Some Pop Culture Food For Thought

vyo476

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I was channel surfing the other day, and I came across a History Channel special on what is supposedly the wreck of Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge. I didn't linger long on it but it got me thinking.

Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, piracy was a real problem. Pirates were brutal, lawless pillagers who had no compunctions about slaughter and rape. Seems we fought a handful of wars over piracy in the early days of our country. I think you see my point - pirates were the worst form of outlaws.

Yet today, popular culture has taken hold of them and presented them to society as lovable, righteous, and...well, cool. Movies are made where pirates are the heroes and protagonists. Kids and teens and even adults (boy is that scary) dress up as pirates for special events. People genuinely sympathize with and hero worship them - all despite the fact that they were once our most brutal, horrible enemies.

It made me think - a couple hundred years down the road, will American culture be painting terrorists the same way? Instead of "Pirates of the Caribbean" will the most popular movie of the year be, "Terrorists of the Middle East"?
 
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Mare Tranquillity

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Look at what Monty Python did for the Crusades, Clint Eastwood did for bounty hunters, what whole host of people have done for the Wild West, and Hogan's Heroes did for (to?) the Nazis, it's entertainment. Wars, plagues, disasters, even alien invasions have been made into comedies, humor is one way for people to deal with the stress of life and, yes, I suppose our War on Terror will be lampooned in the future much like our fearless leader is today.
 

vyo476

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Look at what Monty Python did for the Crusades, Clint Eastwood did for bounty hunters, what whole host of people have done for the Wild West, and Hogan's Heroes did for (to?) the Nazis, it's entertainment. Wars, plagues, disasters, even alien invasions have been made into comedies, humor is one way for people to deal with the stress of life and, yes, I suppose our War on Terror will be lampooned in the future much like our fearless leader is today.

Monty Python made fun of the crusades, bounty hunters were never a major vice or even outright enemy of our country, and all the western nonsense - cowboys and Indians and all that - was just glorification of our cultural past. I don't know Hogan's Heroes personally but I'd tend to doubt it portrayed the Nazis in a positive light.

Yes, culture can be satirical. The point is, today pirates are glorified when they were once our most brutal enemies. Today, the terrorists are our most brutal enemies...will they someday be glorified as well? How does that make you feel?
 

invest07

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Pop culture, for the most part, is a cesspool.
Look at a few of the "contributions" to our society as a result of Pop culture.
1. Coarser language. You now hear profanity and vulgarity places you never heard it before.
2. The only people with tattoos used to be sailors and low rents. Today it is "in" and "hip" and "happenin" and every kid wants 3 or 4.
3. Rap music contains derogatory language about several classes of people and is filled with foul language. It also sells like crazy. My parents would have grounded me for life if I used rap music language.
4. You often hear loud music blaring from cars in traffic. This says to me that the driver doesn't give a damn about others.
5. Many music videos are pornographic and derogatory to women. (can you say de-sensitizing the masses)
Can anyone name one, even one, positive contribution to our society from pop culture?
 

palerider

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Live Aid. Stop bashing pop culture. Just because you aren't a part of it anymore.

Live aid was a failure. It was nothing more and nothing less than a feel good measure that allowed some people to show how much they "care" without actually having to roll up their sleeves and do something about whatever it is that they "care" about. Live aid did nothing more than line the pockets of an already rich government. But then "feeling good" without actually doing anything meaningful pretty much sums up pop culture doesn't it?
 

9sublime

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What exactly did live aid accomplish?

Live 8 I meant. Live 8 was marred by the terrorist attack in London. And it accomplished a lot in the peoples minds, but the government chose to do nothing.

Anyway thats only one example of pop culture.


Or are good intentions an exceptable substitute for results?

A bit like Tony Blair and the war on Iraq then.
 

palerider

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Live 8 I meant. Live 8 was marred by the terrorist attack in London. And it accomplished a lot in the peoples minds, but the government chose to do nothing.

Anyway thats only one example of pop culture.




A bit like Tony Blair and the war on Iraq then.

