Tuesday, April 11, 2006

One on tiptoe cannot stand.
One astride cannot walk.
--Lao Tzu
Tao Teh Ching

Let's get this bus rolling, shall we?

These are interesting times--no, these are most interesting times, rife with smoke and mirrors and snake oil on a planetary level, all sound and fury, signifying nothing. It's the season of illusion, friends, and it looks to be around for a long while to come. It's Orwell meets Disney and we just love every second of it.

I do, anyway.

I was born in the earlier years of the last half of the twentieth century, a time when television was only three networks and maybe five or six channels, all recording in fuzzy black and white only, reflecting an Eisenhower world-view of good versus evil. My own ethos was shaped by that box. I was born into a universe unlike any previous generation had seen, where Bugs Bunny and Peter Gunn and Zorro would shape my sense of right and wrong as much, if not more, as Socrates influenced the ancient Greek juvies.

Couple TV with two teenage aunts enamored of rock and roll, not to mention a grandmother notorious for her fashion sensibilities (at least in East Texas), and the die for me was pretty much cast from the outset.

But I digress.

Pop culture in all its facets, be it comic books or movies or TV or fashion trends of soundbite politics or any of the niches in between, has always been the driving force in my life. The idea that something designed to be utterly disposable has such an inexorable hold on our lives fascinates me to no end. It speaks volumes about how we view ourselves as a society. More, it defines us. World leaders use movie lines to sell their agendas, rock stars are global ambassadors, supermodels are self-contained fundraisers, sports figures are dark celebrities and everybody else is getting their fifteen minutes any way they can, from Survival to American Idol.
Me? I just observe it all and record it.
In point of fact, I've been recording it for a while now. My first nationally published work was a letter to the long defunct Doctor Strange comics, for which I won Marvel's coveted no-prize. I was sixteen and I was hooked on seeing my name in print. By 1981, I I was publishing my own magazine, Pulse: Tomorrow's Trends Today, the first magazine to be dedicated to pop culture. After its demise, I freelanced for a number of publications, and eventually whored myself into the world of advertising, where I really learned how transitory our culture is. As sidenotes, I've worked as an actor, musician, working painter, photographer, and a whole bunch of other things I'd rather not talk about here.
And believe me, folks--it's all pop culture.
And we're going to wallow in it here, dissect it and put it back together, and see if it looks any different once we see what it says about us. We're going to examine it in all its myriad forms- from music to literature, from literature to fashion, from politics to cartoons--in short, anything and everything goes. And hopefully, we'll realize in so observing that our world is not a melting pot nearly so much as it is a tossed salad of flavors that shouldn't work together but somehow make a tasty dish nonetheless.
Stick around. I think you'll enjoy it...

1 comment:

Odin said...

you are crazy...