Positive Cynicism – Pop culture noise

Aaron Davis

Aaron R. Davis

So often the pop culture noise just gets too loud to process. In those dark hours of the night, when people are live blogging awards shows or the newest episode of Saturday Night Live and writing endless think pieces on their profound hatred of Lena Dunham, I just think one thought: how do people write for pop culture news sites without putting a bullet in their heads?

Can you imagine being the person who has to sit there all day and basically forsake having real opinions on things that matter just so you can come up with endless quips, puns and memes for a netbrowsing public that has grown so addicted to instant that they think clicking a link to read more is some kind of fascism?

I do not envy those people. I don’t feel sorry for them, either. If they were capable of writing about something in even the shallowest depth, they’d try harder.

I feel like everyone under 30 right now is engaging in a particular mindset of “Eh, good enough.” It’s like watching Family Guy, where simply making an out of context pop culture reference isn’t actually a joke but, eh, good enough. Hollywood seems like it’s basically filming first drafts half the time but, eh, good enough. It’s not like anyone gets called on a lack of quality anymore, because that would be opinionated. I get called opinionated all the time for simply not thinking everything is really great all the time. Didn’t like Les Miserables? You’re opinionated! It’s not a good movie in any way, and is oftentimes completely unbearable, but, eh, good enough. Emotions and comprehensibility and an actual plot that won’t drown in a foot of water don’t matter because, eh, good enough. Hollywood told me it was a sweeping epic of pure emotion, so I’ll just accept that for what it is.

I’m sick of it. I’m so sick of the whole fucking thing.

I’m glad I don’t have to be the guy picking the best and worst dressed at the Grammys, because it doesn’t matter, and I just don’t have the energy to find a nice way to say that Adele looked like she was wearing her great grandmother’s tablecloth as a dress and her makeup looked like it was done by someone trying to get back at her for something. Sorry, I don’t have the energy to be nice and excited and pumped up about something that doesn’t matter: like the Grammys. I don’t have the energy to care. It would be too mean to say that Adele looked like she was either cosplaying as Mrs. Doubtfire or about to lip synch for her life on RuPaul’s Drag Race because, hunty, she is in the bottom two of any week.

Justin Bieber on Saturday Night Live… seriously, people mustered up the energy to give a shit about that? And review it and liveblog it like it was anything worth talking about? Why? Why are we giving national attention to a guy who had a couple of hit songs and is now destined to be as shoved aside as Leif Garrett? Can you even tell me why Leif Garrett was popular? Because I have no fucking idea.

The BAFTAs were this weekend. So what? It’s almost adorable how people think anyone in America is supposed to care about the BAFTAs or that the BAFTAs have some kind of influence on the Oscars. That’s as adorable as people who believe it when Jessica Chastain says she’s any less than 38 years old. Did you see Anne Hathaway’s acceptance speech at the BAFTAs? She used to be one of my favorite actresses; now I want to see her retire from everything and go live on a mountain and meditate for five years. She can think about how increasingly phony she’s coming off with her over-the-top fake-surprised acceptance speeches. Thanking Victor Hugo? Thanking Victor Hugo? Really? What, does she think he’s up in heaven right now, giving her a thumbs-up, thinking You’re welcome, Anne. I wrote that just so you could scream-sing in a grotesque film version of the musical Cliff Notes version of perhaps the greatest narrative of French literature?

I don’t get any of it. I don’t get trying to talk to celebrities on Twitter, because they’re just like any other people and their attention doesn’t mean anything more than anyone else’s. I don’t get people rushing to attack me for not, say, liking Les Miserables, because my opinion of a movie is equally as meaningless as the way Taylor Swift pretends she’s shocked whenever she wins another award — an award which means something to her, but, seriously, means nothing to you because it doesn’t make the music any better, and if it’s validating your confidence in something you like, you really need to think about why you’re saying you like things. You can just like them whether anyone else gives it an award or not.

The pop culture noise is overwhelming, and none of it resonates. The Internet is becoming a moron factory aimed at people who didn’t have the misfortune to accidentally learn to read. This is the world of eh, good enough. Pope resigns? Let’s do some more macros where he’s the Emperor and, eh, good enough. Want to tell the world how you feel? There’s a Honey Boo Boo gif and, eh, good enough.

So this week’s column is half-assed and unpleasant: eh, good enough.

Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at samuraifrog@yahoo.com.

Comments (1)
  1. Sarah February 13, 2013

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *