Ask A Genius 502 – An Arena of Art: Decay of Culture, Pretty Killy, and Kinda Corrupt (4)

In-Sight Publishing

Ask A Genius 502 – An Arena of Art: Decay of Culture, Pretty Killy, and Kinda Corrupt (4)

January 12, 2019

[Beginning of recorded material]

Rick Rosner: I believe that there is a principle that is often overlooked. It is still overlooked. It was overlooked in science fiction of the 50s and 60s, in movies and books. The writing about the future during the 30s and through the 60s often presented rational futures.

They had the idea that as technology becomes more powerful and people essentially become smarter with the help of technology; that people and civilization become more rational and life becomes cleaner & nicer.

It is the kind of world that you see in Star Trek, where it is not having a lot of foolishness. The public spaces that you occasionally see when the crew of the Enterprise with the open plaza. There is not a lot of foolishness.

It is not grubby. There is no advertisement. It is a clean and well-ordered world. It is not until Blade Runner that you see a grubby future. Now, the grubby future is a kind of a default science fiction future, where a lot of unimaginative crap science fiction has taken that model instead of the clean model.

A well thought out but not accurate picture is Minority Report from the 90s or the early 2000s. It has a world that is plenty of grubbiness, but has some nice parts. It has some public spaces flooded with advertising.

That kind of floats in the air personally directed through individuals’ information gathering equipment: contact lenses, and so on – whatever their eyeballs are engineered to pick up.

When you look at actual culture in the 70s, things were pretty clean or bowdlerized, censored. One of the chief examples being the Brady Bunch, which was a completely sanitized version of life.

It was a completely harmless and sickeningly sweet sitcom that didn’t address any prurient interests whatsoever. Now, you have shows that are filthy. You have a lot of filthy shows on television.

The question is whether filth or being able to talk about anything in popular culture. Like, I have been shocked to hear jokes about anal sex, blow jobs, and so on, showing up on Prime Time NBC sitcoms.

It just seems crazy to me. That we have come this far in a relatively show time, since the 70s, 80s, and 90s, when things were plain and censored. The question is whether this serves a wider artistic purpose that is part of a better discussion than the crappy, lazy, and censored 70s, or if this is a part of the degradation of the culture that will lead to our downfall similar to the late Roman Empire.

The Imperial Romans being depraved, corrupt, and weakening their civilization to the point where the Roman Empire fell.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner

American Television Writer


Rick Rosner

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing


[1] Four format points for the session article:

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For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:

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License and Copyright

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at and


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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