In today’s cultural landscape, we find ourselves immersed in a sea of recycled ideas, repackaged for an audience hungry for familiarity. This trend is especially evident in popular media and entertainment, where the Hollywood reboot machine reigns supreme, generating content that predominantly relies on well-worn storytelling tropes and formats. Even what we consider “original” programming often follows these familiar patterns, extending into the realm of music as well.
“This lack of novelty extends beyond entertainment and seeps into matters of business, society, and politics. What does it even mean for something to be new?” says Julia Rubin, editorial director at Vox. “We also wanted to interrogate if we’re in a uniquely recycled moment, or if there has really never been such a thing as newness. Is the notion of ‘no new ideas’ itself hardly a new idea?”
Contributors to the issue include: Whizy Kim on how the richest people on Earth co-opted the self-help movement; Alissa Wilkinson asks the question: is it possible to create new ideas?; Constance Grady on the new porn wars; Emily Stewart on Crypto being new, but not; Anna North on the endless cycling — and recycling — of parenting advice.
The Highlight, in partnership with Apple News, is a dedicated home for the signature features, essays, and explainers that help our audience go beyond the headlines of the day to tackle the big ideas and issues that are changing our present and influencing our future.