The are are couple of things to blame. One was when the NEA started doing business via resumes of allegedly creative or novel ideas instead of track records of actual work, and baited a certain kind of predictable behavior pandering to this. Another is the encroachment of the "gotcha" mentality of advertising photography - grab your attention fast, but not necessarily over the long haul. Yet another is the need for museums to attract ticket sales using controversial themes. All a big game as far as I'm concerned, which I don't personally care to play, even though I've had my own fifteen second of fame or whatever at public expense, and have a family history of govt subsidy of art, though
that was art deliberately intended for permanent public installation, and now is in fact all protected by the Natl Historic Register. So gotta be
careful no to be hypocritical. But let's just say that one reason I never chose an official fine arts career (besides not wanting to eat out of
dumpsters), is that I don't really want to pander to anything, either commercial or officially artsified. Don't mind making an extra buck from
time to time; but not having some artificial genre as a ball and chain let's me do what I want to do. The only difference with the "West Coast
School" is that it involved just a handful of people, who did in fact eventually get famous, but otherwise became a tradition emphasizing
actual visible subject matter and excellence in printmaking. I guess the utter opposite of this would be those who download odd's n' ends
off the web and digitally manipulate them into fictitious Fauxtoshop content - what I call Lardassography. Whatevever - I'm not saying it
isn't interesting or thought-provoking in an appropriate venue - I just don't think of it as actual photography.