Pop Culture

19 Mar

Pop culture just isn’t for me.  It’s far too limiting.

Most pop culture is just fancy consumerism.  Really, point to any pop culture phenomenon and you will see chained to it, like Marley’s ghost, a dozen things to spend money on.  Not that I’m against consumerism–after all, it’s maintained a fairly peaceful society here in America, however it can be terribly empty.  Like a parrot who says things its heard you say and nothing more.  

The other thing about Pop Culture is that it’s always showing off the new, like any good market does.  However, new does not mean better by any means.  I had a thought the other day that the most important 30 books ever made probably doesn’t change that much from year to year, however you’d never know it from the lists that proliferate on a thousand websites, weighing, measuring, debating, arguing on each thing.  Many new things out right now will be forgotten 1 year from now; most in five years.  It’s all based on novelty, not art.  Novelty fades while art grows.  

For instance, it should not be a bore to read something twice–it should be better.  A third time?  Even better than that.  Same goes for watching movies, looking at visual arts, listening to music.  They should grow and change.  They should reward scrutiny.  Pop culture (in general, there’s always exceptions) does not.  With scrutiny it pops like a bubble.

Sometimes I wonder.  Our consumerist world creates a whole lot of physical pollution, for in the ideal consumerist society everything is discardable.  I wonder if we create culture pollution as well.  Not in the sense of songs that are unlikable and books that waste paper, but in the sense that they create debris of pop-culture junk that floats through our collective unconscious blocking whatever truth there is to be had.  No wonder we are a culture of distraction; it’s better business.

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