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Realising most media is trash Anonymous 24683

So after watching the end of season 2 of Picard, where no plot lines were resolved properly or made sense, it made realise how little I've actually been enjoying nu-Trek. I kept watching because I think a character shows potential or my headcanon fills in the poor writing. I've watched almost 4 seasons of Discovery and can't think of a single episode I've actually enjoyed. There's nothing really wrong with Strange New Worlds but it feels empty and unfulfilling.

I've read a few Trek books too but never loved any of them and the fanfics I love are few and far between, even considering the amount that I consume. Old Star Trek is not perfect either. And not just Star Trek, I tried watching The Musketeers because that was also highly praised and it just seemed very formulaic and repetitive. I basically ended up watching for the eyecandy and shipping potential. Why have I been wasted so much time on this type of thing?

I'm struggling to think of modern media that I've actually enjoyed and felt that it had real depth to it and stayed with me, even for things that are a more highbrow than popular tv shows. I started reading The Three Musketeers book and it feels so rich in comparison. I don't want to sound snobbish but I guess there is a reason classic literature considered that way (putting aside the privilege aspects regarding what becomes a classic or not). I loved reading Gone with the Wind a while ago and the end of the book completely broke me, even though I'd seen the film a million times already. I just didn't want to let the characters go. The modern sequels paled in comparison, lacking in themes, charismatic characters who grow, terrifying and awe inspiring settings, etc.

I feel kind of sad thinking about the time I've wasted on shallow media and how much it is praised in our society. Media is such a large part of our of culture and realising that most of it is trash is weird and disorienting. How are people content with this? How was I? Why is there such a strong system of praising trash? Because people then gain praise themselves? Or are the number of people who can see the reality so few? I'm not even talking about recognised trash like Marvel movies. Even a lot of Oscar winners are trash.

Considering that are a limited number of classic books out there (compared to how many books have ever been published), what happens when I finish all the ones that interest me? Or even the ones that don't? I go through books pretty quickly and there will come a point where there will be nothing left for me to find anew. It feels stupid to worry about that now with a vast number of books ahead of me, but before I felt like there was endless media to consume. And now there isn't.

Furthermore, what if classic books have overpraised trash too? What then? Do I just not consume anything?

I don't know if any of this makes sense but I wanted to try and write down the jumbled feelings inside of me right now. It would be interesting to hear if anyone else has felt this way and what you did about it.

Anonymous 24686

You don't have to worry about running out of books. There are so many, hundreds of years worth. Once you read the ones on your list you can just go on Project Gutenberg and browse and find more that you'll ever be able to read.

To answer your question about why trash is so popular, people want something easy and digestible. They want something that lets them turn their mind off and be fed some pretty explosions. This isn't totally their fault, daily life today is far more stressful and unpleasant than it was 100 years ago. You would think this wouldn't be the case because of all our modern conveniences but the truth is people lived simpler lives and were happier for it. Reading provided mental stimulation that people needed. Now people are mentally overstimulated just trying to live their daily lives.

Anonymous 24687

I totally sympathize with you. I noticed that as of late most of the anime I pick up is very unsatisfactory despite the popularity and critical acclaim. I started approaching random anime with very little praise and noticed that I found myself enjoying it more.

Maybe try approaching random shows and books? You'll have 0 expectations. Just walk into a bookstore and pick up whichever seems interesting I guess. It also helps to know what type of story you'll looking for. Are you looking for something lighthearted or now.

> what if classic books have overpraised trash too? What then? Do I just not consume anything?

Anything can be overhyped and overpraised even the classics. From what I noticed sometimes the classics are praised because they did something new at the time of it coming out which now might not be impressive eg: Star Wars.

Anonymous 24688

Thanks, this is a really good explanation. It feels like modern things lack subtlety and anything that requires deep thought. I guess when tv writers have to churn out so many episodes in a certain amount of time or a film director or author have set deadlines, there isn’t time to create real depth. Nor is there time for people to enjoy it.

It’s pretty sad that so much of our culture is superficial, even outside of media. Politics, activism, relationships. I feel like recently I’ve been finding out the shallowness of so many things and media is just the latest one.

I wish I had a time machine or something, though I guess the past had it’s own trash to deal with.

Anonymous 24691

I think I’ve going to read random classic books that I’ve always wanted to read or I know are well praised. I like going into things blind too but I’m sceptical of things I know nothing about as I can feel like I’ve wasted several hours of my life if I’m too generous about waiting for it too get good.

