Are we heading into a mure puritanical time?? Please share your spin. Society is changing. Can you imagine a band like Aerosmith coming out today? It was only in the 90's that they had a hit with "pink," complete with video of him dressed as a vagina. Now, he's just seen as cringeworthy. Can you fathom that Prince could come onto the scene today? (Dont kid yourself that bruno is that person). Simulated sex on stage is gone, but it was only a simulation of simulated sex in recent years. Where has the comedy of Amy Schumer gone? Chelsea Handler? Does it have a place right now? Chappelle packed it up, and many stopped touring colleges. I saw a younger person post on here where they asked if they could filter by age, because of "inapproproate" things said by older individuals. What's your spin on all of this? Where's all this going??
I find it interesting that your prospective is that society is becoming more puritanical...my point of view is just the opposite. However, you have to look beyond mass media to see what I believe is a true reflection of society. I see more openness to people who have different views on sexuality, people who are choosing to go another path than just the standard "get married and have 2.3 kids", people loving their bodies and not afraid to show them no matter what size, shape or color, people not ashamed to call out others for their views that include hate. I see tons of indie bands on my local scene in all different genres.
I don't see all this necessarily in the mass market, but it's definitely here and I live in the midwest! Come to Kansas City and head to local places like The Riot Room, The Record Bar, The Westport Saloon. Shop in Westport and The Crossroads area and meet artists and locals who reject mainstream music. There's a huge culture of people promoting individuality and rejecting religion, big money politics, and class war capitalism. I see things that give me such hope for the future once many of the old generations get the fuck out of the way.
This is probably more a case of noticing examples that support an expected conclusion. There are instances which could be cited to show that society is becoming more puritanical and just as many that demonstrate the opposite. We tend to take note of those which support our expectation. For example, if you'd read something in a magazine on the scarcity of redheads, you might well begin to notice redheads as you went on with your day, more so than if you hadn't had your attention drawn to them by the article.
I'd argue that we as a society are becoming less puritanical, in that we have become much more accepting of same sex couples, and public demonstrations of physical attraction between members of the same sex, a tolerance that is beginning to extend to transexuals.
There is no new music being promoted. In the music hay days executives would take in ten new bands, chuck some money at them and see what comes out on top. These days the follow the same formulas. All songs are written by a few people, they are then placed with an image and fed into a computer. If the result from the analytical software comes back with a high percentage for a hit then the record is released.
Nothing like Nirvana these days as an example. Those guys went decided to form a band, went to a thrift shop and bought some instruments, learned how to play them and made music they wanted to hear and it exploded from their garage into the mainstream.
Everything is asinine and sterile and the young of today are fed it like GMO crap along with a diet of all the political, gender, race etc. rubbish. Just as George Orwell predicted. "The people will not revolt. They will not look up from their screens long enough to notice what’s happening"
Well those artists did that to shock, after a few decades of everyone trying to shock everyone it was going to raise the bar pretty high. Society loves to be shocked, people like to be scarred. These things never really change about people. Yes times change, new tech, discoveries, the newer generations, and countless others things cause it change. I wouldn't worry about the current climate in entertainment it will not last. Things will most likely be a little better after the dust settles but sex is one of the most powerful forces driving us and thats not going to change.
I don't know but I am still me - still a free spirit, still smoke weed, (though legally now), and I still am a rebel and fight for social justice. 50 Shades of Grey series satisfied any kinky sex watching. I just live my own life and don't worry what others think still.
@poetdi56 The last major shift in FCC regulations that I'm aware of occurred in 2004 which levied fines for fleeting expletives. This was ultimately overturned by the supreme court in 2010. I have attached a link to a summary of that action. I have seen various music genres explore the limits of profanity. Hip hop and death metal are two that come to mind who are still heavily involved with extreme quantity and type of profanity in the recording industry. The internet also continues to push the limits on profane content daily. However I do believe that the current conservative political leadership will attempt to place limits on profanity because their religious dogma instructs them to be thought police.
Wow, thanks for this post, and to all the commenters. I think everyone has a part of it right, making a bigger picture. I, too, have noticed the difference in music/arts/film/etc., and it really is due to perspective. Back to my standby Anais Nin quote: "we don't see things are they are, we see things as we are." We can't easily turn off perspective. I have no music industry experience but am a student of history. I'm curious to know what recording musicians think: @kensmile4u, what's your take?
