In 1978 Christopher Lasch published a generation defining work entitled The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations. This book was written during a time of great American malaise captured by such cinematic masterpieces as Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976) and Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979), both of which at once represent the high point of American cinema as the film school generation of directors began to make their mark, and in so doing graphically show an America at war with itself, and whether at home or abroad, a world wherein the prospect of American heroism was all but impossible to conceive. This was a period when American society was still stinging from the Watergate scandal and its defeat in Vietnam, while facing high unemployment and inflation, and widespread urban decay. And tellingly, it was America’s first awakening to the global energy crisis, only a few short years after the Arab oil embargo of 1973, a time remembered for its soaring gasoline prices, long lines at the pumps, and a president advising the nation to turn down its thermostat in an effort at energy conservation. This was the time immediately before Ronald Reagan famously declared it was morning in America again, thus a mood of pessimism prevailed as suggested by the book’s subtitle.
KeywordsSocial Medium Social Networking Site American Cinema Media Landscape Digital Culture
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