In May, literary critic Christian Lorentzen published a Substack newsletter about being bored. “Hollywood movies are boring. Television is boring. Pop music is boring. The art world is boring. Broadway is boring. Books from big publishing are boring,” he wrote. Since I have been rather bored, too, I paid $5 to read the entire piece, but was unconvinced by his conclusion, which lays the blame for artistic stasis on the primacy of marketing. The risk aversion of cultural conglomerates can’t explain why there’s not more interesting indie stuff bubbling up. I had hoped that when the black hole of the Donald Trump presidency ended, redirected energy might allow for a cultural efflorescence. So far, that hasn’t happened.
Goldberg: Our cultural stagnation explained
August 31, 2022