“Pop Culture-although big, mercurial, and slippery to define-is really an umbrella term that covers anything currently in fashion, all or most of whose ingredients are familiar to the public-at-large.”
LIFE, August 1965. Page 73, “The Ins and Outs of Pop Culture” by Gloria Steinem
Pop Culture is not a new idea: the term, possibly coined around the 19th century or earlier, has been firmly integrated into every form of media or communication as well as everyday life. While most folks out in the world view pop culture more as a 20th-21st century notion, it has had its place with societies throughout the ages. Pop culture is also often described as the opposite of “high culture” or “highbrow” ideas and thoughts, of which are reserved for the intellectual elite. This idea of high and low culture can be put up for debate; for example, though studied in schools as a part of English departments everywhere, Shakespeare’s works in his time were seen as lowbrow entertainments.
Today you can’t even go into a gas station without being bombarded by some form of pop culture. It’s like opening up 4chan /b/ and seeing an explosion of dicks and confetti. You can’t unsee it, but you’re going to tell your friends about it (“and they’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends..”–Wayne’s World.) <—SEE, RIGHT THERE. I can’t even write a post without using a fucking pop culture reference to explain my point. It has permeated into the way we think, the way we speak to others, the way we write. Some even make their livings on Pop Culture.
In this collection series I will cover different pop culture phenomenons: books, movie franchises, memes, the fascination and lamentation of bygone decades, all manner of fads, and the spread of viral idiocy.
Please note that this series is meant to cover all forms of Culture. The topics covered will vary by how I’m feeling that day, decade or century, or by conversations held with fellow humans.
Stay tuned for Chapter 1.