Stop Cultural Poverty: Ration Entertainment NOW!

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Humanity faces the very real threat of cultural destitution. What good are any of Extinction Rebellion's campaign efforts on climate change and saving our planet if we are all artistically impoverished? Marvel Studios are by no means the sole culprit in this but their consistent and reckless policy of creating movies that people enjoy has led to audiences flooding cinemas purely on the basis of their desire to be entertained.

Their commercial success has exacted a heavy toll and, when considering their weekend cinema viewing, people are neglecting the enrichment of their souls, the elevation of their brows and the works of many great and respected auteurs, such as Francis Ford Coppola, director of The Godfather (including Part III) and Jack, the Citizen Kane of its genre, as well as numerous other titles listed on imdb that even I had no recollection of because of Iron Man.

What we need RIGHT NOW is a points system, where our access to entertainment is predicated on our consumption of worthier arts. Thus, for example, in order to earn our rights to view the next MCU offering or Star Wars movie, we would be required by law to produce ticket stubs for screenings we have attended of, say, two Truffaut films, an Ingmar Bergman and either Mean Streets or Bram Stoker's Dracula.

This scheme could be extended to safeguard our cultural welfare in other media, such as music and literature, whereby a trio of Dickens novels, a Booker Prize winner and War & Peace would permit us a brief indulgence in a Dan Brown or 50 Shades; while we would be required to devote a good twelve hours listening time to Mahler and/or Schubert (none of that Mozart and his despicably popular ditties) before thinking to give that Ed Sheeran LP a spin.

Points would have to be carefully calculated and awarded according to the relative respectability and merit of the director or artist, of course. To a large extent, the exact allocations can be left to the directors and artists to debate between themselves as to whose work is more important, while some practitioners would warrant a more scientific assessment. Christopher Nolan, for example, presents some complications, as even to my discerning cinematic palate some of his works strike me as quite worthy, while some are just Batman. But these are minor details.

What matters is that we cannot go on enjoying ourselves with no regard for our artistic and intellectual nourishment. Studios and government need to take action and, short of a tax on anything less than RidleyScotian, say, this is the ideal way to combat this worrying trend.