Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I'm sure i'm not the only one who's noticed that society, like Bugs Bunny, failed to take a left at Albakerky. From music to news to television it seems the pop culture jumped some tracks and i'm just not sure where is happened or what to do about it. But alas, i've started this discussion in the middle without proper background information.

If you were in a western country in the 90s you probably remember the Spice Girls (if you don't click the link). They were hailed as "Girl Power"! Parents all over the world suddenly worried that their daughters would turn into raging hormone driven monsters because the girls dressed in skin tight shorts and showed off their mid-driffs. The songs themselves often promoted friendship with girl friends above romantic relationships and keeping close to your friends.

Flash forward to today and the Pussy Cat Dolls are being dobbed as the new Girl Power group. While their style of clothes (or lack there-of) could be suggested to follow on from the Spice Girls, their lyrics can't. Many lyrics suggest that sex is the important claim of a woman. She puts her lust above others and seems to care nothing for other women. How this is empowering for girls or even women as a group, i'm not really sure.

News is not part of pop culture. Or at least it shouldn't be. 12 years ago OJ Simpson was tried for the murder of his wife and suddenly, the news takes on a whole new content! News was meant to feature stories that affected a large portion of people. Now we are flooded with how sad Paris Hilton feels now that she got stuck in jail. We could fill up hours of news if we gave this much "news" time to regular Joe Blows.

But i suppose if i'm honest, i'm not really worried about the lack of a turn in pop culture. I'm more concerned with how little resistance this new phase of pop has. I don't think its because we're apathetic to our current trends, but rather the fact we embrace this new place. We like seeing Paris in the news much more than the war or politics because, lets be honest, the war and politics can be depressing. Watching Paris 'get it' for drunk driving is easier to watch. Her life doesn't really affect our lives and thus, we can easily pass judgement (for or against) her without too many reprocussions.

This is the paragraph where i wrap up all the interesting parts of this with a eye opening idea as to why or how we continue to celebrate this new culture we've made for ourselves. But the truth is that i don't have an eye opening insight. It could be that we've grown tired of seeing so much death and "seriousness" on television that we've moved away to things that are easily enjoyable. Maybe the cultural and economic gap is widening and pop culture is being used as a signal that our society is pulling apart. Maybe this was just the obvious next step in the progression of society....maybe.....maybe


watson_vagabond said...

i agree and am also frustrated at the way headline media refuse to search for new ways to entice readers about serious issues. if it's not shocking, it's typical, "X number killed today in Iraq."--there's a war still going on, check! who needs to read about it? who needs to care?

if they focused more on people's stories in ordinary life-changing situation's "Day in the life" stuff might bring Condoleeza Rice, Tony Blair, Jesse Jackson to a more complicated, but thorough understanding. even stories that focus other sides of war than we regularly see---schools being built, the war to keep electricity on, rapes by U.S. soldiers---why don't we see the inside story of what's going on? we skip over headlines and don't care to search. we've already seen the "news."

kris said...

or even if they would realise there is more in the wider world than the usa or the middle east. Entire countries are going thru major events that media skips over because hardly anyone has money invested in keeping these stories going.

watson_vagabond said...

good point.