Are snobs the new dinosaurs?
I don’t have a definitive answer for you, but I have a few thoughts about the many issues you raise, which may in turn contain some sort of answer. There really is an explosion of content through the 20th and into the 21st century. In all of the arts you’ve mentioned the availability of new stuff is huge and so it can be much harder to focus on things that were produced before. It was possible at one point to have read most of what was worth reading, be familiar with the bulk of the music most worth knowing, and it was even easier to pay attention to the truly artistic movie directors. Now production far far outstrips any person’s ability to keep-up, and that’s only likely to increase. On the other hand, there is a reason that these things you talk about are called the classics, and they are likely to endure, if only as a niche market. I know more than a few people in my generation, which is also yours, who are passionate about all of the things about which you are concerned. There are
Genuine interest in unfamiliar experiences can serve as a criterion to describe the type of people you’re asking about, grumblebee. Here’s the thing: The people most people know are more or less mostly like them. Any genuine interest in experiences unlike those they already know is rare, since people usually want comfort more than novelty, but I suspect such interest defines the type of person you’re asking about; I suspect you’re such a person, too. Contemporary popular culture in the U.S.—my culture—affords extravagant familiarity, especially disguised as novelty, but I feel it insulates me from genuinely new experiences as a matter of course. (I suspect “culture” generally insulates its inheritors from outside influence—culture seems to work as a kind of “membership” mechanism—but that’s speculation more than anything else: It’s certainly not earned knowledge.) It’s weird, but the works of art you ask about—which posters say they like, too; it’s not the end of the world; unpopular d