What is the counterculture these days?

Started by Fambo Number Mive, November 23, 2021, 04:02:39 PM

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Fambo Number Mive

To me it feels like caring and decency is the counterculture given how utter selfishness seems to be the order of the day. However, maybe that ignores the counterculture in music, film, literature etc...is there a counterculture? Punks in the 70s, is there a modern equivalent of that?

Johnny Yesno


I think the real answer is sadly cottage core/trad shit.

The people smugging over the decline of underground movements or subcultures in the 00s and wanting all pop culture, all the time, really got a monkey's paw outcome on this one.

Noodle Lizard

Not being on the internet. The happier, more well-adjusted people I meet tend not to have much of an online presence. But I suppose that's less of a "counterculture" than a peaceful eschewing of most of what makes up modern culture.

I think it's difficult to achieve what we'd traditionally define as a "counterculture" when there isn't really a mainstream to bounce off. It also depends how you define "mainstream", of course, but corporations and huge media outlets have been parroting ideas that used to be unheard outside of fringe internet discourse, but somehow people still feel as though they're "outside of the mainstream". One side will say the corporations and media are too right-wing, the other too left. There's a very strange dissonance going on there, I think. Of course it's far from the first time "sides" have been played against each other, but I do think the increased reliance on (and control over) the internet has made that kind of division all the more effective and easy to manufacture.

It's far harder to fight back against anything you absolutely rely on.

Brundle-Fly

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on November 23, 2021, 04:06:26 PMI think the real answer is sadly cottage core/trad shit.

The people smugging over the decline of underground movements or subcultures in the 00s and wanting all pop culture, all the time, really got a monkey's paw outcome on this one.

I've read this post three times and still baffled.

Johnny Foreigner

QuoteNihilistic mystics
Apostolic alcoholics
Messianic manics
Cataclysmic and prolific

In the age of super-boredom
Hype and mediocrity
Celebrate relentlessness
Menace to society

This is counter-culture from the underground
Eternal revolution, this is our sound
KMFDM, better than the best
Megalomaniacal and harder than the rest


Sadly, this is now nearly 25 years old.

dr beat

Believing that there could be, and is, a broadly acceptable middle ground between objectification and attraction.

Thanks taylor :)

Or - just believing and having faith in attraction.

Catalogue of ills

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on November 23, 2021, 04:06:26 PMI think the real answer is sadly cottage core/trad shit.


It'd be weird if people started forming cottagecore / goblincore bands, and you found yourself buying an album with a crocheted sleeve by Punnet of Clunge

Paul Calf

If you're looking for a counter-culture, you're almost certainly failing to see the wood for the trees. The main prevailing counter-culture is profoundly reactionary, deeply conservative and radically regressive: pjw, Proud Boys, Brexit, Farage, anti-mask and anti-vaxx and yes, cottage-core/trad. The recessive counter-culture is identity-based too, but liberal and possibly socialist. They don't really stand a chance.

Quote from: Paul Calf Jr. on November 23, 2021, 09:23:18 PMIf you're looking for a counter-culture, you're almost certainly failing to see the wood for the trees. The main prevailing counter-culture is profoundly reactionary, deeply conservative and radically regressive: pjw, Proud Boys, Brexit, Farage, anti-mask and anti-vaxx and yes, cottage-core/trad. The recessive counter-culture is identity-based too, but liberal and possibly socialist. They don't really stand a chance.

"How do you like your Heidegger wrapped, sir?"

FiremanJim

Quote from: Paul Calf Jr. on November 23, 2021, 09:23:18 PMIf you're looking for a counter-culture, you're almost certainly failing to see the wood for the trees. The main prevailing counter-culture is profoundly reactionary, deeply conservative and radically regressive: pjw, Proud Boys, Brexit, Farage, anti-mask and anti-vaxx and yes, cottage-core/trad. The recessive counter-culture is identity-based too, but liberal and possibly socialist. They don't really stand a chance.

I do remember PJW saying that Conservatism is the new Punk. I Googled it afterwards to check but I can't remember if it was right or not

"conservativism is the new punk" goes back to Alex Jones and Gavin McInnes. The idea that being a normal dad/mom/single person, with typical values and mainstream cultural tastes is the most rebellious thing is spread widely across the left and right. I never really understood how Normcore was different to any other kind of hipster conservativism, but they read Deleuze so they must've been smart and living anti-fascist lives.

The hipster moment was real bad, huh.

Midas

Culture is atomized, there is no real counterculture anymore.

Goldentony

this conservatism sounds like the same old cousin fuckers, racists and nonce cunts there's always been rather than the new anything, maybe im wrong but it has all the hallmarks of nonce cunts, fuckers of cousins/dogs/cars and racists

FiremanJim

When I think of counterculture I just imagine a pot of Muller spilt by the till

Something that was/is niche, but will grow to the point of near total acceptance, losing its edge in the process. Being trans, but expressing the gender you identify with via your avatar in the metaverse where you spend 90% of your time is probably next, but doesn't seem very punk or counterculture as it's not in a space where the status quo is expected. But where is this truly unified culture for art to oppose?

the hum

Quote from: Noodle Lizard on November 23, 2021, 07:49:59 PMI think it's difficult to achieve what we'd traditionally define as a "counterculture" when there isn't really a mainstream to bounce off. It also depends how you define "mainstream", of course, but corporations and huge media outlets have been parroting ideas that used to be unheard outside of fringe internet discourse, but somehow people still feel as though they're "outside of the mainstream". One side will say the corporations and media are too right-wing, the other too left.

