As we’ve been saying, as others have been saying (see: Glenn Branca in NYTimes blog last November, ) — here’s the latest perceptive person — Douglas Coupland — to just go ahead and say it: culture is almost over. From today’s NYTimes Sunday Mag:

Q: How would you define the current cultural moment?

Douglas Coupland: I’m starting to wonder if pop culture is in its dying days, because everyone is able to customize their own lives with the images they want to see and the words they want to read and the music they listen to. You don’t have the broader trends like you used to.

Q: Sure you do. What about Harry Potter and Taylor Swift and “Avatar,” to name a few random phenomena?

Coupland: They’re not great cultural megatrends like disco, which involved absolutely everyone in the culture. Now, everyone basically is their own microculture, their own nanoculture, their own generation.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 3 Comments

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.


  1. “Now, everyone basically is their own microculture, their own nanoculture, their own generation”

    To me that sounds like a “great cultural macrotrend”; possibly the current form of popular culture.

    Or am I missing the point?

  2. It’s hard to take a guy seriously who believes that A. disco “involved absolutely everyone in the culture.” and that B. Harry Potter and Avatar aren’t cultural megatrends.

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