity in any industry, but somewhere along the line the message got garbled. Contacts are not a hand down to fling you ahead. They are not a bypass around training, education, and experience. Not only can't someone in the industry just overnight you into a job that took them ten years to get to -- they really don't want to.

Let's all work together to make 2018 a rad year for every creator and fan -- not just ourselves.