saying no to the modern world

I seem to have succeeded admirably in my objective of isolating myself from the poison of modern popular culture. 
In 2015 I find I have read 68 novels. The earliest was written in 1835; the latest dates from 1990. Not one work of fiction from the past quarter-century.
I have watched 126 movies, dating from 1926 to 1980. Not one movie from the 90s or subsequent decades.
I have watched 383 episodes of television series, dating from 1954 to 1976. Nothing from the past forty-odd years. Not one contemporary television program.
I have also not listened to any contemporary music.
This did not start out as a deliberate choice. About ten years ago I noticed that my interest in modern popular culture was rapidly diminishing. Up until two or three years ago I still made sporadic efforts to appreciate the latest manifestations of popular culture. The results were dismal. Eventually I just stopped trying. I have no regrets.
In fact it is not at all difficult to insulate oneself from modern pop culture. If I want to read fiction I have centuries’ worth of books to choose from. Older books are not hard to find, even if many are out of print. One of the few completely positive things about the internet is that it makes it comparatively easy (and usually fairly inexpensive) to track down out of print books.
If I want to watch a movie there are literally thousands of older movies readily available on DVD or Blu-Ray. Some have gone out of print but they’re usually not too difficult find. Streaming is not really an option for me. It’s problematic at best if you happen to live in Australia and in any case it doesn’t appeal to me. DVDs can be expensive but if you shop about online they can often be pleasingly cheap. They’re certainly cheaper, generally speaking, than going to a cinema (which is something I haven’t done this century). And some at least can be rented. Older TV shows are likewise readily available on DVD and finding them presents few difficulties.
As I’ve confined myself more and more to the books, movies and television of the past I’ve found that my enjoyment has increased considerably. It is definitely not a hardship.
I’m not even sure that contemporary popular culture actually exists. It seems to me to be a kind of fake popular culture mostly produced and disseminated by the elites.
I don’t suggest that everyone should make the choice I’ve made, but it might be worth considering that it is at least an option and it makes life rather more pleasant. I don’t have to worry about the new Star Wars movie. I know they’ve made a new one but I’m not sure what it’s called. All I need to know is that I don’t need to concern myself with it. It makes life simpler.

One comment on “saying no to the modern world

  1. My own experience parallels yours to some extent. I just found that over the years, I just began to be turned off by most popular culture (TV and movies and eventually much pop music) and began to avoid it. Not to make any political statement, as I was pretty 'liberal' at that point, so I was an anomaly among my liberal peers.

    I tend to stick to old books, old movies, the time-honored classics rather than the changing and increasingly perverse popular culture.

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