I remember about twenty years ago one of my co-workers, not even eighteen years old yet, had not seen Star Wars. He would talk about all the newer movies and his other interests and such, but had no idea about Star Wars. He mentioned a rapper he liked, I do not remember who it was, but at the time I did remember having just seen an interview where that rapper talked about how much Star Wars influenced him. This guy had a really hard time grasping just how big Star Wars was and what it had done to our society on so many levels. I tried to explain to him how the whole idea of blockbuster movies as we know them today, came from the success of Star Wars. How it brought about a new age of special effects, or the impact of those incredible music scores. He just wasn’t understanding it. His focus was on the present, not seeing what had come before to shape things.
And I’ve seen this elsewhere. People often seem to not be aware that there was a past, that in order to bring the entertainment of the present, there was an evolution to get to that point.
Where would music be if not for the Beatles?
While I am not a fan of his writing style, I still understand the impact Lord of the Rings had on genre literature. Like everything else I have talked about here, it has also had an impact on things beyond just genre fiction. The ideas there inspired people to be creative in other areas of society, unrelated to writing.
It is also interesting to see the patterns that form. I had found out the song "Killing me Softly With His Song" was written in response to the song "American Pie", which was clearly written in response to a lot of events and people that inspires the writer. There is a progression of creative endeavors flowing in a path from one person to the next, each inspiring the next step, moving the creative process farther.
I had talked about how there was a defining line between before Amazing Fantasy 15, and after, for the comic book industry. There is such a line for music concerning the Beatles, as a well such a line in movies when it comes to Star Wars. There are events that truly change everything, having helped shape the path out society has taken. And yes, I do openly say that Spider-Man, the Beatles and Star Wars have all played huge roles in creating our present society.
It is hard for anyone who did not live during those times to understand just what they did, but that is part of studying history. I very much think more people need to be looking at the evolution of our society and our entertainments. Most of the events I have mentioned here were before my life time, but as a fan I have studied them and seen what they did. In my life time we have had events like Nirvana and the Harry Potter books, which have had their impact on people and will be remembered. I am not sure if there are as defining a line with them. I am not trying to say they are not important, it is just a different sense of how things are. I do wonder if we have gone past the point where we will get the massive events of the past. Instead it seems like we’re getting smaller such events, more often. It’s like we’re hitting a stage of just micro-evolutions for society.
There is still a flood of creative ideas flowing and giving inspiration, but for me it seems that something is slowing down. Whatever we have become, it just seems harder to have the grand impacts of old. I don’t hold to the poorly-conceived idea that things now days are of lower quality, which is part of the generation war drivel which benefits no one. There is a lot of quality entertainment being made and we are still finding ways to move the media forward. Just wherever we are, I have not seen anything have the impact and ignite changes on the level of these past events.
I wait with great anticipation for a truly monumental event in my future. I do not believe we are done with them. And it will be something to see where we go with the next huge event.