I’ve felt a disinterest in media lately. It was only after some analysis that I understood how much media lacks intimacy.
Something has been itching at the back of my mind lately, a dissatisfaction with most media. It wasn’t hatredjust a sense of being unfulfilling. I’m not saying the media were even bad, but I felt something was missing. Instead of trying to scratch this itch, I leaned into it to learn it’s nature.
This sense of unease was tied to a recent interest in old alternative music radio shows, strange zines, audio ephemera, sound collages, etc. Those things were unique, with passion for once-obscure (and still obscure) bands, remixing techniques, personal interests, and so on. Each one was a little ball of itself.
Compared to that, many movies, television, etc. seemed so sterile. Oh, it might be good, but the market is filled with works that look alike, everything is overhyped, and it’s impersonal. There was a lack of connection there. I could enjoy some crappy B-movies more than the big thing I had to see, with a few exceptions (Everything Everywhere All At Once, for instance).
This ‘itch” didn’t apply to video games, which was another clue. I love Early Access games, being able to give feedback, and be involved in the process. I also loved digging up strange, obscure, and unique titles to play, those visions giving form.
I understood then – I craved the intimacy of media involvement. Of being involved in the creation and sharing it (like Early Access games, or Zines). I missed things that were personal experiences with that sense of craftsmanship (Zines, alternate music, strange films). With this in mind, I’m finding my interests again, often in the strangest places – of which I may write more in time.
I think our modern media, which often produces things that can be good, also creates works that are mass-marketed, polished, and targeted. Things may be optimized, but optimization isn’t personal. When you’re just caught within a statistics range, you know.
I suspect this is an unappreciated part of fandoms as well. Some fandom experiences are intimate, with fanfic, art, cosplay, conventions, etc. The flawed or over-engineered creation can bring people together, who then transcend the original work. Fandom can add something to the experience of a media, a something I don’t think is fully appreciated by many.
So now I have a grasp of this itch, this sense of dissatisfaction. I miss work that is connected, personal, and above all not over-engineered. I miss media that helps me connect with people and indeed to the “bigger picture.”
I’m not sure where this will take my tastes, or my own creative works, but it’s going to be an interesting trip. You’ll be along for the ride and plenty of blog posts – and what’s sure to be a connecting experience.