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Thursday, May 10, 2007

the lack of a network

my only sources of news are NPR on the raadeeO, el furioso for the caustic, and an occassional long-wind of a ridiculously liberal pinko rag from the interwebs.

so i miss out on a lot of the 24hour regurgo-feeds that seem to dominate the pop-geist. (copyright)

For example ~

  1. had no idea that the bottle-buxomed blonde-shell died and had a kid and finding the father was an episode of Law&Order meets Jackass.

  2. couldn't tell you which actor is married to/cheating on what athlete/DJ/superstar of the moment ... or where they adopted their 3rd world baby.

  3. Virginia Tech shootings ~ never saw any phone-vid's of the rampage or "this is why my life sucks" recordings of the asshole who did it.

    no interviews of survivors, nor townie reactions, nor any of the three dozen talkshows with the latest dr. phil explaining who's fault it was.

  4. and, if you asked me to tell you who the aMErican Idol contest fabulosos are or who won the World Series of Foolsball or ... the answer would be the same ~ i couldn't care less.

My world is ridiculously myopic. I slurp cycling up with a straw. I giggle with my woman. I'm a political junky and would rather see Naomi Klein naked than any of those chicks on Friends.

... but is that it?

oh, well i guess there's sex.

maybe a new hobby is needed - something to fill the few moments of sit down when it ain't lay down. hmmm ...
- - -

i do not pretend to say my life is not paradise. the food is sweet, the wine touches lips friendly, and the wind keeps us fresh in our citadel on the hill.

but perhaps something strangely exotic calls to our hungry ears. perhaps we will move towards it, tentative but with budding enthusiasm.

or maybe, we just need another race.


Lothar Glerbny said...

I couldn't agree with you more about the pop-geist. Just don't care.

One of the FAs brought a People rag up to the cockpit between flights and offered it up (a passenger left it in the back). She was visibly hurt when I told her there was ABSOLUTELY nothing in that pile of pages I would be interested in spending any time perusing. Don't get the fascination?

A new hobby? I would have to give up procrastination...hmmmm.

PAB(a.k.a.CID) said...

a hobby, hmmmmm.....

how about hand painted custom paint jobs on bicycle frames?

just a thought....

lauren said...


your other hobby is writing. you're a writer.

and you're good at it.

dr-nitro said...

Yeah, but I got to make a Paris Hilton reference in lab today that was a hit with my students. Gotta stay in touch, just so you know what is on the minds of the rest of the loonies.

PAB(a.k.a.CID) said...

is eating popsicles a hobby?

X Bunny said...


that's how i used to pretend i was in touch with pop-something or 'nother

i'd be jigglypuff if i was a pokemon

Anonymous said...

Who's Naomi Klein? G.I. Jane's sister-in-law? Is she, as Paris Hilton would say, "hot"?

I'll take the People magazines,
toss'em down to me from your political/intellectual anti-pop geist high horses. When they stop printing People maybe I'll REGISTER to vote. BTW blogs are the epitome of ultra-contemporary faddish blather, right after all the political B.S. that the snobs think they understand and believe to be even remotely important. I'm glad you're champing at the bit for a bike race 'cause you're gonna get one on Saturday, pinko. ;-)

p.s. I hope Mr. Emoticon runs in '08 and wins.

banks said...

OV, did you know, Paris Hilton is going to jail. Oh the humanity! Gov. Schwarzenegger should pardon her. Save Paris!

shawndoggy said...

well OK now my sources of news are similar mostly NPR with a smattering of local rag... but you must have just been listening on the wrong day to have missed the VT survivor interviews on NPR. They did several.

dr-nitro said...

I s'pect that ov is simply being the typical snooty, elitist, leftist, liberal know-it-all, making claims about what is important to know, or at least all that he, and others like him, feel that is important. It is clear that he watches the Daily Show, as evidenced by links to clips of the show and host. Thus, he would have seen some of the stuff being lampooned.

He's a closet Hollywood gossip junkie. For crying out loud, the title of his blog makes reference to a movie. A movie about a hooker none-the-less. Fess up, you've got Paris posters (not the snobby city) plastered in your room, ov.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i'm in the closet allright ...

biscuits and gravy said...

You can stay well informed and up to date with all things pop simply by watching FOX News.

Have you seen the Terry Gross sex tape? It's hot!

chatterbox said...

More blogging? It helps to entertain the rest of us. Plus, you are my primary source of NorCal racing news (and trashtalk). OK, that was a selfish hobby idea from me....I'll think on that some more.