I’ve only read a few so far but always wanted to read all of the Shakespeare plays so I think I’ll focus on that too, and watch some adaptations as they should be safe. I’ll probably stay away from other media for a bit.

I agree about classics being overhyped sometimes and I definitely felt that way about Star Wars (Han Solo is a rip off of Rhett Butler) but I think something well written can be enjoyable even if not entirely “new”. I guess good media feels more like a journey than a destination.

Another thing I might do is try writing my own stuff. I don’t think I have any particular talent and I have no technical knowledge but I suppose if I go through enough drafts I should be able to weed out any trashy parts and end up with something I’ll find nice to read, if no one else.

Anonymous 24692


I think modern audiences are very forgiving towards a show taking a hiatus so I feel like TV writers aren't churning out episode after episode nowadays.

Most modern media is just not subtle I'm convinced that modern writers really just can't do nuance anymore or the producers are trying to pander to social media a bit too hard because a few years ago "X show has representation!" was the best thing that could happen to a show.

If OP is still looking for good modern shows did you give Black Mirror and Orphan Black a go? I'm not caught up with Black Mirror but it's good just make sure to skip the first episode because it's gross and isn't a good intro for the show then revisit it if you want, the show is an anthology so you could watch at random.

Anonymous 24693

Thanks for the recommendations. I do like Black Mirror but I feel like the last season and the movie weren’t that great. I did actually like the first episode because it was so out there, plus I already knew about the Cameron pig thing so it was pretty funny. I haven’t watched Orphan Black but I’ll try it if I ever feel like watching another show.

What I meant about tv writers was that I don’t think most of them spend long stretches thinking about plots. They go to the writers room with some ideas and listen to other people’s and then storyboard the plot. Someone eventually writes the episode and that’s it mostly. In comparison, an author (especially in the past) will spend a lot more time, years often, on one story with many redrafts.

I feel the same way about diversity. I don’t care who is in the show but I wish they weren’t so in your face about it. Not that I don’t want representation but it feels like they hit you over the head with it and while that was good at first, now it is tiring. Just write a regular new character and then cast them diversely. I feel that being so over the top about it isn’t really good representation either as it’s not normalised to the point that no one cares.

Anonymous 24934


OP here. I saw pic related and decided to post an update to organise my thoughts a bit.

Since posting this thread, I've finished the first Musketeers book and I am about half through the second. I also read and watched adaptations of nine Shakespeare plays (the linked histories and a random comedy). The difference in quality between what I was consuming before is astounding.

Despite the plays adding up to only a few hours each, the Shakespeare protagonists (Richard II, Henry V, Richard III in this case) really stay with you and I feel almost grief for them when they meet their untimely ends. Richard III in particular, while clearly a monster, started so joyous in his villainous ways that you can't help but love him, strange as that is. Despite less than 3 weeks passing since my last post, I've met so many rich characters that I feel will stay with me for a long time.

With Shakespeare, the language is so incredibly rich that I feel that I could read the plays multiple times and gain something new with each reading. When I first read Shakespeare many years ago as a teenager, I remember barely understanding anything, but now that I have adjusted to the language, it's so much easier and more fulfilling. I still have to concentrate to catch everything, but by doing that I feel like my whole brain is engaged with the media. Previously I would be easily distracted, having shows on in a split screen on my laptop while I window shopped online or browsed tumblr.

While The Musketeers books are much longer, the characters are not overused. Aramis, the romantic, only has a few very well chosen lines alluding to his romantic dalliances, for example. Instead of being hit over the head with details, names, images, we instead see brief mentions of feminine embroidered handkerchiefs, a gifted diamond cross, and such like. The subtlety and mystery is much richer, your mind instead able to fill in the blanks with whatever is best suited to your own tastes. The language is simpler of course, but the story is still gripping, taking unexpected twists and turns, making me return to that childhood feeling of wanting to stay up late to know what happens next in the story.

Like pic related, I'm still sad about all the time I wasted on trash but I am thankful that my eyes have finally been opened. I did wonder in the OP if I could run out of good books but I feel confident now that each good book I read will point me to others who are similar or inspired each other. Shakespeare points to Marlowe and The Musketeers to Don Quixote for example

Speaking of trash, in pic related's thread, someone posted about Sturgeon's law which states that "ninety percent of everything is crap". Funnily enough, Sturgeon also wrote for Star Trek (which I mentioned in my OP as being the tipping point for me). Of his two scripts, one is complete trash. The irony.

Anonymous 24940

>>This isn't totally their fault, daily life today is far more stressful and unpleasant than it was 100 years ago

Is this a joke ? Or are you just a moid ?

