Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pop Culture vs. Zeitgeist

As I dove head first into MTV’s search for the first Twitter Jockey, I began wondering what pop culture is and how well I know it. I have never been up to date with the hottest music, movies, or fashion. Celebrity gossip has never been a source of entertainment for me nor was I obsessed with it. However, I have always been up to date with the current news and trends in lifestyle & technology.

So what is pop culture to me? Well, I don’t want to go deeply into the academic & dictionary definitions but something is necessary to limit the argument. Thus, I see culture as an evolving collection of everything and anything in our lives created by us that define & unify us as a group of people throughout our existence. And pop culture to me is simply a snapshot of that collection adopted by the majority of people at a point of time (usually a generation). I think it is criminal to limit pop culture to only a few of the elements (such as only music, movies, and literature) because our lives are not described by only this or only that but everything working together.

Some people might have noticed that my definition of pop culture is very similar to zeitgeist. Well, honestly, I think they are the same unless, of course, you want to use “pop culture” to describe specifically low-impact cultural phenomena like NSYNC. And, as I’ve said above, that makes no sense because culture is bigger than these short-term fads. However, fads & memes are an important part of zeitgeist as they define very specific short periods of time that take a special place in the hearts of people exposed to them.

And so, by my definitions, I am well-versed in the popular culture. Convenient, isn’t it? Well, the funny thing is that when my views are applied to most people who don’t live under a rock it comes out that they know pop culture, too. There is no way to be an expert in it just because it’s so large. One can be a trivia expert on celebrity gossip, rock music, abstract art, fantasy literature, etc. But the important thing is how that person impacts that section of culture and how much value they bring into it.

All philosophy aside, MTV is accepting nominations for the 2 publicly open spots in Twitter Jockey search until 11:59PM EDT on June 27 (tomorrow). Please nominate me and follow me on Twitter (@dnbrv)! I believe that I can be the best online spokesperson & be incredibly useful for the audience with my diverse views. I’ve got a Facebook page, too.

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