It’s been a while since we’ve had an Open Forum Friday, but this week there has been an interesting little discussion percolating throughout the blogosphere that seemed like it was worth continuing here. The discussion has to do with the “infantilization of culture” and the way that blockbuster movies are being marketed to adults and kids as if they are essentially the same audience. It is certainly not the first time the topic has been brought up with regards to the insane popularity of comic book movies and escapist fiction on the big screen. However, what is interesting is where the debate originated this time: from none other than Simon Pegg, one of the very people who has helped usher in this new era of fandom and geek culture.
It turns out that Pegg recently made some comments in an interview with Radio Times where he stated that the focus on big screen spectacle has led to a “dumbing down” of sorts, lamenting the loss of the big political dramas of the ’70s that used to be touchstones of popular culture before Jaws and Star Wars changed everything. While that might sound hypocritical coming from one of the biggest Star Wars fans around, he clarified these statements further in a thoughtful essay on his website. He explains that he still loves science-fiction and fantasy and does not think they are childish, simply that the commercialization of these genres may ultimately be delivering a lot of empty calories. So what do you think? Does he have a point or is Simon Pegg biting the hand that feeds him nere? Are all of today’s blockbusters just kid’s stuff or are there still thoughtful and political films being made? Is the infantilization of pop culture a reality or are things just the same way they have always been? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.