Anonymous 24942

>People have always been shallow that's virtually all society has ever been. It's based on money, sex and war you're acting like you're so surprised ?
I don't disagree with you but I meant more to do with media, not people in general. I've known for a long time that most people are shallow.

The historical Shakespeare plays I read recently are based on war but still contain a lot of depth and richness. Money/sex/war in media doesn't have to mean shallow.

>Like you're really any better ? What country do you live in and do you even have a job or were you able to go to school?

I have a fairly interesting job, a STEM degree and I'm working on an arts degree.

I think you meant to reply to >>24686 not >>24934


>why are you comparing film to classic books? Who compares Alien to the three musketeers?
I don't think I compared film specifically, but I did use Star Trek as an example as media that now feels shallow. Star Trek is seen as many as being thought provoking with a rich canon so it's not that terrible a comparison. I also mentioned some Star Trek books.

I don't think anyone is pretending Star Trek in any media form is on the same level as classic books but wanted to illustrate my thought process that made me realise everything is trash.

Anonymous 24943

I agree, there is a lot of missing subtlety layered into writing, but only if you read garbagebin books. The real issue for writers is getting descent criticism these days. It's all dried up, you can hardly get that kind of literary feedback anymore.

As for media.. why are we comparing film media with clasical books? I think it's only been a problem during the last decade that media has truly been bad. There are a few gems in there that stick out but .. most of its overburdened by politics and progressive themes. Not that I have a problem with progressive politics but why can't they be kept separate?, I just wish writers would stop burdening everything they write with themes were overly familiar with. It's to the point I just roll my eyes

Mostly though… why are you comparing film media to classic books? Who compares Alien to the Three Musketeers? You aren't supposed to experience them the same way, why would you even try to make a point out of it?

Anonymous 24945

>I agree, there is a lot of missing subtlety layered into writing, but only if you read garbagebin books
I don't deny that was part of my problem too and mentioned that I was reading a lot of fanfiction, which is scrapping the barrel when it comes it quality. However, I was also consuming award winning and highly praised modern media too. I've always consumed a wide selection of media.

Saying that, I obviously can't consume all the modern media out there so my analysis of "everything is trash" does have a sampling problem of being limited to things that looked appealing to me. Similarly, good media from the past is much more likely to survive, meaning sampling there isn't fair either.

Perhaps a more fair title would have been "Realising most modern media I consume is trash".

>Mostly though… why are you comparing film media to classic books?

Re-reading the OP, I realise I did mention Oscar winning movies but I didn't mean that to be the focus. Just media in general. I suppose classic media is more limited in its types as they didn't have movies, tv, or internet then.

For a more fair comparison, you can compare Oscar winning moves to Shakespeare and Oscar movies will always fall short.

Anonymous 24950

I agree the depth and richness is a lot more present in classical writing… but not always. Not all of the books by the Bronte sisters were actually that great. Trashbin fantasy, action, romance and drama are often all that give writers any semblance of income. You talk about it like they want to though, like they had any choice! Its actually wrong. You just sound like you don't follow any of the up-to-date lit being released. It really doesn't sound like you read Elena Ferrante either, my god

Anyway those financial decisions and judgements spill over into film too. No surprise there. How exactly do you expect people who want to write good things to do that with no money??? Do you know the kind of financial cliffs film studios and writers regularly find themselves sitting on and how many typically go under ??? Do you realize how many studios and production houses have been lost since 2000?! It is an inconcievable undertaking to do what they do. It's not like a writer says to herself ond day "hmm i want to make garbage" the forces of the market are bigger than you. You either sell out or you have the skill if .0001% of the population to go big or go home.

If you actually went back in time though you'd be surprised by how surrounded you would be by dumb media. Most people were not brilliant writers or cinematographers no matter what decade you're looking at. The 20s, 30s, 40s , 50s, had awful movies. They were just forgotten. Its the sane for bad novels, the only ones that got reprinted and remembered were the acclaimed ones. People in general are kind of shallow and dumb and it is a fucking MIRACLE a lot of your classical books got made at all.

They would have been bombarded with mountains of rejection simply because they weren't trash books. Look at where it got Poe, and look at how Chambers just stopped trying. He went right back to making crap! It was virtually impossible to make money writing books like that and it still is.

It's like opening up your own veins and letting yourself bleed out to have passion. What the fuck do you expect?? but especially back in the day, when people were simply unaccepting and hostile towards anything that wasn't white and Christian.

You have no fucking clue how many of those books you love are only here by the sheer grace of God.

