The new rockism

A massive plagiarism scandal will end up raising the bar for good musicianship. It’s not enough to compose one’s own music, play instruments and sing well. It has to be original and not openly wear its influences.

 

By then, musicians, songwriters and producers are forced to take their inspiration outside of music. They’ll even abstain from music for prolonged periods to avoid plagiarism. Musicians being accused of plagiarism isn’t anything new but they’ll be hit hardest.

 

The new rockists will despise anyone who homages, references and covers older songs and musicians. A plagiarist is a plagiarist, even if it’s talented and can do better than this. People who cover songs, wear their influences and do homages will be as hated as people who don’t write their own songs and play instruments.

 

Nobody wants to be unoriginal because they don’t want to wound up stealing someone else’s work. Respect becomes a big thing to new rockists because it involves boundaries over what the musician can and can’t do.

 

There’ll be less tribute acts because nobody wants a ripoff anymore. Originality and respect are prime virtues to avoid another massive plagiarism scandal.

The goalposts keep moving

If a big plagiarism scandal hit the music industry, people will change their minds. From then on, bands that imitate and admit their influences will be regarded as unimaginative and untalented.

 

Musicians that don’t (openly) wear their influences and might not be that exposed to music, challenging themselves to create new sounds from real life will get a pass and even be well-regarded.

 

Musical originality becomes a big thing, becoming an improved version of rockist criteria where the musician has to come up with its own ideas and sounds to avoid accidentally plagiarising another’s work.

 

The standards would be far higher, favouring mathematicians who rarely listen to music over singers that wear them. Mathematicians making music isn’t new, dating as far back as the 60s but will proliferate in light of the greatest music plagiarism scandal.

Religion without organisation

One wouldn’t doubt that animism and shamanism predated organised religion. There are some cases where organised religion itself incorporates folk beliefs, animism and philosophy to form an interesting ideology.

 

Folk beliefs can be part of cultural nationalism in a way, preserving and practising such customs onto the present day despite a myriad scientific advancements. Likewise you have religions that blur the line between ideology and faith.

 

Buddhism does that but so did Christianity when it incorporated Greek cynicism onto Jewish monotheism. So does Taoism with surprisingly scientific insight applied to shamanism.

 

Note that these are organised religions so it’s inevitable that they’ll have a stronger ideological, shamanic and philosophical bent than fandoms do. But it’s coincidental that the rise in fandom and celebrity worship coincided with the decline in organised religion.

 

Not that there’s anything wrong with those. But realistically you’ll find more meaning in an organised religion than with cartoons and musicians. At least that usually gives you a stronger conscience.

 

Organised religion has its problems but so do fandom and celebrity worship syndrome. There’s instant gratification, which the latter two thrive on. Not to mention less meaningful in the long run.

Is it an end of an era?

The Brony fandom is an infamous case of a male fandom for a girls’ programme but never the first. Their predecessors include Minky Momo fans, Kim Possible fans and Totally Spies fans. The latter in which involves strange obsessions, eerily predating what will become of the Brony fandom.

 

Likewise an earlier Pony fandom probably also did their own romantic fan fictions before Rule 34 was coined, held fansites and made pony versions of other, non-pony characters. Their idiocy was recorded early on Encyclopedia Dramatica, a few years before Friendship is Magic.

 

MLP had several animated productions before, especially in the 80s and early 1990s. The latter production had a cast that acted like the Mane Six in a way along with a de-emphasis on humans and an all-pony setting.

 

There were male fans before though many of them could’ve outgrown it for various reasons and watched those cartoons out of boredom. The contemporary Brony fandom peaked in the early 2010s, roughly 2012-2013 when it was picking up steam.

 

Of course, such mockery existed before but the current Brony fandom has become an easy laughingstock next to furries. In time, many might outgrow it but by then, it has little staying power.

Timing for anime communities

Another reason why so many other anime fan communities are slow to accept database consumption the way their East Asian counterparts did is because they’re relatively younger and farther from the source.

 

That’s especially the case with European and American communities where a good number of them have a preference for clear storylines and worldbuilding over categorising and popularising appealing traits.

 

There are websites that show database consumption in practise like Danbooru, Zerochan, Tumblr, DeviantART, 4Chan and Sankaku Complex but there’s bound to be several others that emphasise plot, ideology and worldbuilding.

 

A number of western nerd communities like worldbuilding, which is an aspect I don’t get myself but worldbuilding is closer to what others call a grand narrative. The idea of immersing yourself in an ideology based around a story instead of extracting data from it to produce your own.

 

Database consumption would be closer to remixing and copypasting certain appealing things. You build up a catalogue of what you like and remix them in whatever manner. It’s already happening with 4Chan thread archives and the like but it has yet to become common like in Japan.

A fight over moe

Moe is the feeling of being strongly attached to certain traits and preferences. This leads to categorising characters with such traits, which is what the writer Hiroki Azuma had in mind. Someone who’s moe for muscular male characters will not only fetishise but also categorise them.

 

Same thing goes for any other preference to put it kindly. But database consumption, while becoming influential, isn’t so well-received in other circles not just elsewhere but also in Japan to some extent.

 

You have people sneering at others for making lovers and spouses out of fictional characters, as if they continue their obsessions to startling levels. Not to mention associated merchandise.

 

Database consumption might be enjoyed by overseas anime fans. But the only regional fanbases that wholly embraced these are in China and Korea, given their proximity to Japan as well as sharing similar traditions and mindsets to an extent.

 

Others might catch up soon enough though there’d still be a fight over what’s moe or not.

Insular imaginations

It’s safe to say that a lot of nerds, from experience, have certain foreign countries to idolise. It’s almost always either Britain or Japan. Ireland and Korea aren’t that far behind but not to the same extent as they’d be regarded as lesser copies of the former two.

 

Nerdy Hibernophiles, Teutonophiles and Francophiles do exist but not to the same extent for similar reasons. They have pop culture that gets exported but not so visibly. It could be said of any other country.

 

For Britain, it’s the lure of being not too foreign. Ireland’s not that far behind but not enough to exert a substantial influence despite or rather because of being close to Britain. Inevitably it’ll play second fiddle to its coloniser.

 

Similar things can be said of Japan and Korea. Korea’s quickly catching up but isn’t as vocal as the fandom for Japan. Ditto the other countries that helped influence them like Norway, France, China and India.

 

Again it boils down to a lot of soft power whilst not being too foreign or more idealised in other regards.