"We are made passionate about the things that occupied us as children as a means of drawing our attentions away from the things we really should be invested in, inequality, corruption, economic injustice etc. It makes sense that when faced with the awfulness of the world, the harsh realities that surround us, our instinct is to seek comfort, and where else were the majority of us most comfortable than our youth?"
The fact that actual grown ups want to spend money on plastic caricatures of their favourite movie characters is fine in itself, but only if we also take responsibility of the state of the society we live in.
“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
Not that I wouldn't agree in some ways with Pegg. But, as with Adorno, I'm not going to throw the Jazz out with the bathwater.
If you put those "childish" things ahead of more important things, yeah that's a problem. But collecting something that brings you joy isn't inherently dangerous.
Then again I guess it's easier to blame modern culture rather than inherent human nature. Blaming the latter doesn't sell well.
Super hero movies and Funko Pops though? That doesn't seem particularly new to me. The Epic of Gilgamesh tells the story of "Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, and Enkidu, a wild man created by the gods to stop Gilgamesh from oppressing the people of Uruk". Most of Greek mythology is about Gods behaving very much like modern super heroes. Actually many modern super heroes are molded more or less loosely on those. "Panem et circenses" is not a novel concept.
Let's not pretend that the average human being a century ago spent their days reading avant-guarde literature and complex political essays.
Most of the reason it appears that way is that 100 years ago, only the most educated had access to the writing and publishing that is now our primary record of the time.
I am sympathetic to the idea that our intellectual culture has degraded, and even sometimes argued in favor of that proposition on HN, but I also acknowledge it's really hard to measure in light of the overwhelming democratization of access to such things and the resulting anti-selection effect, or removal of the previous selection effect, or however you like to phrase it. Maybe that's a bad thing, maybe it's a good thing, it's a non-trivial argument either way, but it certainly makes it hard to graph any of the relevant qualities of our society over time.
^ this; I get where it's coming from though, because a hundred years ago was a time of huge scientific advancement (Einstein and co), philosophy, politics, etc; these are the things, and these are the thinkers of that age which are still remembered today.
The average joe in the street though, our (great) grandparents, nobody remembers them because they weren't extraordinary, influencers, or whatever - they too enjoyed to indulge in fiction and other such distractions. Einstein and co probably did as well, it's just not something that was mentioned much.
I'm sure that in a hundred years, that generation will idolize / idealize ours as well.
Lifestyle contents you find online or tv do exactly the same. Having gardening or cartoons as a hobby has nothing to do with the infantilisation of society. Not taking responsability for one's own actions is where the infantilisation lies at.
I think it's really easy to say people could be doing more to improve the world around them. Albeit, nobody's perfect and there's always going to be more anyone can do, not matter how hard they try.
Mostly I just want an excuse to link to this good blogpost discussing it.
Replace "spend money on plastic caricatures" with almost anything and your comment still applies. "playing around with their computers", "reading books", "wasting time on social media sites like Hacker News" and so on.
The only practical purpose of a plastic doll is to sit for a very long time in a landfill, with the only exception the short time at the beginning where it sits on a shelf instead.
Let's keep in mind the long term costs to future generations as we indulge, shall we?
Presumably people buy these objects because they derive some sense of pleasure while viewing/organizing them. I personally hate them and have never owned one but let’s not try and squeeze out some social commentary over a few toys.
The argument could be made that they are art but that's a hard argument to make. The only commentary on society here is the involuntary one.
This is basically the entire 4chan /pol/ mythos condensed into one single picture. Very convenient.
The presence of Soylent on the right is not to criticize junk food or the pressure to eat fast, it's because it contains (and is named after) soy which is associated with female hormones which in that mythology make man less manly (i.e. turns them into the nu-males I talked before). That's both stupid and sexist.
Similarly the porn site blacked.com might be here to point out that the easy access to huge amounts of porn by the entire population might have perverse side effects, but the choice of blacked over something more mainstream like pornhub is probably more about complaining about race mixing (blacked is about black men having sex with white women). It also meshes into the weird fascination these circles have with cuckholding, but I won't even bother touching that.
Then you have the whole specter of left-wing and/or liberal "stuff" with no rhyme or reason, from John Oliver to Che Guevara to CNN. You see when people have a different political opinion from your own they're all being mindless sheeple while you're the true enlightened beacon of truth (unfortunately I can't pretend that the alt-right are the only ones using this particular fallacy).
Then you have the picture of Star Wars. Again, could be just about complaining about mass-produced entertainment but notice that this one uses a live shot of the actors instead of simply the Star Wars logo. Notice that it showcases one black man and two women, one being asian. Meanwhile Marvel and GoT have only logos.
Then you have the Apple logo, which I'm sure you've noticed used the old "gay flag" colors, not the modern one. An interesting choice to be sure. It was probably more aesthetically pleasing.
Frankly there's one thing I'm impressed with this screenshot: I can't see any obvious antisemitic dogwhistles. It's quite notable because all the things I've written above are usually and invariably blamed on the Jews.
I feel a bit lost. I can't match up your descriptions with anything in the graphics for this article. Is this stuff in the 21 minute video? Or am I just missing something in a really big way?
(Boy, do I feel dumb now. Way to go to completely miss the context.)
Famous last words. When another major recession hits, one of the first costs to be cut is plastic junk. These are just beanie babies with more Disney branded characters. People will get sick of cluttering their house with dozens of the same item with mild variations at some point, until the next “gotta catch em all” toy comes out.
edit: Just to add more...I mean...someone else linked this figure https://media.entertainmentearth.com/assets/images/e9792a6af...
Every single funkopop figure looks exactly like that with only slightly more than a palette and hair swap. Compare that to the same series models from Banpresto: http://www.banpresto.jp/prize/0008.html
That said, some of their work (especially on real people) is bafflingly low-effort. Case in point, see the comparison between New Jersey Devils star player Taylor Hall and his Funko recreation:
Real life: https://specials-images.forbesimg.com/imageserve/5be4813ca7e...
That sentiment always ages well
Hmm, it's the thing everybody would advise against with a passion.
- Who's your target customer?
- Well good luck with that (snarky smily)
Good to see counter examples.
Feels basically like a Beanie Baby craze, except this time, the people who are into actual quality or give off the hobbyist vibe go to other products like Nendoroid.
Basically, sculpt by hand with polymer clay, make a resin cast of your sculpture (from a local vendor or DIY), and send the resin cast to one of many rotocasting vendors, most in China. Here's some examples: https://www.alibaba.com/showroom/rotocast-toy-manufacturer.h....