Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Folk vs. Pop

Today's lecture in my US & Canada class was on folk culture and popular culture. Pop culture infuriates me. Or at least, the thought that we have become so "pop culturealized" makes me ill - but yet, I am definitely part of it.

Folk cultures are really only found in primitive parts of the world. They are classified by living in rural areas or small towns. They are old-fashioned and not influenced by modern technology. Most folk cultures are self-sufficient and value strong traditions and rituals. Most importantly, they have strong relationships and a high emphasis on family.

Our wretched, but unavoidable, pop culture (my teacher has just informed us that we are not a waste of human flesh even though we are part of pop culture) is defined by being urban. We value leisure, and depend on mass production to get things. Sadly, family relationships are not as strong.We have tons of relationships, but they are weaker. Change is rapid. -- Are you beginning to understand why I detest pop culture? -- and we are more mobile and less attached to the land.

I like to think that I am a blend of both. But that really isn't true. I am a part of pop culture - with folk culture dreams. [My teacher just described a situation I find myself in quite a bit. He was describing watching someone sit at a keyboard and sticking out their index fingers. Immediately you want to pick them up and set them aside and say, "Here, let me." So true, I have the hardest time watching anyone who types slower than 75 wpm. That's what I type, on my worst days. Sometimes I can get up to 90 wpm. I'm not bragging - I'm just saying. I have a hard time watching slow typers.]

I hate change. But I love having the latest technology...sort of. I would love to have an iPhone, and a Mac Pro or whatever...even though I don't know how to use Apple products. I would like to have them. Oh man, I wish I had a nice digital camera. I love driving. I like leisure time. I use my weekends as a mini-vacation. Rarely do I use the weekend to actually WORK. *shudder* But I do value my family. I wish I were more self-sufficient. I think I would like to garden and sew. Maybe... I wish we didn't move around so much. I think I would be completely content living down the road from my parents and siblings. And grandparents, and cousins. I like the idea of living on a large piece of land surrounded by family -- with no one leaving. Hehe. It sounds fabulous. Of course, then I wouldn't have my friends from California, Utah, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Colorado, Idaho... get the picture? Our economy doesn't allow us to live in a folk culture, and I don't think we would really enjoy going back...

But I am sick of the trends that roll through that are just retarded. I hate that our country worships celebrities. I am so disgusted with the lowering of standards, the widely accepted lifestyles that 50 years ago were taboo. I know that these lifestyles have been around since the beginning of time, but pop culture has allowed it to flourish and to be part of the norm. Since we can't revert back to our folk culture ways, I think we need to embrace some of the traditional aspects of a folk culture and start to ignore it idiocy of pop culture.

1 comment:

  1. So you're saying you're attached to land? Very interesting...

    And you could try to find the Lost island from the tv show. No one seems able to leave that island, and you could capture your entire family and force them to live there! I'll help you! It sounds marvelous! But first we have to find it...


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