Nevermind The Mainstream

Ted Gioia writes about the battle between macroculture and microculture.

ChatGPT makes the distinction between the two cultures:

In essence, macroculture represents the dominant cultural framework of a society, while microcultures are the distinct subgroups with their own customs and values existing within that broader framework.

Gioia believes microculture is taking over after the 20th century was dominated by macroculture and welcomes the shift. Gioia was always more into microculture and the conceptually-adjacent counterculture.

Many of the art films I saw at the indie cinema were awful. But I still kept coming back—because I needed the fresh air these oddball movies provided. For the same reason, I read the alt weekly newspapers and kept tabs on alt music.

I mostly followed the same pattern. I preferred what was called alternative music.” Sometimes the question alternative to what?” was asked. However, it was always implied that this was the alternative to the mainstream. This is why 120 Minutes, the MTV show that played alternative music videos, had a CD compilation called Never Mind The Mainstream. To have a vibrant counterculture, though, you have to have a culture to which it runs counter. As the macroculture dissolves, and no one watches the same TV shows or listens to the same records but instead live fragmented existences, the very excitement of an alternative is lost.


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