Is the scene, non-scene?
I must admit the title is very stoopid, like: is sense, non-sense? But this little fact hasn't stopped me from writing articles in the past. ;) Today I recieved an email from Ghandy (please note the close attention to detail with the upper and lower-case GhAnDy #;o) who asked why I wrote about some 'non-scene' topics, yet in the previous sentence stated that they would (quote) "be of interest for me and the Scenet visitors" (end quote).
Like drawing lines in the sand.
Well it's an interesting question, thanks Ghandy, and I hope some other people will approach it too. I am a little puzzled by what the scene actually is. Okay, okay, this makes me sounds like a complete moron (which isn't far from the truth). Perhaps it would be more correct to ask: Where does the scene stop and the non-scene start?
IMVHO, it seems that Ghandy has almost answered this latter question with his former comment. Everyone 'in' the scene has a wide range from interests which extend beyond the vague line in the scene sand, the border between demos-ville and dulls-ville. Does someone like KB or T$, for example, stop being a scener once they pop down the shops? or undertake some other non-scene activity? I mean is the scene like sleep? One moment you are in it, then bang! you are out of it? Are you only a scener when coding a demo, attending a party, tracking, drawing or organising some definite scene activity? Are you a scener for only 3 hours per day? And perhaps only a total of 4 weeks per year?
I know, this all sounds crazy, but don't you have to be a little crazy to be a scener? Are you binary bonkers? Suffering from MOD madness or are you pixel potty?
The point I'm trying to make is that an 'average scener' has a variety of interests which overlap into many different areas. Which, IMHO, gives the whole thing a more dynamic, creative melting pot of unique individuals all seeing the world from different points of view. Without this diversity the whole thing would fade and die like a wet magnesium flare, except perhaps not as bright or interesting. 'The suits' in the commerical all want to pigeon-hole us into easy to define groups whose behaviour, buying habits, interests, IQ, political views and even thoughts can be predicted based on a label. You only have to look into the murky world of political compaigns and spin-doctors (a long, worn-out phraze used in the UK recently to describe those suits behind the scenes who help to publish propaganda and stage events just to boost the rating of their leader) to realise how much stereotyping and prejudice exists.
Advertisement companies are without doubt the biggest users of this kind of dumbass people tagging. They believe that if you buy a certain product, drive a certain car, read a certain newspaper, watch a certain TV channel then they can predict your character, they can second-guess your next move. And usually all their research, their vast customer surveys, huge questionaires and billions of dollars are used for what? To try and sell you their latest doomed Coke-like fizzy drink.
Saviour of the Scene?
Where exactly is the boundary between scene and non-scene? and more importantly, does it really matter? There are many who repeat how bad things are, how the scene is coughing up blood, gasping for breath and recycling itself (looking back to the good old days and trying to emulate the 'old s-kewl' atmosphere). If this is true then what can be done to help revive the dying scene?
There is a solution to the "Creeping Rot Amongst PC Sceners" (or C.R.A.P.S for short) and that is to invest some time in new activities, new topics, new fields of research, in short broaden your horizon. So is the scene suffering from the C.R.A.P.S or are we expecting too much from groups thesedays? Are we expecting to see Jurassic Park quality animation in 4k intros? or are there no more new effects to be discovered?
IMVHO, I think the part (repeat part) of the scene has become fixated on certain themes and don't allow themselves to explore new ideas. There appears (to me anyway) to be few groups who really explore new terrority, to break new ground in BOTH quality and unique design. These are the groups who stick out in your mind and whose productions are always a pleasure to download and consume. Everyone who has ever seen a true classic demo or intro can not fail to utter those six words, "WOW, how did they do that?". Back in the old days when the now standard effects were being created for the very first time, where do you think the inspiration came from? Well it wasn't in the demo-scene, I'm really certain of that. Take the plasma family of effects, for example, you only need to look into the world of science to uncover the source for this effect.
I keep repeating the same chant, "look at the outside to improve the inside". The real world has a great deal of new potential in terms of both people and ideas.
What does the future hold for the scene? Will there be a scene? Yeah, of course there will. So long as there are crazy people in the world willing to stare at a flickering screen while having coffee (or some other stimulant) pumped into their veins during the early hours - there will be a scene. It may not evolve into what YOU wish it to be, but it will survive in some new shape or form. Old sceners will always drift towards negative comments while new sceners will find it as exciting as those now old sceners used to do. Maybe the scene isn't dying, but you own feelings/enthusiasm for it is. In which case you probably need to check in to the real-world motel for an extended vacation, chill out, kick back and absorb some inspiration.
Once you have reached enlightenment, my brother, the demo god will beckon you back with a fresh sense of scene wisdom, you will be able to make objects levitate, stop a speeding bullet with your teeth, move like a Ninja, travel backwards through time... and generally... be able to see without that blood-red haze covering your sleepy eyes.
Peace, Productions and Processors!