This is maybe outside this discussion, and it's been touched on here before, but it's certainly not the case that corporations have moved leftwards, rather they have incorporated certain liberal elements from left-liberal thought as window dressing, but definitely not leftist workplace ideals. This purely cosmetic move alone though is of course enough to generate rage on the right, of the usual wokeness finger-pointing variety.

But yeah I'd also say I not only don't know if there's a counterculture anymore, I also don't know what would count as one. BreadTube has elements of it...maybe this very forum?

Paul Calf

Quote from: Goldentony on November 23, 2021, 09:33:52 PMthis conservatism sounds like the same old cousin fuckers, racists and nonce cunts there's always been rather than the new anything, maybe im wrong but it has all the hallmarks of nonce cunts, fuckers of cousins/dogs/cars and racists

Yeah, it is. But now it's edgy and hip.

Whatever side you pick it'll come down to tradition, heritage, history and identity.

The blut und boden Müller Corner.

Elderly Sumo Prophecy


Goldentony

Quote from: Paul Calf Jr. on November 23, 2021, 10:01:44 PMYeah, it is. But now it's edgy and hip.

sorry but Huey Lewis said it best - it isn't hip to be a nonce cunt

Mister Six

Quote from: Midas on November 23, 2021, 09:31:35 PMCulture is atomized, there is no real counterculture anymore.

I think this is more or less correct, although most of my cultural connections are made through the internet, the cause of that atomisation, so it's hard for me to say that with any objectivity.

I think that even applies to what were once the major unifying monoculture forces like the media. It could be said that, for example, the mainstream British news media culture of transphobia, for example, is not representative regular Britons (cf. that YouGov poll), but only of a media class that is bound up in white feminist (esp. white second-wave feminist) concerns of its own. So being transgender, especially being a trans woman, might seem like a form of counterculture, but it's opposing something that is not actually the dominant culture, just thinks it is.

Fictional media culture, on the other hand, skews progressive/liberal, so you could make the argument that cunts like Kevin Sorbo and Dean Cain are indeed part of a counterculture within their specific sphere, but that doesn't apply to them in other contexts.

The gyre has widened and the center could not hold. Whether this is for the better remains to be seen.


Noodle Lizard

To pay some credence to the idea that being what used to be described as "normal" (i.e. straight, married, working, children etc.) is "the counterculture" now, I have noticed that it absolutely is a rarity among my age group (30s) in a big liberal city like the one my wife and I live in. A good deal of the people we know and are friends with would see themselves as "countercultural" to some degree or another: whether it be LGBTQ, polyamorous, willfully childfree or any combination of the above. In so many ways, my wife and I are very far from "normal" by traditional standards, but we stand out a bit in that crowd because we're monogamous and have children and sort of try to live a "nice life" - for their sake if not our own. There's nothing about our lifestyle that should say anything about our politics whatsoever, but you get the impression that it sort of does to some people. More than once, people have assumed we must be polyamorous based on our position in the arts scene, but we're really not.

Of course, it's sort of silly to consider something like that "countercultural" because it's not a concerted effort to fly in the face of what we perceive to be the norm or the mainstream, it's just how we've ended up and it feels right to us in our situation. We've been described as "square". It's hard to care too much when you're sure enough that you're doing the right thing for yourself, but it is odd how much of a cultural shift there's been in the past ten years or so where the "counterculture" has become the "culture", at least within certain circles, and it can be just as ostracizing.

I suppose what I'm getting at is that I can imagine natural-born contrarians - the variety that tended to spawn countercultures in the past - finding the "square" or "traditional" lifestyles to be undervalued and attempting to "bring them back" as a way of retaliating against a culture they feel ignored by. It's clearly happening already (see Jordan Peterson etc.), but it's difficult to see that kind of thing in the same way you can see the hippie or punk movements, for instance. They've got shit-all tunes, for one.

The "end of grand narratives" made the world more monocultural than ever before.

the hum

Mark Fisher's take on capitalist realism might be relevant here, although I feel his attempt to weave pop culture into his theory was tenuous, as it tended to overlook the influence of technological developments on musical trends.


H-O-W-L

From my young(er) perspective, the current counterculture I can think of is the almost-unspoken rise of Doomerism. A kind of true-black gothic/nihilist perspective marked most artistically by horror fandom, doomer-core, witch house, noiserock, and dark shoegaze music. It's so quiet you'd barely pay attention to it to be honest, and because there's very little money in it, the bands that make it very rarely hit the mainstream. Probably the closest mainstream band I can think of is probably HEALTH and they're not really within this culture. I'm sort of on the fringes and I couldn't tell you any hot bands right now though -- I've drifted too far.

chveik

the 20th century was an incredibly fruitful period in terms of the constant formation of new art movements and countercultures associated with them. it's been some time since the last emergence of radical forms of respectively music, cinema and literature. i guess you could try and find the causes in the dynamics of capitalism, the development of the internet, post-modernism and whatnot but we will probably only get a proper grasp of this when/if we enter a new era. it doesn't mean that there aren't great artists around but i suppose the distinct absence of counter-cultures makes it difficult to encounter them. in the meantime what we could do is to study the last century and try to find and select the transhistorical truths that have emerged during that time. it's not particularly exciting but we don't have much choice.

Midas

Britpop killed counterculture. Or at least signalled the end of cohesive countercultural movements. Basically Britpop was so shit counterculture ended. Ok, goodnight.