There are times when I would give anything to be able to be the kind of individual who can just float through life on fluff.
Kanye, Taylor Swift, Twilight, James Patterson. Generic shit meant to provide a modicum of entertainment but no lasting value. The essence of pop culture: brief bits of enjoyment quickly discarded for the next fleeting trend.
And I’m not saying I’m immune. I enjoy lots of pulp. I’m a comic book junkie (though my tastes tend to run toward the more complex and intelligent Image books), and I’ve seen all the Marvel and DC films (save Shazam at this point).
I can get lost exploring the worlds of our culture’s takes on fantasy and science fiction. I love Game Of Thrones and Star Trek. I think Homeland was brilliant. I’m less bullish on Star Wars, but I’ve still seen them all. I’m a James Bond fan, though not necessarily of its problematic treatment of women, and I think Sergio Leone movies are quite possible the most beautifully shot movies I’ve ever seen.
I can’t do without bigger themes, even clumsily presented. I have difficulty with the fact that the majority of popular music these days seems to revolve around homogeneous sloganism. How many times can you listen to a song where some person just talks about how awesome and rich and famous they are, completely without irony, before you’re just fucking bored of it?
Seriously, who gives a shit?
I don’t need culture that sounds like it was created at a corporate retreat by consultants and bad life coaches. It’s Instagram culture, without depth or meaning, trussed up to remove any warts and as an end result, any value or humanity the thing may have had. At best, it’s pretty to look at, though it’s got all the depth and range of a cardboard cutout.
And yet, there’s a part of me that just wants to let go and say, sure. Let’s post pictures of workouts with Nike-style tripe pasted across it and pretend it means anything other than our own narcissism. Let’s make bad car commercials and call it a movie franchise. Let’s pretend the new Mad Max was a Mad Max movie in anything but name, a pointless two hour car chase whose plot its titular character was entirely disposable to.
Let’s be brainless together.