Exhausted Culture

You might think that Robert Eggers was exaggerating when he said we live in a “tiresome, lame, commercial culture now”. I thought he might be. Didn’t America produce a bunch of good movies, books, and music in the past decade?

Then I read the following:

American culture has exhausted itself. It is running on fumes. It’s a dead man walking. The popular songs everyone talks about sound the same as the slightly less popular ones. The big movies are all remakes of previous big movies or next installments in never-ending series. When these movies aren’t atrocious, they get good reviews, but we all know the bar is very low. We just don’t want to be completely bored. Novelists recycle gimmicks learned in their MFA programs; poets have replaced arresting phrases with “transgressive” political ones, which, it turns out, are not so transgressive after all. Painters now only look backwards in their frantic search for something new.

That’s the opening paragraph. Charming, isn’t it?

Go read the whole thing here in Prufrock, a wonderful newsletter by professor Micah Mattix (now on Substack) on books, art, and ideas.

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