Pop Culture Blind Spots

CBC’s Definitely Not The Opera had a ignorant-about-pop-culture theme today, with pieces about how people don’t know stuff the masses are talking about. I’m proud of my stubborn ignorance about some things, including:

  • I’ve never watched South Park or Survivor.
  • I know little about the entertainment industry nor do I have an interest in it. Who gives a shit what Lindsay Lohan is up to (who ever the hell that is; I just googled pop culture and picked the first thing listed)?
  • I rarely recognize anyone in the Top 50 (maybe 100 or more) music charts (and I loath to listen to most in it, too).
  • I don’t know anything about the Japanese cartoons or toys that I see in stores or on commercials my daughter watches.
  • I can’t comprehend why anyone would pay an inflated amount for clothes to wear a brand name advertising that brand.
  • I don’t own an iPod. Hell, I’ve never seen one.

But then…

  • I used to watch Friends faithfully.
  • I used to listen and buy Boney M. records (NightFlight To Venus anyone? Oh yeah).
  • I used to listen to disco, even winning a price for dancing. I was 11 or 12, and quite the ladies man.
  • I’m a married white male with two kids, a house, a car, and two cats.

16 Replies to “Pop Culture Blind Spots”

  1. Strange… I knew Jody was square, but I was oblivious to how square I was until I read Jody’s lists above.

    – I have watched some Survivor, but no South Park, Buffy, X-Files or CSI.
    – I do own an MP3 player, but it’s not an iPod.
    – I never watched anything faithfully, except maybe Sopranos (when I had the channels…)

    All other proof above, though, applies to me (except the disco and Boney M thing…).

    BUT… thanks to my son, I CAN sing along to several 50-Cent songs. “Take me to the Candy Shop, I’ll let you lick the lollipop, C’mon now baby don’t you stop, keep going ’til you hit the top. Whoa!” (I can’t believe I let my son listen to this stuff…)

  2. I haven’t got a clue about Radiohead. Apparently, in terms of songwriting, they’re up there with the Beatles. But honest to god, most of it sounds like noise to me. That’s such an old geezer thing to say, but I guess it’s a type of music that doesn’t jive with my sensibilities. A guy I used to know who was right into them let me borrow “OK Computer,” which I listened to twice with headphones. I don’t know what the big deal is all about. But I guess I’d say the same thing about most popular bands.

    — I don’t have cable TV and I never will. Not having any idea what the most popular shows on TV are all about is okay with me. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Ditto for popular music.

    — I can see how convenient an iPod would be if I actually had use for it. But I’m usually pretty happy listening to a single CD in my discman. (People seem to love the randomness of MP3 audio players, but I still listen to the majority of my music as albums. I listen to Greg Brown’s “Honey in the Lion’s Head” straight through as an album. I appreciate the sequence of the songs; it’s like a movie. Same goes for Gillian Welch’s “Soul Journey.” I don’t like listening to one song on the album and then not being able to listen to the rest of the album. I understand the appeal of randomness, but albums are still good. The pleasure of listening to an album while reading the liner notes is becoming a thing of the past.)

  3. Jody… you are lucky Phillip didn’t pick up on your “racial” slur… (He’s pretty sensitive about Newfie jokes, you know.)

    Hey Phil: How about using an MP3 player to listen to podcasts? I found it pretty amusing that you (we) consider discman as old technology, not like those new-fangled thing-a-ma-jigs that the kids are using these days. When *I* was a kid…. I used to have to rewind my music!

  4. I know just what you’re talking about. I just found out from the Winter Olympics that there’s a fairly popular country to the north of the US.

    Goodnight, New York! But seriously, folks.

    I’m from a place in the Southwestern US where, when I was a kid, you couldn’t watch television if you wanted too b/c of the mountains and distance from transmitters. Rural places are a special insulation against the inanities of urbanity (which sadly, as Phillip notes, include the short attention span theater that has brought the death of the album as a format).

  5. On my tube at home my wife and I channel surf The Discovery Channel, Biography Channel or A&E, Tree House, and The Movie Network. I watch hockeythe Montreal Canadiens and soccer (doesn’t matter what team) as often as I can.

    I use to watch X-Files, Carnivale, Dead Like Me and Seinfeld. I would watch Friends if I had nothing better to do. I use to get a kick out of The Osbournes and I like Family Business. Most reality shows except for Trading Spaces suck ass.

    I buy Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, and Tool whenever they release new stuff.

    I hate most things on the radio but I have started to like Black Eyed Peas.

    I don’t own a portable MP3 player yet.

    A good Japanesse Cartoon is Spirited Away. The rest are a half-hour commercial.

    I do buy name brand clothes but only from Winners, Costco, and at 50% off.

  6. It seemed to be a big deal when I lived in Toronto. Like the Sex Pistols “Great Rock ‘n Roll Swindle.” Waste of time.

    I remember seeing Neil Young at Mapleleaf Gardens, during a tour when had oversized props all over the stage (big mics, etc.), and from the angle of my seat, which normally wasn’t a bad seat, 95% of the time I couldn’t see him because he was singing behind one of the props (probably the oversize mic). I tried to walk down to the floor with Scott, but the guards caught me — about 5 seconds after Scott jumped over the barrier and made it.

    I remember seeing David Bowie in Montreal during his “Sound and Vision” tour. That sucked.

    Jeff Healey, when he was just some blind guy playing superb blues and Hendrix covers, at the Rebecca Cohn theatre in Halifax is still the best live show I’ve ever seen. I was in complete awe. He seemed to go downhill once he got a record contract, but man he was really $#@%! good that night.

    Stream of consciousness over NOW.

  7. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is actually classified as one of the Greatest Midnight Movies or B-movies. I haven’t seen it either.

    I have Trivial Pursuit 90’s edition. Lots of fun. You don’t actually have a pie that moves around the board but an icon of the 90’s. There is a Kurt Cobain, Stock Certificate, MTV movie award, and Palm thingy. You have two die to roll. One moves your piece around the board as normal Trival Pursuit, and the other die picks from what year the question will be asked so if you roll a 4 and then a 8, you move 4 spaces and the question comes from 1998.

    The categories are:
    * OOPS — Mistakes and mishaps
    * WIRED — Technology and anything new
    * VIEWING — The stuff you watched
    * TRENDS — Fads, fashions, food and slang
    * IMPORTANT — The hard news
    * HANGING — Leisure time fun


  8. I’ve seen the rockey horror picture show. My mom has the CD for it and she used to play it all the time, so I know most of the songs.

    My sister got that 90’s trivial pursuit for xmas, we played it. I sucked ass but I think I won because we were so fed up with it by the end of the game.

  9. I don’t have a problem with your list, I pretty much hate pop culture myself. but do yourself a favor and watch a little Southpark. Its just sooo damm funny.

  10. BTW, Is anyone else as sick and tired as I am of hearing old pop songs from the 60’s and 70’s all the time? You can’t go into a resturant, mall, or anywhere and not hear the overplayed oldies. I think after forty years its time to retire that crap. My fear is that I will be ninty years old, living in a home, and still have to hear the Pina Colada Song.

  11. I went into a 50s style diner a couple of weeks ago and they had the Elvis stuff going etc. That is the only place that music is appropriate.

    I listen to a radio station here in Moncton that was pretty cool when I first moved here. They use to play Tool and heavier stuff. Now, it sounds like shit a 12 year old girl listens to.

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