Thursday, October 13, 2011
Spoiled By No-Choice?
A few hours ago, running across twitter was another hashtag under the name #inthe90s in which a fellow tweeter remarked about the questionable quality of japanese animation that had been available in the VHS era. While there is some truth to me mined from such a statement, it was also clearly geared towards many (myself included) who have often gleamed highly about those days of brick and mortar stores & the lamented thrill of the hunt. But there is also something to be said about where we are currently, and how that may distort much of what folks like myself are attempting to convey. While it may on the surface seem to be another case of one generation bemoaning the existence of the other (while it often devolves into this), it also stands to reason that the current landscape, as well as many who have grown within it, are lacking in the context of what it means, not to only have required a little additional legwork in order to find hidden treasure, but that the lack of instant access to a world of media beyond the localized few was the proverbial sequence of hurdle necessary to tackle before even finding anything worth reporting about loudly.
Which perhaps leads this into one of the core reasons behind I'm sure not only my infinitesimal crumb on the internet, but of many fellow bloggers covering cult films and/or anime; the ability to share thoughts regarding the lesser known, the unusual, or even just articulating on the current and ever changing landscape of popular culture. And with bandwidth speeds now at a wilder clip than ever before, as well as the inevitable complete cross-generation of visual media & marketing, we are now within the most accessible era of entertainment choice to date, with providers popping up, vanishing, and at times intermingling, one might also easily quip like old curmudgeony folks about how the current crop are so spoiled. And while to a degree, this couldn't be more true, there is also the creeping inevitability that in a realm so inundated with choice, much like wandering an olde tyme video store, after all is considered, there rarely is ever as much quality within quantity. A truism, sure, but a truism that at times must be kept in mind.
So when one gets down to it, despite these amazing advances, it can still be said that a need for articulate discussion regarding works such as these is as great as it ever was. Even if there was less stuff being brought over here from places like Japan, what was often brought here were the thoroughbreds of a medium, followed by the expected carrion. And while many more of the lesser titles were never snatched up by US licensors, we are now in a time where streaming services can serve as a virtual dumping ground. It isn't that a medium became "better" or worse (though that can definitely be debated), but rather that we are now privy to the whole instead of the proud sum.