Pop Goes the Culture

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by hcour, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. hcour

    hcour Guest

    I need a place to record all of my brilliant (not!) observations on the absurdities of our times as represented by what we commonly refer to as "Popular Culture". Please feel free to make your own contributions or to ignore this thread completely, as you see fit.

  2. hcour

    hcour Guest

    Apparently no one pointed out to Ashlee Simpson the irony of a calling her latest cd "I Am Me", considering she now looks like a completely different person after having had extensive plastic surgery on her nose. How about "I Am Almost Me" or "I Used to Be Me"?

  3. As a very general observation, I'd point to people confusing their perception or model of the world with the actual world.

    This is the sort of confusion demonstrated in many finance (CAPM, for example) models that don't "model" any relationship that actually exists.

    We also see it in "gansta rap," which only models the reality of wealthy rap stars (many made so by white kid audiences, ironically), not the reality of Black culture at large.

    I see a tendancy for people to turn away from those things that might help them - thought, reason, logic, etc. - toward delusional fantasy, and even moreso as times bring greater uncertainly and greater speed of change.

    Just my philosphical 2 cents...
  4. hcour

    hcour Guest

    Probably one of the most famous and prevalent examples of what you're talking about is the whole "Thin is In" thing, which started in the 60's (and continues today) w/Twiggy, the first ultra-thin model to become a Star. The media, which is the life-blood of pop-culture, perpetuated the myth to the Youth of America thru magazine covers and articles and tv shows and so on, so that by the 80's anorexia had actually become a significant health problem among teenage girls. Despite all the publicity that has been going on for years now, we still see someone like Lindsay Lohan, one of the biggest pop stars of the moment, falling into that impossible self-image trap. A couple of yrs ago Lohan hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time and she was a beautiful healthy young woman w/a fantastic, voluptuous figure, curvacious but certainly not fat. (I remember the show because it was of the few really funny ones and her comedic talent shone.) Then about a year later she hosted again and when she first walked out I thought there was some kind of trick w/her makeup and costume, because she was so thin she looked sickly, even her face had lost its natural beauty. I thought they were parodying the rumors that she was anorexic, she even referred to it, but it turned out it was the real her. It was jarring. She later admitted to problems w/anorexia.

    The media, of course, pretends to care about the problem, but they do whatever it takes to sell their magazines. Entertainment Weekly will show "candid", tasteless photos on their cover of a close-up of some star's butt looking fat ("Who Is This? Find Out Inside!"), then the next wk they will bemoan the "too-thin" look of some other star on the cover ("Is Kate Hudson Suffering from Anorexia?"). The media is a mindless, and certainly heartless, selling machine, whatever bandwagon they can jump on will be exploited and damn the truth and consequences. This is pop-culture at its worst.

  5. hcour

    hcour Guest

    "I Am Me-ish".

  6. pattersb

    pattersb Guest

    Women's hockey, basketball, football, ...

    Yes I am a chauvanist pig, unabashedly. I chuckle watching women play these sports.

    I do enjoy women's tennis, golf, volleyball (beach that is ... :D )
  7. Most people only produce manure (sh*t) during their lives.
    Leonardo da Vinci
  8. hcour

    hcour Guest

    Note to the Moderators: I assume this thread was overlooked when you were separating the chit from the chat during the recent restructuring. Please move it to shit-shat where it belongs as I'd certainly hate anyone to think that I think it has enough relevance to belong in this great library of political and cultural debate.

  9. hcour

    hcour Guest

    Various and sundry ramblings as I wander about the pop-culture landscape, my observations as trivial and meaningless as the subjects I expound upon:

    Monday Nite Becomes Sunday Nite?

    I was pleasantly surprised to see Al Michaels and John Madden reunited to do NBC's Sunday Nite Football. These are two of the best in the business, imo. I'm certainly no authority on the subject but I think it's generally recognized that Madden changed the face of football color-commentary; before he got into broadcasting nobody ever took a play apart w/the specifics of Madden. Now of course, it's the standard. And Michaels is simply the best football play-by-play man out there (though Joe Buck is also excellent). These two make a great team because they're smart and talented and likable. Compare this to the much more pedestrian ESPN team for Mon Nite: The insufferable Joe Theismann, whose arrogance is so off-putting, w/Paul Maguire playing the snotty little brother shtick to Theismann's egomania, as if we care which one of them can one-up the other. Mike Patrick is a decent play-by-play man but he's overshadowed by the overblown ego's of his costars.

    YouTube, You Boob Tube

    Notice how many of the "Most Popular" videos on these sites are actually just straight-out advertising? Usually for beer or cars? Commercials as "hip" entertainment on the nit-net. Yeah, ad-agencies have been doing this for years (think overrated SuperBowl ads) and some of them are indeed clever and funny, but most aren't so much. They're really just stupid, another commercial, coddling whatever youthful notion of "rebellion" happens to be of the time. Sites like this are catching on like fire, the new internet phenom, and you can bet we'll be seeing more ads specifically made for such sites, where they can be more outrageous and irreverent, catering to the youthful oh-so-hip suckers who don't even realize they're just a demographic to Madison Ave. Ah, youth culture, it's always been the ultimate advertising brand.

    Let's Shoot John Lennon Again, Just for Fun

    Lennon must be spinning in his grave like an old 45, as "All You Need is Love" is now the theme for a Chase credit card commercial. This one was particularly close to Lennon's heart, now it's been bastardized into the Banality Hall of Fame by Chase; "crass" hardly begins to describe it. One wonders how Paul McCartney feels about it, there were reports he was mightily pissed at Michael Jackson for buying the rights to the Beatles' song collection. How odd that must be. I mean, when McCartney sings his great "Nowhere Man" in concert, is he actually having to pay rights to Jackson to sing his own fucking masterpiece? Yuck.

    Thank God for the Mute button:

    There are certain things on tv I just can't watch. A lot of stuff, in fact. I literally have to change the channel, or mute it, or if neither of these options is available, leave the frigging room. All of Reality TV, fer shure. This is Andy Warhol's "15 Mins of Fame" taken to absurd and grotesque extremes. Reality TV is all about humiliation and histrionics, as anything-but-ordinary folks show their asses and become famous for it. Remember Puck from "Real World"? His repugnancy made him a tv star, we should have know something was wrong then. Today he would seem mild in comparison. The tv niche of out-and-out hostility of throwing chairs on sleazy talk-shows has become a tv culture in and of itself. The bigger asshole you are, the more famous you can become. It really is a pitiful commentary on the state of human-beings in our pop-culture when watching people being humiliated and shamed and embarrassed passes for genuine entertainment and creates fame. Jerry Springer must feel like a pioneer.

    Thank God for the Mute Button, Talking-Heads Dept:

    There are certain pop-culture stars that I simply cannot bear to watch, I cringe at their sheer and obvious fakery, their egomania & lack of shame, their profound insecurity as they fawn to have the public adore them. A few among the many:

    Oprah: renowned for her "realness", her "sincerity", she is in truth calculated and cold-blooded, a publicity machine, everything she does is in the service of her fame and "likability". No matter how much he may pretend otherwise, David Letterman disdains her for good reason.

    Larry King, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric: See above. Walters is the worst of all, her interviews, which of course are really all about her, are practically dripping-wet w/earnestness and sincerity, she just cares so damn much it seems she might implode w/compassion.

  10. this movie may interest you when it comes out
    #10     Aug 7, 2006