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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From: ludimagist Date: November 23rd, 2006 - 08:24 pm (Link)
Technically, it refers to the popular media of any given time period. Shakespeare is pop culture

You have to be careful here. Shakespeare as it was played at the Globe 400 some odd years ago was pop culture. Culture that was popular in a historical context doesn't really qualify as pop culture now. You can't really call cave paintings pop culture in a modern context either.

That said, the debate over what is high and low culture is a big one and neither side has that great an argument.

This thread sort of reminds me of the Great Books debate that was hot when we were undergrads.

What it comes down to is cultural literacty. I've heard it argued pretty well that not to know Shakespeare at some level is to be ignorant of both high and low culture since it is referenced constantly (even in things like kid's cartoons and ads).

I think you're really talking about current mass media content awareness moreso than pop culture.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 29th, 2006 - 05:07 am (Link)
granted on the Shakespear issue but you are are being a million times more technical than I intended in this specific instance.

That said, no I was talking about total cultural awareness. Not just current mass media. I merely used a specific example to illustrate it. My real question in essence is "why do people take delight in being ignorant to what they consider low brow entertainment?" But saying it that way seems insulting, and it isn't meant to be. Point being, if I don't know something when other people are discussing it, I feel stupid and insignificant. No matter what the topic. Especially if everyone else in the room knows about the topic. I'd hate being the only guy in a room full of russian literature scholars who didn't know everything about all the books, or at least know enough to intelligently ask questions and follow the conversation. I'd also hate being at a brain surgery convention where I was the only non brain surgeon and everything was going over my head. And I think American Idol and the Borat movie come up in conversation with the general public far more often than The Brothers Karamazov or treatment for hydrocephalus, and most of us are around the general populace a lot more often than we are around russian scholars and neurosurgeons, so it seems to me that having a working knowledge thereof is only practical.

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