Sorry, I re-thought my view on pop culture and re-worded it a bit. I didn't realize that anyone else was online this early and might respond before I finished editing.

But like you said. Live 8 accomplished things in peoples minds but noting in reality which still summs up pop culture and its abject failure.
 

vyo476

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Pop culture, for the most part, is a cesspool.
Look at a few of the "contributions" to our society as a result of Pop culture.


1. Coarser language. You now hear profanity and vulgarity places you never heard it before.

Language is simply a means of expression and strong, course language is simply a means of strong, course expression. My parents used to tell me that swearing was a sign of a limited vocabulary. I disagree; I think swearing is just a sign that you want to get your point across to a wider audience.

2. The only people with tattoos used to be sailors and low rents. Today it is "in" and "hip" and "happenin" and every kid wants 3 or 4.

You'll find that body modification of one kind or another has been popular all over the world for a long, long time. You should see my last girlfriend - she had piercings in places you wouldn't believe. I'm just curious - why is body modification such a bad thing?

3. Rap music contains derogatory language about several classes of people and is filled with foul language. It also sells like crazy. My parents would have grounded me for life if I used rap music language.

Not all rap music. Admittedly, the "gangsta" style of rap is most popular now, but if you look back about twenty years or so now you'll see a wide variety of rap music that was entirely politically-motivated. I didn't always agree with everything they had to say but I respected that they were saying it. Nowadays...well, what's most "popular" in music amongst kids always seems devoid of reason to adults. Anyone remember how parents thought the Beatles were Satanic?

4. You often hear loud music blaring from cars in traffic. This says to me that the driver doesn't give a damn about others.

As much as I dislike the idea of legislating the roads even more, I think a safety regulation that has to do with decibels would be at least as beneficial in saving peoples' lives as one that has to do with seatbelts.

5. Many music videos are pornographic and derogatory to women. (can you say de-sensitizing the masses)

De-sensitizing them to what? I agree that a lot of videos are derogatory to women, but then again a lot of the ones you deem "pornographic" aren't, and are in fact conceived by and for women as a demonstration of sexual freedom.

Can anyone name one, even one, positive contribution to our society from pop culture?

Harry Potter encourages young kids to read, something that educators were having a lot of trouble with until the Potter pandemic swept the globe.

Movies like Titanic and Gladiator spur interest in the study of history.

U2...well, listing all the positive things U2 and Bono in particular have brought to the world here would be a bit tough...

Witty writers like Joss Whedon and Kevin Smith get kids interested in the craft of writing; that's how I got involved in it, and from their contributions I'm now studying a wider range of subjects to incorporate into my own writing which, (insert deity here) willing will someday be considered "popular."

You have to look a bit to find the truly positive influences of popular culture, but they are there.
 
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invest07

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vyo476
My opinion is that Pop culture is still a cesspool.
I understand you see some good out there but would you agree with this statement?:
"Pop culture, on the whole, is more harmful than good?"

And I'm not in favor of any Big Brother interference in music volume in your car. Either people respect other people's rights or they don't. Today, many don't, and I think it is partly due to the "Me first" attitude fostered by pop culture.

As to tattoos, there is body decoration and there is body desecration. What to me is desecration to you appears to be decoration. Again, your attitude is consistent with the coarsening of culture I described.

As to language, the most literate of our society have always managed to express themselves without resorting to vulgar or porfane language. To me, profanity and vulgarity are a sign of a limited vocabulary and lack of adequate grammar skills. This is nothing to glorify, but rather something that should be ashamed of. If you have even minimal language skills you don't need to refer to women as "*****es and ho's". Such references in rap music are designed to sell by appealing to the lowest common denominator.

And I have no clue as to your point about music videos. Many are pornogarphic and you don't know me so you don't know what I consider to be pornographic. (My guess is that I would classify more material as porn than you). Pornography is not uplifting, or expressive, even if it is composed by a woman. Pornogarphy is prurient and regular exposure to such images has been demostrated as desensitizing.
 
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