The 80’s VS. Modern Times
See the Jordon Peterson and Camille Paglia discussion below.
Two songs that describe 80’s societal issues are “Material Girl“ by Madonna, and the other is “Land of Confusion” by Genesis.
Here is the Millennial version of the first song:
Modonna kicks the men who hope to seduce her. She sends literally puts them down. Most of the men in the video are Black.
In the original 80’s version the men throw gifts at her as she rejects each one. At the end of the video, she also rejects their material gifts. Most of the men in the video are Black.
The skin color of the men seams to be representative of the kind of power that the depicted female animus hopes to consume and then trash in the pursuit of comfort, which is represented by both purity and marriage; idioms of innocence.
One idea of how the “material girl” idea affected the average 80’s every person can be seen in the T.V. series; “Stranger Things”.
In the below scene, the character, Elle transforms into “herself,” in a shopping mall, where her girlfriend guides her through a shopping spree.
Her girlfriend is instructing her on identity discovery through consumerism. “Stranger Thing’s,” season 3 premise concerns a giant monster feeding and growing off of the individuals within the town, many of whom had been involved in the controversy surrounding the resurrection of a shopping mall. The mall represents consumerist America. Those dis-enfranchsed by the mall were protesting it, as it had put them out of business, destroying their livelihoods.
Those profiting off of the mall, were intent on denying the protesters claims. Regardless of the mall’s influence, it had become the new center of action and dominant, thus identifying, feature of the town. The townspeople were not the heroes or villains, but mostly food for the monster. Below the mall was a large CERN-style lab where the monster piercing the veil between dimensions has entered their world. The monster’s origin lies burried beneath all that distracts them from their sufferings.
Another other song defining America’s national identity crisis of the 80’s is, “The Land of Confusion”, by Genesis.
At one point in the video, “Land of Confusion” video, a woman who resembles Madonna, is depicted as, not only pregnant, but her womb is depicted as having lip that are as red and eroticized as those on Madonna’s face.
At the end of the video, the man is faced with a choice between pushing one of two buttons. One reads, “Nurse”. The other is for a nuke, which he pushes, to his relief.
Paglia specifically talks about art now. We live in a world that is very fast, where the values are all over the place. I believe post modernism is a perfect illustration of the pace that is demanded of the average person. There is no time for forgiveness, much less-self reflection, or reflection of any kind for that matter.
Memory dissappears, because much of the future has ceased to be, as in the feature film, “Yesterday,” in which many staples of today’s world are erased simply because they never came into being. This is not merely because human freewill “choice,” exists, but because these modern times have placed before humanity the ultimate set of tools in choosing that which is of the utmost and readily convenient; convenience. Convenience is not only available. It’s “on demand.” The pressure is always on.
The art of Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst are expressions of highly celebrated, moral values. They are indulgences. They are soothing and are not cathartic. It could be said that they are seen as health care. It could also be said that these works represent societal entitlements, and in that instance, they are also demands. There is no passage from dark to light by way of enduring. Suffering is obsolete. These representations are nihilistic embraces both entranced by the threat of death and in denial of it’s impending reality. They are primarily expressions of dominance over suffering. This is most perfectly demonstrated in Damien Hirst’s sculpture, “For the Love of God”. This piece was then mocked by Hirst’s young contemporary, Cartrain, in his “Voice For Our Times,” collage series.
The medium becomes the message in the auction halls where post modernism is sold (in the form of material works or idioms) to those whom deal in what have become status symbols to many. Fine Art was once considered priceless. Once, also, the human life was sacred. Idiom or Art? Is humanity material, sacred or can it be both?
Refinement may be salable, as can a human being, but beauty remains in the eye of the beholder.