The Grinch of Pop Culture
Society Can Be so … Annoying
Published: Monday, November 19, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 19, 2012 13:11
I am a Grinch when it comes to pop culture. I only wish I could steal all of pop culture’s garbage and put it in the landfill never to see daylight again. Maybe a better term for me would be a pop culture hermit, because a majority of the time I have no idea what is going on, while the rest of the time I need therapy just to block out the distress such things cause me.
I admit I sometimes live under a proverbial rock when it comes to pop culture. For years I attributed this phenomenon to not having the luxury of cable TV, but I think it’s a deeper-rooted problem.
I was at a hockey game with my parents and sister a few weeks ago when my ears were bombarded with strange techno sounds and nearly the entire sold-out arena erupted into a strange dance. Well, everyone except for my dad, the senior citizens, and of course, me. I stared at my mom quizzically. My mom is hipper than I am and well versed in pop-culture. She explained the whole “Gangnam Style” song and dance phenomenon to me.
I swear every few years, some one-hit wonder feels it’s their sole purpose in life to make a song with computer generated beats, some sort of “catchy” chorus on loop, and a corresponding dance that even those such as me with two left feet could figure out. A song destined to live among the hallowed airwaves of arenas and wedding dance halls and sweaty basement keggers. Quad City DJs, anyone? They wrote the notoriously overplayed, overrated song “C’Mon ‘N Ride it (The Train). Does Los del Rio ring any bells? They wrote the “Macarena.” I realize this is aging myself, because today’s freshmen were just emerging from the womb the time this classic ditty came out.
My point in this diatribe is that I do not get the “Gangnam Style” song, dance, or most of pop culture for that matter. It’s like reheating old leftovers. Unless it’s chili, it just really does not get better with time. It’s stale and moldy just like pop culture. I know that metaphor is not very poetic, but I am running on sleep deprivation and pure annoyance and distaste for the “Gangnam-like” things of the world.
But wait! I have another case in point of my pop culture idiocy. A group of co-workers graciously invited me to go to see the final movie of the “Twilight” saga on opening night. While I was flattered at being invited, I politely declined. I bit my tongue from launching into a diatribe of how much I despise “Twilight” and think Edward is a stalker creep-oid rather than a dreamboat. Dude, Bella should totally get a restraining order. Sorry, that’s my cynicism talking I suppose... or, my ripe old age of 26. Perhaps it’s both. Perhaps I really am woefully out of touch with my “generation.”
Exhibit C: Last spring, I kept seeing this whole “YOLO” acronym thing pop up all over the inter-webs. I had to use my dear, dear pal Google to illuminate this strange term to me. Much to my dismay, I found out YOLO was an acronym for: “You only live once.”
I am a magnet; I collect what I want and repel all of the garbage, which is a majority of pop culture. I realize that this may make me sound like a snob of some sort. As though I sit in café’s all day sipping on Americanos with my horn rimmed glasses discussing the slight differences between existentialism and absurdism. Wait-- was that a conversation I had last week? Am I in fact, what I had feared? A snot who sits in some ivory academic tower debating high art versus low art?
Nah, I am no better or no worse than any other Gangnam dancing, twilight loving, Entertainment weekly subscriber. I have my guilty pleasures. I watch “House Hunters” every night on HGTV. My 16th Birthday Cake was Harry Potter themed. I like what I like. In most cases it just so happens to be completely absurd, dorky, or too depressing for pop culture.
Well, time to go back into hiding deep within the lair of my old-fashioned, nostalgia tinged time trap.
Tessa is a senior majoring in English.