April 7, 2014 – 10:28 in Current Affairs | Calum
Websites need content, I get that. And it’s beneficial to do the occasional art post because it helps temporarily subvert the idea that we’re not all just shallow fucks who like looking at jackets. At the same time, you have targets to meet and ad-revenue to justify. So, perhaps that conceptual installation you put a photo of on instagram last week – which only received a paltry 12 likes and you’re sure at least three of them were from struggle brands – isn’t going to appeal to your readership. What do you do? You get an illustrator – fuck it, anyone half decent at photoshop – and commission them to combine a relatively ubiquitous figure or commodity (Bart Simpson, or a lego man, doesn’t really matter) and violently clash it with whatever the pinnacle of cool culture is for that week (let’s just say Bape or Tyler, the Creator – who cares, no ones going to really read it anyway). It’s banal, aesthetically turgid and generally lazy, but it seems to keep on happening. Despite it’s lack of any real conceptual background, I keep seeing Kanye remixed with vintage American War posters and the outcome is invariably terrible. The same goes for fictitious shoe collaborations, ‘what the NFL would look like if all the badges were designed by hipsters,’ and anything else that would get you laughed out of a community college graphic design course. Feed the hypebeasts, because they’re fucking idiots. Perpetuate mediocrity, because who really cares, right?
Content for the sake of content is my biggest gripe with websites of our ilk. Yes, we have to keep things ticking over and continually provide new content, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of at least some semblance of quality or insight. If it means you only post three articles a day, instead of 7, so be it. If this seems like a rant, it’s because it probably is, but I feel there’s merit to what I’m saying. Publications which treat their readers with a degree of intelligence are becoming increasingly rare and too often we are catering to the lowest common denominator. The rise to prominence of user-generated content over the past five years has certainly increased the number of media outlets within this small world of ours, but diversity of opinion and interesting contents seems to have suffered greatly at the hands of ‘staying relevant.’
There is a solution to all of this; stop posting unimaginative shit, but I doubt that’s an idea which is going to take hold.