30 October 2013

bourgeois problems are passé?

Further to the rejection of bourgeois sensitivities, in Snowman sequels and other contemporary cultural products, particularly of the audio-visual kind.
Not long ago I read a highbrow columnist asserting that “nowadays the middle class cannot expect to have their kinds of problem taken seriously” (or words to that effect).
Presumably this is because everyone is now terribly aware of the more serious ones, which the poorer members of society have to endure – grim housing estates, hard drugs, making do with cheap brands of smartphone.
How surreal the world view of media folk must be. Most of them probably have no experience of the issues they claim to have familiarity with, and compassion for. As for the problems of their own class, they’ve apparently been brainwashed into believing (or at least parroting) that these are inauthentic and hence to be ignored.
A micro version, perhaps, of Western societies’ apathy towards the interests of their own communities, versus unrealistic pseudo-concern for other nations.
This may be one reason why thrillers have to rely on increasing levels of brutality to generate shock value. Any given level of horror quickly becomes passé, since to be shocked by that is soon taken to imply an unhealthy level of sensibility, and a lack of familiarity with the ‘real’ world.
Pace the columnist in question, middle-class problems – such as the difficulty of getting reliable domestic help, or the degradation of cultural institutions which once provided a congenial environment – are no less ‘real’ and no less important than the problems of other classes. A society which denies that the bourgeoisie can have valid needs different from those of other classes is one that is surely doomed to go backwards, however much it obsesses about ‘progress’.