This is an… interesting read. Aside from being self-consciously abrasive in that “PC can’t boss me” way. To on the one hand lament Taylor Swift for emitting a bland album by committee while on the other hand lauding the assimilating of all kinds of greatness into one monolith seems to miss a decent amount of cause and effect. Isn’t it, after all, the end result of assimilation to flatten the field? To homogenize and make boring?
And I guess the writer gets there (but makes some weird statements along the way (like, “the study of cinema is reserved for college, by which time most students can read a book”–what on earth could this even mean? That we should teach movies in elementary school and insist on books later in life? That film and literature are somehow in competition with one subordinate to the other?). Still, I think there’s a leap he doesn’t make from assimilation and hegemony to decay. Where else is there to go but down once you’ve conquered, after all? Alexander the Great wept and all that (a quote I only know from DieHard).
Isn’t it possible that global influence is at best fleeting and at worst just a myth. Bait that lures a culture to sacrifice all of its goods (art, energy, thought) on the altar of power. While this writer is bemoaning the end of some halcyon age of American influence and (plagiarized? whitewashed?) quality, I’d say that maybe retreating into peculiarity, particularity, and place (geographic, not digital) might be exactly what culture needs to re-thrive (and, indeed, has always needed). Because I don’t disagree that a lot of stuff on the market is entertaining but familiar. But, for this guy, I’d say he’s charted clearly enough the course that leads to bigness and he doesn’t like what he found. Someone could maybe draw him a map back down to earth.