Learning through experience and error

Did Piracy and Streaming Produce a Generation of Retards with No Taste?

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This generation is full of retards. You’ve heard this statement a thousand times before and you just read it again. It’s about cultivating taste this time. Taste as in preference and choice for anything. Be it music, movies, books or anything else.

Did Piracy and Streaming Produce a Generation of Retards with No Taste?
Photograph from London Comic Con 2014 | Source: Wikimedia

If you’ve watched While We’re Young (2014) starring Ben Stiller, you might remember the following quote:

Why, you should see this guy’s record collection – it’s Jay-Z, it’s Thin Lizzy, it’s Mozart. His taste is democratic. It’s “The Goonies” and it’s “Citizen Kane.” They don’t distinguish between high and low. It’s wonderful.

This was said by Josh (played by Ben Stiller) who is a 40-something failed documentary film maker and has just befriended a 20-something hipster couple. I picked this statement up when I had watched the movie. Mostly because it was true. At the time, I watched everything, listened to everything and read everything and I didn’t find this to be a problem then. I only started thinking about this from the opposite end a few months ago.

I blame the internet, piracy and streaming services for this generation of tasteless retards. This generation is just surrounded by way too much media that is freely available for them to be attached to few artists, particular genres and so on so forth. In this colossal availability of media to consume, something died. Preference died.

If you’ve watched older movies, you are bound to find a dialogue which goes like, “Oh, I like the Eagles, not the Beatles” but will you ever hear someone say something like this in 2017? I doubt it. I listen to House and EDM but I have a certain love for Alternative and Indie. Alt-J being one of my favourite bands. However, I too listen to everything. I watch documentary films, fan films, art films, superhero movies, romantic comedies and almost every other genre available. There are no distinctions. There is no taste. 

In this golden age of free information and media (with people fighting and even going to jail trying to keep it this way), large organisations and companies were feeling left out so they came up with something ingenious – Streaming and Unlimited Plans. It is basically an ‘all you can eat’ for media. Amazon’s Prime Video and Kindle Unlimited. Apple Music, Google Play All Access and Spotify. Netflix and Hulu. They all fall in the same group and they aren’t even bad. These are amazing services and I have at least 3-4 of these right now.

However, there is also a problem here. The problem is best summed up in the blockbuster La La Land (2016) by one of the protagonists, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling). He says, in his agony for how people perceive music and everything for that matter,

They worship everything and they value nothing.

This generation, myself included, suffers from the inability to hold one thing too dear to themselves. Instead, we’ll just to everything we can. Play every game we can. Listen to every piece of music we can. Watch every movie we can. Binge every TV show we can. No one ever says, “I love so and so music/movie/art” and I can’t say for sure if that is a good or a bad thing.

About the author

Deepansh Khurana

Blogger and writer from Dehradun, India. I'd say I love coffee but don't we all? I find stories, people and experiences. I blog about them.

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Deepansh Khurana

Blogger and writer from Dehradun, India. I'd say I love coffee but don't we all? I find stories, people and experiences. I blog about them.

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