November 21st, 2006

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11:29 pm - on not watching tv...

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on not watching tv... - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: zombie_hime Date: November 22nd, 2006 - 11:44 am (Link)
Nope, I have not seen Pam Anderson naked.

I think part of my pop-culture ignorance comes from being raised as an Air Force brat. I spent about 10-11 years of my youth overseas. In Germany, we had two television channels in English (military-run), and in Turkey, we had one. I'm not even sure that we had a TV in Rome; we weren't there very long, so we didn't move all our stuff out there.

Television-wise, Simpsons is pretty much the only thing I routinely watch these days. I have my nice 27" Sony TV... with rabbit-ears, since it's mainly used for DVDs and console games. I'm at work for most of my waking hours, and I don't surf the web or listen to the radio or watch TV there, so my free time is precious to me, and I'd rather spend it reading, at the gym, dancing, playing video games, or with my honey than with catching up with the latest pop-culture news. I've got too much stuff of my own that I want to do... not enough time to spend following stranger celebrities' lives.

Also, I have a habit of picking up music about 3-10 years after it was super-popular and played to death (I don't do this on purpose... just how it works out). I don't listen to the radio; I have plenty of stuff on my iPod, so it takes me a while to catch up. There've been more occasions than I can count where I've stumbled over some music, gotten super-excited about it, made drfell listen, and he replied with, "Oh, yeah... that was popular when we were college/high school/elementary school."

I do, however, try to keep up pretty well with bellydance culture (though I've even been pretty poor at that lately). I couldn't tell you more than a couple of words about most of the people in the tabloids... but I could talk your ear off about Rachel Brice or Suhaila or Sharon Kihara. I guess I still have my celebrities... they're just more sub-culture than pop-culture.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 22nd, 2006 - 02:22 pm (Link)
ok, but don't you feel lost when something happens and the entire world is talking about it, and you have no idea what's going on? I liken it to world events. It would suck if it were Sept 18, 2001 and you were like "World Trade Center? What's that?" Obviously, the divorce of Britney Spears, what happened on Lost or when the next Harry Potter book is coming out isn't as "important" as the 9-11 attacks. And yes, I agree that there is something to be said for having in depth knowledge of your own particular little subculture (i could talk for days about little nuanes of pro-wrestling or comic book history that have no effect on culture-at-large at all, much like you with belly dancing), but I also feel that without at least a basic understanding of the popular culture of the day, you are essentially lost and unable to relate to society at large. Or maybe not. Do you never have that lost feeling, or does it just not bother you? (sorry, if that sounds like an attack, its not meant to be... just don't have a better way of stating it. I'm really quite curious here)
[User Picture]From: zombie_hime Date: November 22nd, 2006 - 08:16 pm (Link)
I do pick up on some of the pop culture headlines, if they happen to come up on a teaser for the news, or if a coworker or friend mentions it, or if I scan the Google news headlines. I knew about the Britney Spears thing because it came up on the one occasion lately when my iPod battery died and I turned on the radio while commuting. I didn't know about the OJ book until you posted about it. No clue about the Madonna thing until reading your comments. I knew about Steve Irwin's death because my mom called me to tell me. I try to keep up with major world news (like, say, September 11th), and sometimes picking up tidbits of pop culture is inevitable. But I don't seek it out.

Mostly, I just don't care if I don't relate to society at large, so I guess it doesn't bother me. I've never felt like I've fit in with society at large, and that's fine... I'm quite happy to do my thing and let them do theirs. I have the things that I'm interested in, and generally I share at least a few of those interests with the people I spend time with, so it doesn't matter much if I'm not conversant on large swaths of popular culture.
[User Picture]From: zombie_hime Date: November 22nd, 2006 - 08:19 pm (Link)
(I'll also note that, despite being a technogeek, I didn't know that the PS3 was out until after the fact, nor had I heard of the Microsoft Zune until this past weekend when drfell brought it up.)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 23rd, 2006 - 02:03 pm (Link)
See, I find that fascinating. I'd think that with that level of separation youd feel kind of shut off, but I know for a fact that you aren't. Btw, I'd consider video games and other geek culture as pop culture as well. I'm not talking specifically tv or music or anything. But you pointed out that you were unaware of the console launches last weekend.

So it really doesn't bother you at all if you go to get some coffee at work and everyone is always talking about the X and you have no idea what X is?
[User Picture]From: zombie_hime Date: November 24th, 2006 - 02:40 am (Link)
Much as I love video games, the computer game I've been playing lately is Jagged Alliance 2... which came out in 1999. I do have a game or two that were released this year, but they failed to hold my attention for long, so I'm happy to reach for an old classic. So I don't even manage to keep up with the current popular stuff in fields that I *am* interested in.

And nope, it really doesn't bother me at all. The majority of conversations that go on around me -- with work colleagues or with friends -- don't get around to pop culture topics much. The rare times when it does come up, I either listen politely and comment when it's appropriate, or they know me well enough to start the conversation with, "Do you know what The X is?/Do you know who Person Y is?" If yes, they tell their story. If no, they preface it with a sentence or two of background. Most people are very happy to talk, so nobody seems to mind if spend more time listening than talking when topics aren't things that I keep up with.

Really, I feel more shut off when I'm around drfell and a couple of our other medically-inclined friends... when I'm in the company of EMTs and medics and the topics are exclusively firehouse gossip and news, and medical jargon that leaves me completely clueless, that's a lot harder to keep up with. Pop culture doesn't usually take any kind of deep understanding, so it's easy to figure out what's going on in a couple of sentences, even if I don't start out knowing anything about the people or the subject.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 29th, 2006 - 04:49 am (Link)
makes sense... thank you for the indepth explanation.

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