Oscars Foundering in Era of Niches is an interesting article in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times. Here are some quotes:
But the problem with the Oscars is more deeply rooted than just public lack of interest in the nominees. Ratings are crumbling for the Oscars, and award shows in general, because the Era of the Mass Event is drawing to a close……..
We are now a nation of niches. There are still blockbuster movies, hit TV shows and top-selling CDs, but fewer events that capture the communal pop culture spirit. The action is elsewhere, with the country watching cable shows or reading blogs that play to a specific audience……
There is another, even more radical shift in today’s pop culture that is helping to undermine the Oscars and other tradition-bound award shows. For years, the Oscars have mattered because the awards served as a barometer of cultural heft. Just the name alone–the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences–has the air of high-minded authority.
Millions of moviegoers who would’ve been wary of seeing a challenging film like 1969’s “Midnight Cowboy” or 1999’s “American Beauty” caved in and plunked their money down, soothed by the academy’s best picture badge of distinction.
But this elite, top-down culture is being supplanted by a raucous, participatory bottom-up culture in which amateur entertainment has more appeal than critically endorsed skill and expertise…….
This article has me thinking about its relevance to church. I was talking today with one of our pastors about how our church has seen a drop in involement in our “large events”, whether it be our all church retreat or large worship events. The draw in the last couple of years has been for small, more intimate events. The church seems to be more niche oriented. I don’t know if this is either good or bad. Maybe in the last 20 plus years we have really celebrated and pushed the large event, especially as we have made numbers a significant marker of the church’s success.
I have also been noticing a swing in the church from a top-down culture, to a bottom-up culture. The role of the pastor does seem to be shifting…..Whereas he or she used to be the keeper or bearer of all information, teaching, preaching, truth, authority, etc….there now seems to be a growing shift where the pastor is not the controller of all these things, but rather there is a larger empowerment of the congregation and laity.
Just some quick hit thoughts after reading this article…….