Meanwhile in the non-ideological regions of the culture the deepening of decadence seems assured. The pandemic has (further) weakened every cultural institution that relies on physical presence, spontaneity and localized or mid-sized audiences, which means basically all of them except the “content” industry, the ever-expanding realm of Peak TV. The spirit of Mustapha Mond presides over the Covid era: He waved his hand; and it was as though, with an invisible feather wisk, he had brushed away a little dust, and the dust was museums, was symphonies; some spider-webs, and they were ballets and bookstores and Broadway theatricals. Whisk. Whisk—and where was the mid-size daily newspaper, the regional university, the local Protestant congregation, the urban Catholic school. Whisk—the place where the local movie theater had been empty. Whisk, the touring pop music acts, whisk, the minor league baseball teams, whisk, whisk ..
I know, I know: We can make art on the blockchain now, and do journalism on Substack, and host salons on Clubhouse.
But if these are the seeds of renaissance, I expect things to get worse before they get better.
Here is the full post, ungated, Ross will be doing free Substack for a limited time. Ross’s The Decadent Society is coming out soon in paperback, and it a new subtitle and Ross says plenty of new and original material.