Flandria said...

pab really likes popsicles...

popsicle eating record breaker

better start practicing now...

dr-nitro said...

Come out of the closet, Olaf. Embrace the inner gossip in you, and what ever else you might be hiding in yer closet

CaliRado Cyclist said...

Dr. J says:
Popular Culture is generally understood as consisting of widespread cultural elements in any given society. Such elements are perpetuated through that society's vernacular language or an established lingua franca. Therefore, Popular Culture comprises the daily interactions, needs and desires and cultural 'moments' that make up the everyday lives of the mainstream. Sounds okay so far…right?

As such, understanding the elements of current Popular Culture is incredibly important for anyone remotely interested in basic concepts of human interaction and greater social awareness. I’m not necessarily saying that these elements are either intelligent or beneficial…but they are nonetheless quite important. From an organizational standpoint, those who do not respect the “power” of pop cultural awareness run the risk of social isolation and strained efforts to build rapport with co-workers and associates.

Many scholars argue that the term “Pop Culture” has been given a negative definition, antonymous with “High Culture,” by those who wish to distance themselves from the “masses” or portray themselves as “elite.” That’s okay…we all maintain an external image that is a conscious construction. Some choose the “no TV – NPR” route and others take the “Entertainment Tonight” approach. You may not like it but it should be respected…not for what it is as much as what it can do.

Regardless of certain amounts of “myopathy,” human beings do not live in a vacuum. We are social animals…for better or worse. And popular culture, especially in the US but also globally, is a primary driving force for not only our current state of affairs but for the future as well. The inherent “goodness” or “badness” of it is a subjective component that minimizes the overall importance of all things “popular.” But the crazy part is that it may not actually be THAT bad. Check out Steven Johnson’s book Everything Bad Is Good For You – very entertaining and eye-opening. Despite much evidence to the contrary, we may actually be getting smarter. I’m still wrestling with that one.

Seriously though, don’t let the apparent idiocy of popular culture diminish the fact that it is an incredibly powerful element of the world we live in. Being sequestered in the Ivory Towers of NPR presents the same dilemma as watching Fox News all day long. The truth may be out there but I doubt that any one resource has cornered the market on it.

But then again…I have all 7 seasons of Seinfeld on DVD and watch The Bachelor with my fiancĂ©e every week so maybe I just one of “THEM.” I’m cool with that. Does that mean I am both Popular and Cultural? Hope so. Just like Paris…only not facing incarceration. Peace.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i would probably contest the idea that NPR is any sort of ivory tower, or elitist.

it's folks doing their best to report well, spread intelligent dialogue, and give out chitzy little bobbles during fund drives.

as for the power of pop culture, that was never questioned. Power - is the problem. right now we've got a handful, a HANDFUL of people telling 'pert near the entirety of America what is beautiful, what is valuable, and what they should believe about the world.

... frightening in it's power. and when we talk about how pop culture is disseminated we're talking about one thing - TV.

the interwebs are a small "plunk" in the vast and rotted bucket of TV that the masses slurp from.

TV is horrifically powerful as an agent of influence in our culture, and soon to be, the world's culture (note the use of the singular).

What is the average TV use estimated at in the US currently, 6-7 hours a day. A DAY?

Remember, my original post was about something called pop-geist ... not pop culture. i mean to separate the two fuzzy, overlapping terms.

pop-geist, to me, is this homogeneity of thought and value and reference points that is spreading virally through our world via the tightly controlled and dolled out cable boxes.

i can go anywhere in America and find ...

the same thing.


dr-nitro said...

Dr. J, justifying the value of gossip academically sucks the fun out it. And, we must not forget the intrinsic value of fun in our life. Without fun, we lose a bit of our humanity. And after all, it is our humanity that rises us above primates, our evolutionary precursers... Wait. I'm doing it. Gossip is fun, hee hee hee, no excuses.

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Hegemony, baby. Gotta know it to undermine it.

shawndoggy said...

I think it's evolutionary... humans aren't really that fast or fearsome when it comes time to go one on one in the savanah. But working together humans are very powerful. But when we were no more that tribes with loincloths, info was hard to come by and hard to disseminate. So we crave it. The end result being that there's something inate in us that wants to know WTF Paris and Brad and Brittany are doing (or who won the latest xyz bfe NorCal RR). We (humans) are voracious consumers of information, useless as it may be. Because it makes us stronger, together.

CaliRado Cyclist said...

