|"Yeah, I'm lying to him right now. What? |
Oh sure, he's totally buying it."
But the lies keep coming.
Foreign movies are better than American movies. It's a lie, of course, but one that makes some people feel superior because they know something you don't. Of course, what they never tell you, is that practically every American movie gets shown overseas while only a vanishingly few foreign movies get shown in America. Force someone to sit through every film made in France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Italy, Iran, England and America in any given year and chances are it'd be a wash. Once you see all the shitty movies from France that no one's showing you at the local art house, you start to realize each country's quality output is roughly the same. But we only see what they send out to the rest of the world and they see every damn movie we make, including all the garbage. Check out 1975 in film on Wikipedia. It lists films released internationally. Not every film from every country, just those given an international release. You'll find eleven from France, just four from Germany. U.S.A.? I don't know, pretty much the entire rest of the list. Type in any other year, same thing.
|"Bullshit makes money! Who knew?"|
Rock and roll blasted onto the scene in 1955 with Bill Haley and Chuck Berry and Elvis. Bullshit. Ever listen to rhythm and blues from the late forties and early fifties? It was already there. Hell, even the claim that Rocket 88 from March 1951 as the first rock song is dubious. There were a lot before it and even the jazz standard How High the Moon got a treatment from Les Paul and Mary Ford in January of 1951 that has an electric guitar that sounds one hell of a lot more like the rock and roll guitar we now all know and love than anything in Rocket 88. I guess it just wasn't popular enough with the kinder yet. Speaking of popular...
Jaws and Star Wars ruined the movies (because they weren't considered high art and made too much damn money). Yeah, because movie studios were always about high art, not box office. In the early seventies, when Hollywood was making movies like The Last Detail and The Conversation and all those other movies that brought about the renaissance of the alleged second Golden Age and, supposedly, no one was making big-budget bloated studio crap anymore, the big box office winners were Airport (grossed over $60,000,000 in its initial run and went on to gross more than $100,000,000 overall worldwide), The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake and The Towering Inferno ($116,000,000 worldwide). So I guess Jaws and Star Wars really pissed on the whole "Art Films About Burning Buildings" trend Hollywood had going.
|"This is completely new! No precedent whatsoever!|
I'm shocked... and stunned!"
But these are just big examples, there are all kinds of small ones. Whenever you hear anyone in music or film tell you they or their favorite director or guitarist or actor or, I don't know, manicurist did something no one had done before, they probably didn't. When you're told something was a game changer, it probably wasn't. When you're told something saved us or just you or me or somebody from the horrible banality of what came before, it probably couldn't because not everyone hates the same thing and wants to be saved anyway. It's just pop culture lying because the reality is that everything gradually develops from everything else and, believe it or not, it all kind of makes sense. And who the hell wants that when you're trying to sell the next big thing to a sucker with a dollar in his pocket?
And just who is it, exactly, responsible for spreading all these lies? Me, actually. And you. And the media, the studios and anyone who wants to sound not completely out of the loop at the next office birthday party ("You know, a lot of people don't know this but..." = major bullshit). And who can blame any of us? Persistent, gradual change is boring. Who needs that when a sudden shock works better and it's easier to sleep at night knowing we're just a little bit smarter than those yokels that came before us?