Why Pop Culture Matters More than Ever
So does anyone else get an alert on their phone or log onto social media and immediately fear (or actually utter out loud) “ugh what is it now?”
Regardless of political leanings, there’s not a lot of good news out there these days. The rest of the world is either violent against each other, apparently apathetic, or has an overly-polite disdain for us. Violence is the norm. Big, crazy, shootings I mean, barely make headlines these days because of all the other crap going on that’s somehow worse. The oceans are heating up. Who knows what our president will tweet next. It’s a depressing world lately.
That’s why myself and the other Popped hosts take so much joy in our show and our social media pages. We can go where everybody knows our name in the town of Springfield on the Starship Enterprise. We can make references that are not oddly specifically related to ’90s TV shows. We can thoughtfully talk out things we like and things we aren’t fans of with friends and strangers. We convince each other to consume things that we love. We share our tastes and interest. We laugh. We cry. Okay, I cry alone, unless it’s Disney. Then Matt cries too.
But even that joy, my friends, is slipping away.
There’s a storm of sour swirling around our beloved pop culture icons.
- Arbitrary and non-existent fan feuds are popping up in YouTube comments that often end with “kill yr slf”
- Studios are blowing squillions of dollars on sequels nobody wants and should never exist, gradually reducing our faith in movies as worthwhile entertainment
- Pointless reboots are a transparent grab for money and dilute our favorite characters and stories
- Christmas has been reduced to hopeful re-releases of classics or eyerollers starring Jamie Lee Curtis
- Original screenplays and brilliant directors are lost in a film festival circuit that’s too busy bitching about Netflix
- People are hate-tweeting female comic book writers for displaying feminism
- Truly great TV shows never make it off the ground, or are cancelled after six episodes without a chance for the writers room to break in their new steno pads
Some people suck, yes, and a lot of this is due to them. But a lot of it is the product of our time. We live in these online echo chambers that make faceless trolling not only easy, but kinda fun sometimes. We (rightly) feel so much stress and anger about the present state of the world that we naturally have to blow off steam somewhere, and rather than shout at strangers on the street we take it out on each other online.
I don’t have the solution here. But you know I have some suggestions. So in order to save our Pop Culture, share these with friends.
- Don’t be a dick. People are going to disagree with you, and some for no reason other than they can. If you can’t have thoughtful discourse with someone, just let it go, even if the reason is THAT person is a dick.
- Support projects you love, and that might mean seeking out indie stuff. Get to know local filmmakers, artists, writers, and musicians. Tell your friends about them.
- Don’t support projects you don’t love. Don’t hate-see movies. If the money stops, the pointless crap will stop… theoretically.
- Celebrate diversity, even if you don’t quite get why we’re celebrating it. Equality and empathy are the ultimate long-game when it comes to life lessons, so even if you aren’t sure why the modern woman continues to feel slighted, still be glad to see females and minorities taking on leading roles, directing kick-ass movies, and drawing awesome comics.
- Use your voice for good. The internet recently introduced Bill Nye to a ton of real life scientists through a hashtag. You can do that too! It may be hard to believe, but celebrities do read their twitter feeds every once in awhile. If you have thoughtful commentary on a project, it’s okay to share! Just please don’t tell Paul Feig to take a bath with a toaster because you hated Ghostbusters.
Save our pop culture We need it, ladies and gentlemen.
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