Damien on… The Century Of Entertainment
…is OVER. Allow me to elaborate.
A century ago, if you lived out of town, your sources of entertain- ment were few. And the QUANTITY, minuscule. Maybe a few hours a year. The annual visit from the circus, an occasional travelling fair, perhaps a strolling theatrical company.
And before that, wandering minstrels, bare-knuckle boxing, bear- baiting, witch-hunting and public hangings.
Even townees faired little better – although if you were rich, you could add Opera, Shakespeare, Classical Music concerts, Tennis and Cricket.
But thanks to those clever Victorians, technology was just about to change all that. First came Music Hall (in The States, Burlesque) then around the turn of the twentieth century – narrative cinema. Twenty years on – radio. Then electronics revolutionised everything. By the Thirties, even those on modest income could enjoy most of the media which exist NOW.
Pop music, records, movies, discotheques (alright – dance halls) and even – in London – the fledgeling television. But that’s where the problem STARTED.
The population went from enjoying a few hours entertainment a year, to being DELUGED with the stuff. Written/spoken words, tunes, images, tricks, stunts, juggling elephants – you name it.
But now, it’s all been DONE. We’ve USED IT UP.
Variety died around 1960. Pop music and its co-dependent Radio, around 1990. TV ran out of new ideas a few years ago – and now even the cinema has little to offer outside of prequels, sequels, remakes, spin-offs, no-brainer-actioners and effects-movies.
Oh, The Business will keep churning out SOMETHING – but if you seek ORIGINALITY – FORGET it.
(Incidentally, if you’re young, this piece doesn’t really apply to you. Your “style gurus” will tell you any bimbo who can hold a tune is a “Pop Diva”. While “pop pundits” will convince you groups of models singing to lame, studio-produced covers of REAL hits are the next Beatles. And you’ll BELIEVE it – because you weren’t BORN when The Century Of Entertainment was happening!)