Equities and Social Mood Have Never Been This Out of Whack

Comedies are disappearing as social mood sinks. You might sell me on Hollywood being in a major funk because they're extremist left-wingers who think Trump's election is the apocalypse, if only the popularity of horror movies wasn't still rising after 20 years.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Don’t laugh: Movie comedies are disappearing
I have my eye on something that to me is more troubling: I refer to the recent plummeting share of movie dollars that people spend on comedies, because Hollywood isn’t making them, or because America is in a bad mood, or both.

...The Hollywood Reporter recently ran a numbers crunch revealing that comedies last year accounted for an appalling 8 percent of box-office revenue.

Now, some of this is a statistical sleight of hand. All superhero movies get dumped in the superhero-genre pile, even though Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok are quite clearly comedies. Ditto the Deadpool movies, which exist to satirize superhero movies, and thank God because it reflects the (former?) American impulse to make fun of the grandiose and the self-important. Woe to any culture that loses the will to make those kind of jokes, or the capacity to laugh at them.

...To get a sense of this decline, let’s run things back 20 years to 1998 for a full-year comparison. You’ll find a diverse array of comedies in the top 15: There’s Something About Mary, The Nutty Professor, Rush Hour, You’ve Got Mail, The Truman Show, Patch Adams, even The Waterboy. Way down ballot you had The Big Lebowski and Rushmore.
Social mood is extremely negative. Maybe mood is "wrong" and will catch up with equities. Or maybe stocks are wrong and will catch down to mood. I don't discount the chance that I'm wrong, but I do not see a sudden rise in mood coming.
But even classic stand-ups like Seinfeld have found themselves defending their craft recently on the heels of the groundbreaking Hannah Gadsby Netflix special, Nanette, that served to deconstruct classic stand-up as a paternal and oppressive institution that too often punches down on the marginalized. (Though this would seem to “erase,” as the kids say, the contributions of women going back to Grace Allen, Moms Mabley, and beyond).

Her special led to a broader critical discussion of the uses of comedy, including the argument that formulaic jokes “can’t really challenge or change anything, and are therefore more conservative than progressive” and not especially useful in "describing the totality of the human experience.”

Here you can feel comedy being dragged into the same politicized, polarized morass that has made so much of contemporary culture dull and dreary, and reduces what has traditionally been the comedy-loving American citizenry into a churlish electorate, formed of grumpy constituencies.
The major cities, the tech sector, the entertainment sector, finance, these are some of the big winners from the economy over the past 20 years, and yet they are pumping out anti-comedic comedy. It's not Trump. He exacerbated a trend, but he didn't cause it. They should be laughing at Trump as they did Bush, but it should be even funnier because the gap between wealth and success is much wider than in the early 2000s.

Perhaps its because they're seeing the scenes of homelessness and despair on their streets, but then that goes back to the point of negative mood and equities being out of step with reality. Things aren't going well for the man on the street, the working joe, the average family. People are stressed out and anxious. They're eschewing comedy for horror. If this trend doesn't reverse, eventually the terror will reach Wall Street.

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