November 21st, 2006


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

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on not watching tv... - graffiti.maverick

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Comments:


From: ludimagist Date: November 23rd, 2006 - 05:19 am (Link)
So that's what I want to know. How important do you think pop culture is?

I think some knowledge of what is popular now is important as some sort of cultural baseline for communication. Cultural literacy includes television and recent music.

That said, I would also ask you to what extent current events play into pop culture. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are included in this. Is knowing about Saddam's trial as important to being able to communicate as knowing about OJs or Michael Jackson's? How important is it to know team sports? Your question seems focused on familiarity with professional entertainment and performers in the artistic sense moreso than the athletic sense. I'm not a spectator of organized sports at all but I can talk about Michael Jordan and Babe Ruth and so on. Where are you drawing the lines for what constitutes popular culture?

I would also add that that you should differentiate between pop culture as a general catagory and youth culture as a subset of it. What we are aware of as general consumers may or may not include what's being marketed specifically to teenagers, this includes all mediums of mass communication as well as food, clothing, and other trends.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 23rd, 2006 - 02:41 pm (Link)
I think some knowledge of what is popular now is important as some sort of cultural baseline for communication. Cultural literacy includes television and recent music.


Agreed, and exactly the same answer I gave several people above.

That said, I would also ask you to what extent current events play into pop culture. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are included in this. Is knowing about Saddam's trial as important to being able to communicate as knowing about OJs or Michael Jackson's?


I'd say that knowing about current events is just as important, yes. In the case of Saddam, I'd say having a passing knowledge of his trial is far more important than having a passing knowledge of Michaels or OJs, simply because Saddam's is more current.

My question was only focused on tv and media as an entry point, but absolutely I also mean news and sports. My point isn't so much that "people should know what I know" but more that people need to have a passing knowledge of what society is talking about at large in order to function, and if you don't believe that, please tell me how you do manage to function without it.

TV is easy to pick on, because even today, after some 80 years of broadcasting, a lot of people still like to consider it trivial. TV will rot your brain. There are so many more important pursuits, like reading. But at the end of the day, TV is a more efficient means of information transfer than reading, and the content passed through television much more likely to play a part of your daily life than the content of a book. And that was my point. That said, yes, I think general knowledge of all culture is important. Indeed, that was the point of the Mavrosexual makeover project a while back.

Yes, I am differentiating between pop culture and youth culture. I don't specifically mean what's hot with the kids right now, so much as what's hot with someone, hence my more or less agreeing with you in regards to Marli, above. I don't think you necessarilly have to know about Chamillionaire (even though he was one of my examples) but I think you do have to know about something that's going on right now, or you end up living in a vaccuum. For instance, Marli admitted that while not a fan she has a general knowledge of Lost, 24 & Grey's Anatomy.
[User Picture]From: marsinthestars Date: November 23rd, 2006 - 05:36 pm (Link)
Oh, and p.s. my knowledge of Lost is basically people on a plane? Or a forest? So I hope I wasn't lying when I said I understood that one. 24 I've seen 2 episodes of, and Grey's Anatomy I saw once in French - doctors who sleep together, and important because of strong female characters. Right?

Double p.s. my reason for not knowing much about present pop culture is simply that I am generally too busy reading Brothers Karamazov (well, Madame Bovary at present and then Three Muskateers, but you get the point) or traveling around Europe to realize that I even HAVE a DVD player where I might finally see Finding Forester or the one with Robin Williams and Matt Damon with the math genius/janitor thing?
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 29th, 2006 - 05:10 am (Link)
see my answer to your other comment or my answer to Meron above for my question about the why and the being too busy. To sum up, I get having other interests. I have plenty of non-popular interests, but don't you feel like you're missing out by not being aware at least on some level of general knowledge?
[User Picture]From: marsinthestars Date: November 30th, 2006 - 03:49 pm (Link)
Not at all. In fact, I don't understand other peoples' obsession with many of the "popular" interests. I've always lived by the philosophy (though I would not have termed it a philosophy until just now) that you should be interested in what you enjoy, not what other people say you enjoy. Sounds pretty obvious, right? People say it all the time. But then they turn around and chew you out for not knowing the show or film Reality Bites. (This happened to me yesterday.)

But I actually believe it; I'm not missing out on anything on TV, because I don't enjoy sitting and watching TV. Unless I'm sitting with good friends, and we're watching TV as background to conversation/are amused by the show at the moment. But I won't watch it because it's popular. That's stupid. Double that for music.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 30th, 2006 - 04:09 pm (Link)
I don't mean watch things because they're popular. I mean know enough about things that people might be talking about to follow the conversation. For instance, I actually don't watch Lost. But it comes up enough in casual conversation that its worth it for me to know itsa show about people who were on a plane and crash landed on an island and there's a mystery going on. That's pretty much all I know. But its better than not knowing at all. In the case of Lost you seemed to be on par with me. But you've acknowledged before that you don't always know that much.

I mean, take for instance my examples from before of Pam Anderson. I'm not saying go out and see every piece of tripe she puts out. That would be stupid. But I actually talked to a person who wasn't sure which actress she was. I can't imagine not knowing who she was well enough that you couldn't pick her out of a line-up.
[User Picture]From: marsinthestars Date: November 30th, 2006 - 04:44 pm (Link)
I don't think I could pick her out of line-up either. Where would I have seen her?
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 30th, 2006 - 04:59 pm (Link)
she's the person in the picture on this entry. As an actress she's probably most famous for having been on Baywatch. But really, she's more famous for being her.
 

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