You know how hard it is to decide to write a series even as overhyped and "stupid" as HP though? People talk about it like it's garbage but where do most writers end up? Spurned or broke or both. Just consider yourself lucky you have any of it for Christ's sake. Or hey maybe all the writers and artists who barely scrape by could listen to your bitching for once and stop bothering. You would like that? If Voltaire did that you wouldn't have shit though would you op?? Holy Lol if all writers stopped God knows people would bitch about that too.

Anonymous 24967

No, modern life is full of stress and stimuli. Being connected to the internet and social media all the time through our phones gives people constant stimulus. Driving is highly stressful compared to taking a train and requires maintaining a state of high alertness. Two words: credit cards. And on and on. Of course there are many things that are better now but as technology improves it doesn't make things easier for us, it just means more is expected of us.

Anonymous 25510

driving isn't remotely stressful for most people. even to me it feels like nothing but freedom. can you imagine the stress of having to hitch a horse and buggy and THEN keep the thing fed?? modern life is supreme. you would just be inundated with sexist trash, kept like a handmaiden slave, forced to push out 10 babies and endure rape and beating in marriage, because none of that was illegal. Most people had no basic rights

Instead of constant stimulation, you'd enjoy medieval gossip about everyone's suffering hand-to-mouth poverty, criminal sanitation, persecution, disease and death and horrible medical malpractice. everyone back then died nightmarishly, and prior to the 18th century the vast amount of the population lived in conditions worse than the worst in third world countries do to day. They lived hand to mouth, on like $2 a day and EVERYONE was wretched with parasites

You sound so insanely uneducated dear. Or like a fuckin moid or delusional tradwaifu

Anonymous 25513

I meant today is stressful compared to the 30s-50s rather than before the 19th century. But I understand your point so lets agree to disagree

Anonymous 25514

Read Don Quixote, it's fucking amazing and offers interesting insights into the past. It's such a silly, humorous read and the pacing is like a comedy series, plus it has a lot of satire in it against chivalry, which has its importance in the past because chivalry actually comes from stories, not the other way around.
I also agree about life today being more stressful and unpleasant. Back then it must have been so much more simple compared to now… you had your work to do and a community to bond with. No overabundance of media, just oral stories, simple songs everyone knew and could sing along to, funny anecdotes, novels if we're not going back too far, etc. I browse the internet and love my computer, my DS, but I've always fantasized about even just having a day where the internet/phones did not work so people would be forced to engage. I'd be fine with having no access to internet ever again if it was the same for everyone on earth.

Anonymous 27269

OP here. I was thinking more about what I wrote here.

I think the real problem is that most media these days is designed to be a product aimed at the masses. It's not someone writing the book they always wanted or writing a book with a niche audience in mind or trying something radically different. People want as many customers as possible because they have chosen to be a career writer.

To do this, you need to keep the work as simple, bland, and inoffensive as possible. Of course how bland you can get away with will vary between genre and format.

Anonymous 27272

It is extremely blatant when you look at movies and tv shows. The most profitable releases are shitty palatable entertainment pieces, no more than that, filled with action and comedy and as little thought-provoking moment as possible. The general public wants to put their brain on hold and just laugh, gasp and wow in front of a screen rather than have to think about what they're watching or see something that could contradict their own viewpoint.
Sorry I'll be going a bit off a tangent here, but I had a convo with teens, around 13-15 and asked them broadly what media they liked : of course they didn't read, but more concerningly they couldn't tell me a particular movie they enjoyed or even what their favorite musician were. After pushing them a bit they admitted liking Marvel movies and watching some shows on Netflix but that was it. The music they listened to was whatever was trendy at the moment but they were totally disinterested in any art form. I'm not saying that those teens are the norm but those kids are already so stimulated by social medias,video games, porn etc. there's not much room left for entertainment - if there is, it must be easy to swallow and adapted to their short attention span. Honestly I don't see things getting better and it'll probably go downhill as mass entertainment gains more space and fewer fundings are left for original, inspired works. There'll still be niche cool stuff and a ton of old media to discover tho

Anonymous 27274

That's pretty interesting about the teens anon. I wonder if they feel fomo a lot more intensely because of social media and so only follow trends without a chance to develop their own tastes. Or at least admitting your own unique taste is seen a lot more negatively.

The only genre I can think of where having non-mainstream ideas is widely accepted are documentaries, especially ones made from small independent filmmakers. However, they aren't really creating ideas most of the time and only bringing existing ideas to a wider audience.

Anonymous 27278

Sounds like most of the kids I went to high school with in the 2000s. There are just a lot of NPCs out there

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