Indie snobbery proves false
by JAMES YANNEY
This article originally appeared in The Tiger on October 6, 2006 | PRINT

Yeah, I know Hollywood sucks. Yeah, I know the major record companies suck. Yeah, preppy clothes are overpriced and they suck. Yeah, it sure is easy to look down on the mainstream these days. In the end, though, don't most people end up feeling like modern entertainment is a sham because it is so easy? Is it not easy for record companies to pump out another Britney Spears soft-core porn album? Is it not easy for Hollywood to manufacture "actors" out of WWE wrestlers, like John Cena's upcoming "The Marine?"

What's most interesting to me about our current dichotomy is that one side of it, the indie side, is, at least on some level, always trying to stress the acceptance of others and their values while the mainstream media is unashamedly made up almost exclusively of young, beautiful, white-bread idiots. So what we end up with is an apparent contradiction on the part of indie zealots who supposedly accept other forms of morality but totally reject the morality (however simplistically sleazy) of mainstream media and its fans.

If you have problems with that concept, try this one: The best movies in the history of man are pleasingly entertaining and meaningful from an aesthetic and thematic view. The reason why more people don't pay money to see more intelligent films is that they so often fail to entertain, and the reason more intelligent people don't pay money to see summer blockbusters is because those films almost always fail to mean anything.

However, think of the best movies you have ever seen. Films like "The Godfather," "Seven Samurai," "Pulp Fiction," "Caddyshack," "Fight Club," "Groundhog Day," "Gone with The Wind," "Lost in Translation" and so many others. They are classics because they were both entertaining and meaningful. And by the way, if you are just so indie you don't like a single one of those movies, then congrats, you have officially forfeited your humanity for the cold grave of art for art's sake.

By constantly putting each other in separate categories, we aren't really being activists for the good cause of reforming entertainment to a more literate norm. We are instead only promoting the continuation of the current dumb-down trend by isolating our dollars from the interest of Hollywood or record companies. So next time someone is going on and on about how much they love the new Jessica Simpson single or the newest disaster movie playing on the big-screen, just nod your head and try to smile. You don't have to love them, too; you should just learn not to hate them.

After all, if Hollywood and the independent studios are holding the keys to good media entertainment, then is it not in both parties best interest to learn how to mingle? The indie crowd might be the emaciated guy waxing poetic in the corner, and Hollywood might be the fat broad eating all the hors d'oeuvres, but that doesn't mean we can't dance.

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