Sooner or later, anyone who analyses pop culture gets asked why it matters – if we’re lucky – otherwise we just get *told* that it’s trivial, that it doesn’t matter. And we all come up with our own answers why it matters. Here’s mine.
I think it matters exactly because of that sense of triviality. Pop culture is the culture we have when we aren’t trying to be cultured. It represents the thoughts we have when we aren’t particularly thinking, what we communicate when we aren’t bothered about what we communicate, and the agenda we follow when we’re not worrying about an agenda. Pop culture – “popular culture” or “culture of the populace” – shows a baseline in a way that nothing else can. And if prejudice can survive in the baseline, it can re-infect anywhere else, despite whatever progress it looks like we make.
Every single little bit of pop-culture seems trivial on its own. Because of that, not in spite of it, the whole thing is vital. And because of that every component of that whole thing matters.
So that’s my answer. What are yours?