“Talk we see on the side of the
“Talk about Pop Music, Talk about Pop Music” was one of the most catchy phrases of the 1980’s. Just as in the 80’s, today we see many characteristics of “pop culture” effecting our lives. But, what is “pop culture?”
I spent some time online trying to answer my question and time after time I was led to the same direction: pop culture is what we see, hear, speak, and are otherwise exposed to on a daily basis. The infomercials we see late on television, the billboards we see on the side of the road, the junk mail we receive, the links on the web pages we visit, and the radio commercials we hear all tie together to form this idea of pop culture. These, plus many other aspects, form our minds and teach us how to be culturally smart. To be culturally smart is to understand and know pop culture. For example, if someone were to say “BUD!” it is automatically assumed that they would get a “WIES” in reply. If a person were to say “Just Do It!” Nike would be directly thought of.
What elements define “Pop Culture?” Television stars, such as Drew Carey; musicians, such as Santana; public figures, such as Monica Lewinski; politicians, such as Bill Clinton; athletes, such as Michael Jordan; large corporations with their slogans; and movies are all, but not limited to, pop culture. In a Journal I found online of a study of pop culture, it compared the link of religion and a pop culture icon, Star Wars. The study was conducted with people and it read:
“The comparisons and shared philosophies behind earthly religion and Luke Skywalker’s adventures, compound into many different avenues. It is easy to see that the intertextuality working between holy scriptures and the astral script of Star Wars produces an icon that just as readily accepts believers and disciples into its signification, as it does those moviegoers who seek a more temporal escape from reality. Why do many suspend belief while watching Star Wars and not while reading the bible? If Luke doesn’t seem to sway you in the direction of the force, play with the transcendence of Skywalker like the Vatican plays with the text of the bible, and soon you’ll have a new icon of salvation.”
This section from the journal explains that people are not looking at the full picture of the Bible (Christianity in this case) and believing it, yet they believe in something called “the force.” This is a good example of how pop culture can be intertwined into our lives. Showing how people will believe movies, maybe because they see it, but yet not believe in a possible salvation. Not all pop culture is like that. Look at the Jerry Springer Show. It is a cultural icon for college students everywhere. It’s the allure of crazy people and wild stories that attract people to watch it. He has become forever an American figure and will always be associated when some one brings up a story about a fight and they then say “hey you remember that Springer Show?” This show represents the corrupt side of society, which we do not see on a normal daily basis, except for on the show. It is typical American culture just as Wrestling is now becoming. They both offer a wild show for entertainment and also shows a darker side of the society.
As a society and culture, we decide what pop culture is. Our actions and reactions are read by the media and the rest of society to build around what we want, ultimately creating “Pop Culture.” There is not a bias for these ideas considering that everything that surrounds us, including history is pop culture in a way. People decided what the times were then, as in pop culture, and it also plays a part in “official” history.
Today people like Bittney Spears, Christina Aguilara, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and other teen bands are landing the label “pop icon” easily. All they had to do was appeal to the public. These young musicians are at the top of their game and we put them there. They drove their way into our current pop culture whether it was their outstanding sounds or their outstanding sex appeal. This sex appeal, another part of current pop culture, binds itself to the human hormones and takes advantage of it as a marketing scheme.
In the culture this song was created in, it is perfect because most people who were listening to Billy Joel’s music were of age where they knew of these events as recent happenings or recent “cultural” history. His message, showing the importance of history, could be applied to pop culture forever by reflection of the past for answers for the future.
80’s pop culture. <a href=”http://www.askjeeves.com/main/metaanswer.asp?metaEngine=directhit;origin=0;MetaURL=http%3A%2F%2Fask%2Edirecthit%2Ecom%2Ffcgi%2Dbin%2FRedirURL%2Efcg%3Furl%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww%252Emtsu%252Eedu%252F%257Eeng2001a%252Fpopculture%252Ehtml%26qry%3Dwhat+is+pop+culture%3F%26rnk%3D0%26src%3DAJ;qCategory=PEOP;metaTopic=Pop+Culture;ItemOrdinal=0;logQID=78C84EC21A05D4118A9600A0C9ACFE70″>http://www.askjeeves.com/main/metaanswer.asp?metaEngine=directhit&origin=0&MetaURL=http%3A%2F%2Fask%2Edirecthit%2Ecom%2Ffcgi%2Dbin%2FRedirURL%2Efcg%3Furl%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww%252Emtsu%252Eedu%252F%257Eeng2001a%252Fpopculture%252Ehtml%26qry%3Dwhat+is+pop+culture%3F%26rnk%3D0%26src%3DAJ&qCategory=PEOP&metaTopic=Pop+Culture&ItemOrdinal=0&logQID=78C84EC21A05D4118A9600A0C9ACFE70
Note: file could not be reached. Was page from Middle Tennessee State University