Prior to the 20th century, there was a distinct difference between popular culture and high culture. Popular culture has always been shit, and in most eras it had no funding and no one recording it. What we see as the culture of the past is the culture of the elite: artists/composers/authors commissioned by the Church or the nobility.
That distinction has broken down, so what people are seeing as the dominant cultural narrative of our time is now the equivalent of what would have been graffiti and pub drinking songs in the middle ages.
>>549142 Maybe not exactly everyone, but it's far more easily accessible than it used to be. From my computer alone, I can buy tickets and watch live performances of ballet and opera. I can watch great art from my phone. I can listen to great minds discuss politics, philosophy and the arts when commuting to and from work. I can look up something exotic (why not even something from my own country that's not made any more) and watch how to cook something on youtube.
Of course, it isn't the exact same as actual *being there* and it doesn't give you as much credibility as if you've been there in person, that's something still locked behind such a pay wall that only the rich enough can experience it.
And in that regard you're correct; every westerners can't experience sophisticated luxuries.
>>549183 This. In the past "High culture" aligned with "conspicuous consumption."
The 20th century saw the mass availability of what previously had been an elite domain. "Le wrong generation" types forget that in the 18th century, they probably would have never heard Mozart's music, ever.
The fact that I can bang out 'motzaart yootube' like a chimp and get a fine work of art to sample really changes things.
You can see where the conspicuous consumption has moved to, however. When mass communication put Haut Cuisine into the reach of ordinary people, they moved to things like farm to table.
Sure, anyone with the time and effort can prepare a fine Black Cod Barigoule now. That's why the new thing is ideas like farm to table: no effort or labor required, just access to plenty of pasture land!
This shift can be seen in all the cultural fields. People dump on Modern Art, and rightly defend it by pointing out that these things are meant to be displayed in a room, and a space, and it's unfair to judge the room outside of the space. And they're right!
But think about the shift that has taken place that it no longer is sufficient to be a talented painter (which is now cheaper and easier than ever), you must now work with entire rooms and museum spaces as your canvas!
>>549183 >>549273 We really do live in a utopia, or as close to one as humans have managed so far. I can play the entire works of Bach from my phone. I can read any poem, any book, view any painting. Imagine never seeing Michaelangelo unless you made a pilgrimage to Florence. Only hearing the Art of Fugue if by a chance in a million you knew someone good enough to play it.
>>549037 There were more rigorous standards imposed on literature at the turn of last century at least, I imagine formed through the 19th, that ebbed away in the mid 20th century. There was an idea that reading literature was self improving, so dirty language and behaviour was often self-censored by writers and publishers, or outright banned.
I assume standards in arts is a veiled swipe at the move against realism in painting and sculpture in the 19th century accelerated into the 20th alongside improvements in photography and later moving film. Autists like to distil and dismiss modern and contemporary art as monolithic, abstract movements, but this is not true. We can enjoy a range of painting from hyper-realism to highly abstract, the breadth of what we can experience today is unmatched in history.
>>549183 >that's something still locked behind such a pay wall that only the rich enough can experience it. The rich enough relative to the developing world perhaps, or impoverished shitholes in the USA, or residents of bumfuck nowhere in outback Australia.
>>549183 I would like to add that there seems to be a divergent in what the "upper class" used to like in the pre-digitalage and now. I don't think as many "rich" people go to operas and theater plays as back then. I think they have gotten a liking to popular culture and are more excited to see someone famous for rock or pop, than seeing a great opera piece or a great painting in person.
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