Yeah, I kind of missed the whole “mind-spirit” element of Pop-geist at first. It’s tough to separate culture from notions of widely held thought, actions etc. I needed to do a little German vocabulary inventory and then it hit me like a mutant tree branch through the window.

Pop Culture, Pop-Geist, Zeitgeist, Poltergeist…hey, wait a minute.

Okay, now I get it. The evil “TV People” in the culturally popular movie Poltergeist, directed by the culturally popular Steven Spielberg, were actually a metaphor for the ever-encroaching “pop-geist” that is threatening to trap and control our younger generations via their television sets.

Wow…I totally missed that the first 15 times I watched that movie. “They’re Heeeeere.” Who Carol Anne? “The TV People.” Now you know what the little blonde girl was talking about. Still gives me the heebie jeebies.

Anyway… Don’t get me wrong, I’m down with NPR...and Ivory Towers too for that matter. Nothing wrong with an elevated perspective. NPR is certainly a good source of information. They play nice soothing music in between horribly depressing news stories and those Car Talk guys are pretty funny.

What’s also funny is that I could tell someone that I listen to NPR and tell another person that I watch The Real World and both would have totally opposing images of me. And neither would be right…but somehow my divulgence of this information would be enough to formulate a judgment.

Additionally, if I can somewhat analytically justify something that I like (but maybe feel a little guilty about due to other’s perceptions of its “worth”) it makes me feel better about myself and the things I enjoy and find “fun.”

Seriously. It works pretty well and I have gotten fairly good at it. That’s part of why I can be in my thirties, dress myself in spandex all the time and spend so much money on bike stuff with a clean conscience. Sound familiar to anyone?

Oh…and Hegemony. Nice term. Throw a “Cultural” in front of that one and hey now…Marxism in the house. I wonder if Karl or Hegel would have liked Poltergeist as much as I did. I think Marx would have been a big Craig T. Nelson fan.

Velo Bella said...


banks said...

Something's been gnawing at me about popgeist and a morally neutral pop culture.

At first OV, you gave me a chuckle by patenting popgeist and I played along by commenting about Paris Hilton.

The next day I checked back and Calirado thoughtfully commented on how threads of pop culture are interwoven into our social fabric.

First allow me to say something about popgeist: OV, you and your kind are the death of it.

Television, as we know it, is inhaling stale air and exhaling death rattles. I can't imagine any respectable media analyst telling any TV exec to ignore the Internet.

Personally, I imagine a day when people will go to their favorite websites (or blogs) and spend five to 20 minutes bumping around each of them. The time spent at each site will depend on content related to the viewer's priorities.

For the sake of argument, lets say in my perfect world I'd spend per day an hour on national and local news sites. Another hour on my hobby sites. And another hour researching life maintenance stuff (lasik surgery, drip watering systems, etc.)

An hour each on news, hobbies and life maintenance equals three hours daily on the Internet. Maybe someone else spends three hours a day researching vacation spots, who knows.

The point is three hours on the Internet will likely cut into the average person's TV viewing time. Hell, I'm the guy who the Internet is luring away from TV. I'm sitting here right now organizing my thoughts instead of watching Sportscenter.

Now imagine the infinite possibilities the Internet provides for informing or entertaining ourselves. How can any one entity engender a zeitgeist in that type of environment? If TV tries to indoctrinate us, the variety of Internet offerings will immunize us.

I see the signs of a growing slack jawed, complacent and happy middle class just as much as you do, OV. But as long as humans are able to timely relay their ideas from individual to individual, cultural brainwashing without a willing majority is incomprehensible to me.

So, I've spent a bunch of time on popgeist and haven't touched on what I meant at the top by a morally neutral pop culture.

Calirado is obviously a very thoughtful person, but I can't quite get with a position that anything popular is neither objectively good or bad, it is just subjectively a powerful cultural force that must be reckoned with lest risk self isolation.

In 1938 the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels used the murder of a German embassy official by a Jew to begin the first state run program for exterminating all Jews. By 1945 it's estimated Germans murdered six million Jews.

Just because it was popular to attempt to wipe Jews from the face of this earth, that gave cover to the Germans who knew exterminating Jews was a morally reprehensible position? The Germans who weren't sociopaths had two choices: 1)leave the country or 2) fight in opposition. There's no moral cover by shrugging your shoulders and saying, "Well, my neighbor's doing it."

Something is popular so it must be OK. Talk about a philosophy leading to a slack jawed, complacent, happy and brainwashed middle class.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...