Grain of Salt - The Midnight Ride of the Monoculture: Excavating the Confluence of Avengers: EndGame of Thrones Weekend

Dear Mr. Fantasy play us a tune
Something to make us all happy
Do anything, take us out of this gloom
Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy

You are the one who can make us all laugh
But doing that you break out in tears
Please don't be sad if it was a straight mind you had
We wouldn't have known you all these years 

Something remarkable happened last weekend. Something that is unprecedented in the history of popular culture. Something that may never happen again. Something that quite likely signposts the end of an epoch or more likely signals the beginning of another. The confluence of events occurring between Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 when Avengers: Endgame opened in most countries around the world (interestingly enough, the United States was one of the last countries to open the film–two days later–perhaps inadvertently acting as reminder that it’s no longer the dominant global box office force) and Sunday, April 28th, 2019 when HBO aired the Game of Thrones episode “The Long Night” (in which the much-heralded Battle of Winterfell finally played out over the course of an epic 82-minute “telefeature”), may someday be remembered by historians as the last time that a true “monocultural” media event took place. And one in which the two dominant forms of mass entertainment–cinema and television–reached the maximum number of viewers and achieved the apex of their own cultural relevance in the same watershed weekend. Movies and TV may never again be this individually impactful–co-existing simultaneously and autonomously–as they were over the five day stretch in question.

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