Popular culture is your friend. Popular culture is good for you. Today consumers are the dictators. The people have spoken and we wish to be satisfied with something more substantial than "Perfect Strangers" and The Monkees. And we have that now, for the most part.
In his article "Watching TV Makes You Smarter," Steven Johnson argues that culture today is far different from that of the glory days of the 1970s. Culture today is more demanding cognitively. He introduces what he calls the Sleeper Curve. The Sleeper Curve forces the viewer to pay attention, make inferences, and track shifting social relationships. (Johnson 3) Television today, though possibly morally bankrupt, is exponentially more cognitively stimulating.
Yes, reality television shows like "Flavor of Love" and "Laguna Beach" are enormously, and unfortunately popular. Yes, they are smut. This is not an ideal world. There will always be Paris Hiltons and Lindsay Lohans to keep those unable or unwilling to understand higher programming entertained. But this is not to say all reality shows are not stimulating. Shows like "Survivor" and "The Apprentice," though of the reality genre are far and above "Flavor of Love" in terms of subject matter. They also aren't glorifying prostitution (the argument that Donald Trump & friends are a bunch of prostitutes is for another time and place). This is why culture cannot be viewed as a simple skyscraper. Within genres there is so much going on now that it's primitive to think higher or lower and not any other way.
Popular culture as I see it is more of a map. However, not a map as described by Campbell (24). It's more or less that there are things to be seen everywhere. There's the Grand Canyon, The Hanging Gardens, and the Golden Gate Bridge, and of course New Jersey, the Valley in California, and Laguna Beach. This idea helps to further justify the use of threading.
Threading is a technique used in the high brow entertainment today. It's a...
Cited: Campbell, Richard, Christopher R. Martin, and Bettina Fabos. Media & Culture. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2007.
Johnson, Steven. "Watching TV Makes You Smarter." NY Times 24 Apr. 2005. 23 Sept. 2007
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