End of the Year Review 2010
I heard it explained that January 1 2010 was not in fact the start of the new decade. The new decade starts once we clock past December 31 and the debt of 365 days multiplied by ten (less three days for leap years) is paid.
Ten years sounds a long time but the rate of change we’re experiencing in technology and culture makes its passing seem swift.
People are spitting HD video over the web via the phones even though basic picture messaging didn’t start until around 2002.
The music industry made its peace with digital downloads by offering customers convenience in a way the movie industry still hasn’t – 3D will NOT save you.
Smoking was banned in pubs in a move that was seemingly sponsored by Facebook to get users socialising online.
Twenty-something college drop-outs whose parents told them playing video games was a waste of time had the last laugh as they cashed in their millions via online poker, while bankers who should have known better but clearly didn’t are allowed to re-buy into their main event after going bust.
News is streamed 24 by 7 on multi-channel multi-platform devices to a generation that isn’t broken into the habit of reading a newspaper, while traditional newsrooms have struggled to cope with dwindling resources in the face of being everywhere and not charging a penny.
In short, we’ve gone through a huge amount of change, and every time we think we’re coming to terms with how this “new” world works, we’re caught up in a torrent of change again.
Ingestion at the expense of digestion.
The trend is especially prevalent in comic books and horror films.
Comics are currently trading on an artificial cushion of zeitgeist fuelled by Hollywood interest in licensing properties. Built in audience? Check. Bold colourful concept? Check. Action-figure and lunchbox merchandising? Check.
While moves like digital comics are a change in the delivery mechanism (and a convenient one, too) it matters little if the comics people are reading fail to keep pace with the stories and language of modern living.
The same is true of horror films. There has been very little this year to write home about. A Serbian Film was shocking in a way a news report about something shocking happening is – arresting for the time it’s on until the mass of people switch stations and go back to their dinner.
Horror used to disturb, creep and furrow into unexplored cavities of the psyche. You now get the same experience catching the bus when the hoodie in the back blasts Eminem on the speakerphone. In this way, the horror genre has yet to truly tilt at the joints that keep us awake in the 00s.
Maybe that’s a hint on how I should progress in 2011.
Have a Happy New Year.