Cultural-Viruses Becomes Wildfire in a ‘Pop-Praising’ Society
Beneath sitcoms, nudity, drugs, media, and trending-links-on-the-Internet. Teardown of pop-culture.
“that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.” — E.B. Tylor
“But the conceited man did not hear him. Conceited people never hear anything but praise.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“Spread in many ways.” — Anonymous
“RUN M!@#$%S” — Anyone who has ever seen a wildfire
End of glossary.
‘Pop’ is poorly defined
The craze for sitcoms, acceptance of nudity, legalization of recreational drugs, trending movies & music in cross-cultures, the fiction fanism, infinite memes and hate-speech on the Internet — This is how the millennial and generation ‘Z’ defines pop-culture.
They live it. They love it. And they know about culture as much as Homo-neanderthals knew about television.
While I’m writing this, I feel like I’m standing on a seashore. Half wet and hating the waves. I’m guilty of praising the ‘pop’ in the ‘culture’ until I gave it a thought. Even a second thought while researching it. And a third when I replaced two words in the subtitle: ‘sex’ with ‘nudity’ and ‘shit’ with ‘links’.
A bias for or against pop-culture in this blog will have many reasons. I will find them for sure — to blame later. But one reason, for sure, to blame, is the culture that I am living in. My perspective is not biased. The cultural influence is making it.
The term (culture) is perceived with the same meaning in every part of the world now. Although the seeds come from Latin, one can find fruits in almost every human civilization.
What E.B. Tylor said does cover almost everything that one needs to know about culture. The Complex Whole which includes everything that humans cultivate as a member of the society. The synonyms of culture in itself carry a huge chunk of our history: inhabit, cultivate, civilization, cult...
Pre-internet to present
The cultures were isolated. People saw the alien cultures as a threat to their own. Then we started admiring the alien cultures. That ended with the phase of diffusion. The cultures started mixing up — Diffusing in each other.
This is not a precise timeline. But it gives us a structure to understand the rest of this blog.
Cultural diffusion created ‘void-zones’
The geographical locations which were once a breeding ground for diffusion, are now societies of lost brains. The people living in the void zones don’t know where they belong. (void zones: megacities + multiculturalism + pop-culture praising)
Right, left or center (maybe a corner). Pro-life or pro-choice (but a MacBook Pro). Libertarian or conservative (sapiosexual, totally). Political or apolitical (retweets what’s interesting).
Knowing isn’t that big deal, I know. Making an opinion on an ideology is also not necessary.
The big deal is, the lost brains are counting on something totally unrelated to culture: pop.
Void-zones are not the enemy. But void zones are suitable for pop-culture. It gives people what they need. A dumb-down version of everyday reality that the lost brains can discuss, laugh on and drink down in a cocktail on a weekend.
Pop-culture confines us to an invisible fabric
A majority of the relations that the young generations have been built upon their mutual love for the pop-culture. The music, brands, sitcoms, memes they praise. The weekend rituals, common slangs, the image they portray on social media, the content they share on their profiles, the issues they care about are all made up.
Deep down the humans are becoming dependent upon the mainstream to connect with each other. If you don’t have a pop-culture reference to make in a conversation, you better keep your mouth shut.
It is almost inevitable to stay out of this fabric. The confines are not bothering me. But that someone else is controlling the boundaries. We don’t get to choose anymore between the right and wrong, the culture does that for us. We just follow what’s in the trending list.
It has weaved a web which even encapsulates the entire entertainment and social media industry. A pop-culture is a tool for mass media. A tool for the marketers, Internet celebrities and political campaigners for publicity. And it is dominantly becoming our resort to seeking connection and intimacy.
Whatever is pushed down the ‘pop’ funnel goes mainstream
And if it stays for longer, we cheer ‘Hey, new idea. Welcome to the pop-culture. How was your journey from bizarre to mainstream?’.
Ideas spread like wildfire when they mix-up with the mainstream.
The entire base (popular culture) is subjective and fragile. The concern is, what will happen if a parasite gets into the pop-culture? Will it destroy the whole web, the connections and the culture along with it?
Kiki-challenge, selfies, blue-whale-game, Pokemon-go, ice-bucket-challenge, veganism, cigarettes, nudity, obsession with traveling, going-live-on-social-media, sharing the everyday life on the Internet, …
All these ideas were considered bizarre, once.
I have hundreds of examples to mention.
In the absence of grounds (a base culture), people pick trends like a herd of sheep picks a new direction. To the followers of pop-culture — It doesn’t matter what a trend is all about, as far as everyone is doing it. And those who are not, are labeled ignorants, unexposed to the pop-culture.
This fragile, lost, pop-praising society as whole, might become immune to new and bizarre trends that are coming-every-weekend. But individual humans won’t.
A ‘Lloyd Christmas + Harry Dunne’ characteristic sort of bizarre-trend would be enough to become more dangerous than an epidemic. Till then, you should hope that no one, ever again, makes a reference from Dumb and Dumber at the end of a serious blog.