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I guess I just like liking things

So what’s this site all about?  After a month of posts, maybe it’s time I told you.  You could click on the About link in the upper right there and get a sense of it, I suppose, but I think most people don’t click on Abouts.

It should be fairly evident by now, but I love pop culture. TV, movies, videogames, Internet culture, you name it, I like it.   Obviously, I don’t love all of every bit of each of those things (let’s be reasonable!), but I have a general appreciation for pop culture.

A lot of sites that talk about pop culture seem to be heavy on the sarcasm and the snark, almost a “we love to hate pop culture!” mindset. While I appreciate the picking something apart can give you a deeper appreciation or understanding of  something, often the dissected item is ruined. I felt there was a place for a site that celebrated what people like about pop culture – after all, “pop(ular)” culture wouldn’t be pop culture if large groups of people didn’t like it, so why not enjoy it?

I get the “Why?” question a lot. “Why do you waste your time on _____________?” I get that. I won’t argue that it’s a valid point in some instances. After all, if everybody only ever consumed pop culture, nothing would get done. “Surely there are better uses of your time” is the other one I hear. Well, yeah.  In the grand scheme of things, pop culture isn’t IMPORTANT, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.

One of the biggest benefits of pop culture is as a reference point. To me it’s like this: when pirate ships would attack other ships, the would pull up alongside and throw grappling hooks over to the other ship to pull closer to them so they could board. Any connection we make to other people is a grappling hook, pulling us closer to other people.  One of my favorite things about Batman and ALF and Assassin’s Creed and Seinfeld is how it can connect me to other people.  You like Seinfeld? What’s your favorite episode? Why do you like it? Who’s your favorite character? What’s your favorite moment of that character? Your answers to those questions tell me more about you than they do about Seinfeld, and though I could find those things out some other way, Seinfeld offers us a shortcut.

Now, the danger is relying on the shortcuts. If all we have in common and all we ever discuss is Seinfeld, I don’t think pop culture is doing its job. If it exists only to feed itself, it is pointless. If, though, we use pop culture to connect to other people, it becomes a useful tool.  I love the stories pop culture tells me, the lives I wouldn’t know anything about if I didn’t have it. The more I learn about more careers and life situations, the better-suited I am to be a contributing member of society.

The long-held view of geeks and nerds as basement-dwelling anti-social snobby slobs doesn’t do anybody any favors. Are there people like that? Certainly. Is every Star Trek fan a Trekkie? Nope. Are there managers who learned better team management techniques by doing high-level raids in World of Warcraft? Yep.

Bell curves tend to happen because there are always extremes, but most people fall in the middle. Extremes, though, make for better examples.  “Three Starcraft players died after playing for 36 hours straight!” makes a more exciting tale than “Mother of two plays Skyrim for an hour after the kids go to bed and still gets plenty of sleep and is a productive worker the next day!”  Excessive attention on any one part of your life can throw the rest of it off balance.  Someone who works 70-80 hours a week at work is just as broken as someone who plays Halo nine hours a day, it’s just that society okays one and not the other.

So, mission statement. I guess it boils down to this:

“I enjoy pop culture, I think there’s value in it, and I want to talk about it with you. Let’s enjoy it together.”

That won’t put me on the Fortune 500 list any time soon, but I hope it helps us make some more connections.



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