Then/Now

THEN

Privacy

NOW

Everybody knows everything and despite protestations, you provide this information willingly, on Facebook, Instagram… We all want to be known, until we don’t.

THEN

Skirts had to cover the knee.

NOW

Young women raise their shirts to show their boobies and sext their friends. Pornography used to be underground, now all you have to do is Google it.

THEN

The record company gave you a big advance and not much more.

NOW

The record company gives you a small advance and not much more.

THEN

The record company built your career.

NOW

You build your career, the label just blows it up.

THEN

You went to the club to hear live music, cover bands or record company supported acts.

NOW

You go to the club to dance. Live music is a special event in a large room, it’s rarely even at weddings.

THEN

Saving the world came first, then you focused on money.

NOW

Everybody’s out for themselves, and if you don’t screw others you’re left behind, leading to a coarse society wherein the winners extricate themselves from the masses and the masses fight amongst themselves.

THEN

African-Americans protested against injustice.

NOW

African-Americans protest against injustice. Only now they’ve got cameras providing evidence of said injustice.

THEN

We believed the government was on our side.

NOW

The government has been demonized and those in Congress pay fealty to their corporate bosses.

THEN

You went to a friend’s house and perused their record collection.

NOW

You go online and peruse your friend’s life via the aforementioned Facebook and Instagram. We want to know what people are doing, but not who they are.

THEN

Local newspapers had boots on the ground.

NOW

The “New York Times” is the only outlet with boots on the ground and provides news for the entire nation, even if it’s disseminated through other outlets. Despite this, the NYT believes it’s challenged by the online world when the truth is it’s winning more than ever.

THEN

Save classical.

NOW

Save jazz.

THEN

We were interested in what musicians had to say.

NOW

We care what techies have to say.

THEN

Move to L.A. to make it.

NOW

Move to San Francisco to make it.

THEN

Movies were a reflection of the human condition.

NOW

Movies are an alternative universe populated by superheroes, part of the dumbing down of the culture to make sure those in power are not challenged.

THEN

Media executives were overpaid.

TODAY

Media executives are overpaid.

THEN

You never bought the first iteration, it was always flawed.

NOW

It works the first time, right out of the box. If you don’t buy it now, you’re just gonna live without it for that much longer. Sure, the products are improved over time, but in retrospect, don’t you wish you bought an iPod the day it was released?

THEN

Entertainment reporters saw themselves as independent arbiters in search of the truth.

NOW

Entertainment reporters are idiots in it for the access. Such that no one trusts the hype complex.

THEN

College taught you how to think.

TODAY

College prepares you for a career.

THEN

Parents prepared you for the day you would be on your own.

TODAY

No one is on their own.

THEN

The goal was to go overseas before you started a family, to see how the rest of the world lived.

TODAY

Everyone just beats their chest and says the U.S. is the greatest country in the world and there’s no reason to go anywhere else.

THEN

Science was king. We were all fascinated by the astronauts.

TODAY

Science is king when it comes to tech, but when it comes to the government it doesn’t exist.

THEN

Politicians were leaders. We looked up to them.

NOW

Politicians’ goal is to dismantle the government when they’re not trolling for cash. The public has tuned out.

THEN

We believed in facts. And got our news from the same sources.

NOW

Facts are questionable, always in flux, and we only go to news sources that reflect our beliefs.

THEN

Emotions.

NOW

Data.

THEN

What was in your mind was key.

NOW

What’s on your body is key. Fashion rules.

THEN

You were famous for something.

NOW

You can be famous for nothing.

THEN

You were out of contact weeks at a time.

NOW

You bitch if you’ve got no cell access.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. theexpertisin commented on May 24

    THEN

    Public schools nourished the student with a good education, ethical backround and discipline.

    NOW

    wtf

  2. Manofsteel11 commented on May 24

    Any recommendations for an alternative/better system? Key steps to improve society?

  3. Lyle commented on May 24

    Actually on privacy its a back to the future moment. In a small village everyone knows everyone else’s business. The internet was promoted to create the global village, and low and behold we see that as a village there is no privacy

    • RW commented on May 25

      Reminds me of Guy Debord’s Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (1988) when referring to Marshall McLuhan:

      The Sage of Toronto … spent several decades marveling at the numerous freedoms created by a “global village” instantly and effortlessly accessible to all. Villages, unlike towns, have always been ruled by conformism, isolation, petty surveillance, boredom and repetitive malicious gossip about the same families. Which is a precise enough description of the global spectacle’s present vulgarity.

Read this next.

Posted Under