Sex is much more compartmentalized. Back in the day, a good grown up movie (I say grown up rather than adult) would include a sex scene, probably with nudity. I am thinking of films like "the postman always ring twice" or "don't look now." With the advent of AIDS in the 80s things got a lot more cautious. Sure you got movies like "8 1/2 weeks" but they were sex movies. The video age brought porn into the equation and those films started to look tame. Why pay to see simulated sex when you can watch the real thing? Move on to the internet and sex is almost impossible to avoid. Adverts for porn and hook-up sites abound, showing things that would only be found in gents magazines a few decades before. The truth is sex in the media has become boring. Not only that but its becoming boring in porn too.
There was a great Benny Hill sketch where a tall good looking woman is walking down the street, wearing a red, low cut maxi dress with a slit up to her thighs. She is being hassled by two young guys as she walks. They follow her to the beach where she takes off her dress, revealing a one piece bathing suit. The guys start yawning and walk off. Thats what sex is like now. If its not taboo its not edgy or funny.
I find that people have become much more willing to self police each other when it comes to social norms and political correctness. This may be part of the reason why there is a backlash against political correctness as evidences by the Trumpsters constant outburst. The Puritans were well known for their zeal at outing each other for the most trivial offenses against the moral code they espoused.
Not more puritanical, more confident. In my day people felt isolated and were afraid to speak out. There was so much stuff I hated when I was a teen. But there I was, in my room, all alone with no one to rant or bond with. Now, if I hate Billy Joel, or Budweiser Clydesdale commercials, or sexist assholes, I can find people similar. And through discussion, discover that I'm a sexist asshole, or a racist. It's all good.
-It is an alternate form of "Puritanism" more based on public perception of virtue by public display, it is odd a very left wing form of Puritanism in a very right wing society.
You can be simultaneously thought a saint and a sinner, fact are valued except when in conflict with feelings.
As a feminist you must abhor the suppression of women, but at the same time you must support the oppression of women when it is seen as racist to speak out against it.
As a libertarian you must oppose the suppression of free speech while at the same time demanding the silence of those doing and promoting the same thing for the "wrong" reasons.
Those of an alternate sexual orientation must not be persecuted, unless it is done in the name of freedom of religion, then you must persecute in order to support another persecuted group.
Make ignorance derisible, but make knowledge dangerous.
You begin to see the pattern here?
You cannot do right for doing wrong.
It is Caligula making his horse a senator and arresting people for not obeying him while claiming that claiming not to understand a senator is in itself treason.
Keep the people frightened, keep them fighting one another, and let no one know what is wrong and what is right but make everything illegal and prosecute only when expedient.
Vilify those not outraged and castigate those who are outraged, control the language, control the media, control the people until you have a pliant, passive, docile populous of those crying out, "for goodness sake TELL ME WHAT TO THINK!"
I think there are lots of factors involved.
One is 'promote what is safe' rather than 'promote what breaks the rules'.
Another is 'fashion' - society goes through periods of reaction to what has gone before. At the moment we seem to be going through an unimaginative period.
My two have gone out of their way to meet Aerosmith, photos with the band, Steven’s harmonica & sunglasses from the stage… But they’re anomalies, raised on arena rock
I listen to the college station from Virginia Tech, next to NPR on my dile, and must love music ..as stuff I’ve never heard sounds great, and apparent imitations of previous groups work. ...as I forget your question
It does seem so. Women are afraid to have short hair, men are afraid to have long hair. BDSM is cool whilst romantic intimacy is ridiculed.
It feels like the freedom to simply 'be' has been made illegal and replaced with corporate branding. These are the new gods.
And the stultifying gender stereotypes of the past, lamented by the religious right are vying for a come back via the trojan horse of 'retro'.
We are not allowed to be human anymore.
As an old working musician I can assure time and tastes change, whether you like it or not. There is an attempt going on to roll back the clock but it will never happen, these are the same sorts of people that used to burn R&R records 60 years ago. P.S., Rock is not dead, neither is jazz or classical or even surf. Change tends to be generational, the old guard fights to the last and then dies off. Gay marriage, legalizing weed and the fading of the grip of religion are all going that way. problem is it takes time.
In America we have a pendulum which swings back and forth, left (more progressive) right (more conservative), this represents in media, music, film and politics and has been around longer than my half century plus.
PS Aerosmith came out in the mid 70's
If you want to be non-puritanical, come to my neighborhood, Manhattan's Lower East Side. Home of Yip Harburg (Wizard of Oz), the Catholic Worker, and Charley Parker. And just for the record, Manhattan is the source of most of the money that the puritanical politicians siphon off to their fly-over states.