Stray signals are important to people who want to keep track of contemporary culture.
Here’s one from today’s Wall Street Journal.
Nordic noir, the chilling, realistic Scandinavian crime fiction that has taken movies and books by storm, is coming to American television. The Killing, premiering April 3 on AMC, comes from the hit Danish drama “Forbrydenlsen.”
It is not intuitively obvious why there should now be so much Nordic noir in our world. But to be sure there’s lots. And I think we can see it moving swiftly, from page to big screen to little screen, signs of its ability to command larger audiences.
The question for the Chief Culture Officer and the rest of us: why? What is it about Nordic noir that makes it appealing. Why should this cultural form now threaten the standard police procedurals (Law and Order, CSI, etc) that have dominated TV for so long? What does the rise of Nordic noir tells us about the state of American culture now?
I am not making this an official Minerva competition, but if someone comes up with a dazzlingly good answer, there’s a good chance they will get a statue!
Chozick, Amy. 2011. Something’s rotten in Seattle. Wall Street Journal. March 25. (subscription required)