April 2nd, 2011

spider

What does 'Alternative' even mean?

 I got a bit ahead of myself yesterday talking about this, but I also hit upon the problem.

I don't really think 'mainstream' culture still exists. At least, not for my generation and the ones coming after it. While you still have mass media in the form of television and the occasional film blockbuster that captures the mass imagination there seem to be fewer and fewer recognisable youth trends or fashion movements that hit any sort of critical mass. Subcultures are split and split and split into so many subdivisions and niches that in trying to identify your 'tribe' you have to speak much more broadly, terms like 'geek' take in a massive amount of different subdivisions and subcultures and it's only  a very broad affiliation.
 
Part of this may just be me getting older and no longer having my finger on the pulse, not that I ever particularly did, but I do think things are changing a lot. People seem a lot 'freer' to pick and choose what music, art, cinema, clothes and so on they like with broadly less prejudice. That can only be a good thing in my opinion.
 
Even alt sexuality is pretty acceptable these days, BDSM themes and other kinks appear pretty regularly on television and fetishwear appears on catwalks and - in somewhat sanitised form - on the high street.
 
The price of having no real mainstream is, of course, that there's nothing to really buck against!