These days, we drown in media. Pick any existing form of mainstream communication and entertainment, and you’ll find a saturated market, full of infinite crap ready to be thrown at you.
We are constantly stormed by product of bad quality and malicious intent. Turn on your TV, and wait for something that is relatively interesting, something which picks your genuine attention and not your demand of gossip (that is, no news, no reality TV, etc.). Personally, if I did this, I’d wait for hours, at least until after dinner, to have a chance at finding a good show. And, who’d have guessed, it would generally be old movies.
Try radio and go through hours of useless talking, interrupted by a couple minutes of the same shitty five songs big labels want you to listen. Videogames? Most of the “tripul A” industry costantly releases the same game with different skins. And let’s not touch books, or this rant will be too long; go to a bookstore and see for yourself.
I am aware and sure that these industries are either tanking or stagnating, one more than the other. In truth, what I really want to talk about is the fact that a part of the public has been boiling inside that old pot for so much time that is incredibly hard to pull it out of the hot water. Be it the middle-aged lady watching soap-operas all day, or the comic book nerds that just can’t stop simping for Marvel and DC, these guys will continue drowning in the quicksand that is the current entertainment industry.
Since I’m more oriented towards books, I ask myself how much new authors in the indie scene should try to make themselves known to such audience, instead of solidifying their readership as an underground, but intellectually active, movement. I don’t mean we should gatekeep towards normies (we need normies to save media, I believe), also because a lot of people trapped in Quicksand Entertainment aren’t normies at all. My point is this: I’m noticing that many people just want to stay inside the mainstream. I don’t know why, but so it is.
These people will never care about all the cool stuff they’d find if they started looking elsewhere and, although it’s true that slow and steady wins the race, you can do only as much to convince them. In the end, it’s only a matter of personal decision. And many have chosen that only Big Brand X is allowed in their lives.
Should creators stop their effort, then? Never. First, because I want more cool books. Second, the movement will grow, and that’s a fact. Corpos can try to stop it however they want, some things can’t just die. What must be acknowledged is that, big as it can become, the NewPub/PulpRev/Superversive scene is going to be an underground phenomenon. The mainstream of the future may follow their steps, but these scenes are destined to be an alternative and a rebellion. A true rebellion, hence spread only up to a certain point.
This brings me to face another crucial aspect. A writer who wants to live off his own stories should keep striving for that, but it’s important to keep in mind that you’re doing this as a contribution for a better future. Western culture will eventually recover from its malady, and it will happen thanks to our contribution. Both writers and readers, because as the first must create for the future, the second must preserve those creations and bring them into the future.
And of course, this is true for all art.
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned!