The Youths

Maddd Science

Millennials aren't the cool kids on the block anymore: Gen Z — 18-year-olds and under, I think — is differentiating itself. I'm a middle-of-the-road Millennial who just turned 26 today, so I'm less than a decade distinct from Gen Z, and I can still tell the difference.

Memes and YouTube are the big forms of narrative media of the future, and these are a few articles that I found shed light on generational differences. Well, mostly the first article here; the second one's more for the Gen X-Millennial midspace. But this first one really sums up Gen Z, imho.

The Age of Post-Authenticity and the Ironic Truths of Meme Culture
Jay Owens, Medium

For Generation Z — born in 2000 and onward — there are two interesting, seemingly opposite cultural tendencies at play.

On the one hand, they’re the sensible generation. Every measure of risk-taking behaviour is down, across the U.S. and Europe: drinking, smoking, drug use, early sexual activity, and teenage pregnancy. Spurred by the prospect of massive educational debt, they try harder in school and have heartbreakingly modest and, well, sensible aspirations for their future lives.

On the other hand… Memes.

Time Travel on the YouTube Express
Leigh Alexander, Medium

As I watch, it becomes increasingly astonishing to me that Donahue, People Are Talking, and their ilk are somehow part of the same lifetime as today’s media. The way we experience time itself has changed. That world is somehow only 20 years apart from today’s, where a conservative backlash against traumatized schoolkids can start on your phone screen, where the Aziz Ansari thing already feels like a year ago, where you’re never doing nothing. Maybe you are refreshing, clearing notifications, scrolling without reading, or thinking, nerves frayed, about all the things you might be missing. You are cleaning your kitchen with one hand and texting with the other, while Netflix is wondering if you’re still watching.

Great article here exploring how the modern TV episode description is getting increasingly weirder. I love this sort of topic: It finds a tiny, overlooked aspect of popular media that reflects something bigger about its evolution. Also, I was waiting for a comparison to 2000s-era alt text that never came, and that shows real restraint.

Atlanta, Westworld, and the episode-description revolution
Clayton Purdom, The AV Club

Splintered across a billion platforms and means of viewing, these episode descriptions are a sort of vestigial tail from the era when you’d be curious what sort of adventure Quantum Leap was getting into that week. It recalls, in its way, the manner in which Mad Men grew increasingly disdainful of its “next week” teaser as the seasons went on, ultimately turning into almost wordless montages of stern looks, cleared throats, and cocktail glasses. Similarly, these descriptions laugh at the notion of synopsizing an episode; the Rick And Morty one about Atlantis, had almost nothing to do with Atlantis, and was not a self-contained episode at all.

These are the sort of wily rough edges that result when a medium is transforming.

I was able to guess the author of this next article based on the title. Does this make me too much of a book news nerd? The answer is yes.

Are ebooks dying or thriving? The answer is yes
Thu-Huong Ha

Amazon’s power over self-publishing, a shadow industry running outside the traditional publishing houses and imprints, is insidiously invisible. As a result, the publishing industry has a data problem, and it doesn’t look like Amazon will be loosening its grip any time soon.

I love that this site exists. The depth of nitpickery is half comforting, half infuriating.

Movie Mistakes: Deep Blue Sea

Factual error: Near the beginning when the boat pulls up and the guy on the boat tells the blond convict he's got a beauty 13 foot "Tiger shark" that's up in some sort of sling, the so called tiger shark is actually the same robot mako shark from the rest of the movie, just with stripes on it. Tiger sharks have a blunt rounded nose, not a pointed one like a great white.

Short issue this week, but I'll be back next Sunday with a look at my new TV show obsession.

Next Week on Maddd Science: Babylon Berlin

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Header image: "we the children of elementary misery," by Daniel Williams.

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