98 thoughts on “Does Pop Culture Need To Be “Popular”? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

  1. I think the blurring of lines between creator, media, and audience is another byproduct of the egalitarian nature of the Internet.  There are more "media creators" than there have ever been in history and the business infrastructure that was built in the radio/film/television era of media business just isn't suited to accommodating all of these creators, nor should it be necessarily because the audiences for a lot of these creators are typically so small (but passionate) that there's seldom much money to take a cut of to begin with (See: Patent Troll Personal Audio LLC giving up on taking podcaster money because there's so little of it).

    In the past, I think it was a fair assessment to say that "Pop Culture" was akin to Popular Media.  It is because of this new splintering of creators and media that defining what is popular becomes extremely difficult.  There's no longer 3 channels on television, there's the ever-expanding infinity of the Internet, where the most popular Youtuber in the world is a complete stranger to a large majority of the population.  So because our standards for popularity en masse has changed, so too must our definition of Popular Culture change along with it.   


  2. I wonder of this idea can extend into other areas of human life as well, such as the economic world. For example, with the structure of developing technology, is it possible to be "rich" without having a lot of money? The same way a video or artist that accrues millions of followers may be invisible in the scope of "mass culture"? 

  3. One aspect of the experience of popular culture that I think you maybe didn't touch on quite enough is the social experience of it. Maybe something can qualify as popular culture by social usage or reference power. I was actually called a "fucking hipster" by a woman on the street today because my girlfriend and I were walking down the sidewalk next to each other and she had to break her conversation with her friends to walk around us. But I wouldn't expect her to know all the "hipster bands" I listen to or understand anything about what is supposedly "hipster culture" to her.

    In this way, the idea of "being a hipster" or the word "hipster" itself could be a part popular culture, but all of the culture that these supposed hipsters indulge in is left out.  The old Potter Stewart sense of "I know it when I see it." Maybe we can gauge popular culture a bit on the measure of how likely it can be adequately understood in passing conversation.

    This however brings in ideas of social expectations. It gives way to popular culture becoming relative in regard to who you are with or where you are. I'm okay with that but maybe for other people it might be too relative.

    Related to this, recently I picked up an copy of Entertainment Weekly, a magazine I had never read before, and found a comedic graphic referencing Twin Peaks to much my surprise. I'm not sure but I don't really see Twin Peaks (or anything with David Lynch's name on it) as being popular culture but I wasn't around during the airing of the show so maybe it was a lot more "popular" than it is now. But certainly I think that time has rendered Twin Peaks a lot less relevant. I'd wager that relevancy fits in nicely with ideas about what counts as popular culture.

    I was reminded of this because I can see Twin Peaks easily contrasted with something like Breaking Bad. Where Breaking Bad is at the forefront of popular television culture because of the ability to social reference it, and the eagerness of its fans to speak about it, whether or not people have actually seen it, and it's very hard now for me to talk to people about Twin Peaks. I know a lot of people have seen Twin Peaks, maybe as many as the number of people that have seen Breaking Bad, but their recognition and reference power are quite different and I think this could be another interesting way to look at what counts as popular culture.

  4. In true PBS Idea Channel fashion, I will start with a question: Are some things Too popular to be "popular culture"? 

    Popularity is fleeting. What holds as true today is often gone tomorrow, and if you need proof look at the fashion trends through the decades, yet somethings hold on to their popularity that they almost blend into the background of a culture. 

    In your video you had no mention of any Disney product, and yet they are one of the most "popular" franchises of all time. It can be argued that Disney and its characters are some of the most recognizable figures on Earth. In my travels around the world I am hard pressed to think of any place that does not have some form of disney saturating into the culture in the form of wearable goods. 

    Maybe it is that Disney latches on to their new consumer base as children and holds their grip through nostalgia, but Disney's hold on the world can be looked at as just "culture" and not as specifically "popular culture". 

    This can go back to Disney's choices from the very start. By deciding to be a front runner in new technologies he stayed at the forefront of the public's mind. Whether it was syncing cartoon to music as in "Steamboat Willie" (actually created by Ub Iwerks) or his first feature length film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (actually at least the fourth full length animated feature to ever come out). His hold really came with how he set up the way we tell any fantasy story. 

    In case you were not informed, Snow White, like all his princess stories, was not an original idea. The first written down version was done by the Grimm brothers in 1812. Though the main points were the same, Disney made a drastic change to the ending…. 

    If you have not read it it is available online for free and is really short, but what basically happens is that Snow is in a false death due to a piece of the poison apple being stuck in the back of her throat. The prince falls in love with her beauty and orders his servants to carry her coffin to where ever he is. Depending on the translation, a disgruntled servant either gets mad and hits her on the back, or just trips, dropping the coffin, both causing the apple to fly out of her mouth and for her to wake up. 

    In Disney's version he changes the way we tell stories forever. Disney invents "true loves kiss" (called love's first kiss in movie). This has a HUGE impact on stories. Read any story from before that time and I assure you that the fairytales are seriously messed up (which makes them more fun…). Now we even have fairytales that Critique this notion of how a fairytale should end (i.e. Frozen, Brave, SHREK (see the frozen episode if you want more explained)). 

    Margaret Atwood says "All humans are storytellers by nature". By Disney altering the way we tell stories has he altered who we are as humans? 

    Disney is apart of who we are as a species as it has altered us in a fundamental way of how we transmit ideas to others and how we expect to receive them. 

  5. This comment comes in two parts. The first, a comment about the video's actual subject matter and secondly a comment about your YouTube example.

    Part One: I did English Literature at university and we did an entire module looking at the nature of the "literary canon", which involved looking at the nature of popular texts as well. The problem is that these, in a lot of academic studies, for a dichotomy (and as we know, dichotomies are false and pretty damaging). We also learnt that the literary canon kind of happened not because specific works had specific critical value (I think everything has critical value) but because people running universities and institutions of learning (rich, old, white dudes) liked it and decided to teach it (so 99% of the works were created by rich white dudes because of their societal bias). This means that lots of stuff was falsely shuffled into "popular culture" because of who wrote it or the medium it was written in. In short, stuff that was deemed to be of a higher purpose that cultural popularity was stuff from rich old white man culture and no other demographic of people. With the collapse of the notion of the literary canon and popular works becoming the new, exciting thing for critical studies, all I see is that the stuff rich old white dudes like has migrated from the "critical canon" area into "mass culture" kind of area with the culture of other demographics being ousted and moving into the vacant space (or staying where it is).

    Part Two: I have some issues with what you said about YouTube's culture. I do think that the nature of vlogging has started to resemble mass culture in that people are looking for numerical hits and you end up having the vlogging equivalent of one hit wonders where they are immensely popular for a short time and then disappear off the map entirely. It also has the influential culture which has caused the enormous problem of groups of HUGELY influential youtubers abusing their fans (see, Alex Day, Tom Milsom, Edd Plant etc.) or spreading toxic ideas/material to their audiences (Nash Grier). YouTube has rapidly become just another medium in terms of culture and I've become more than a little disillusioned with it, especially now that the gap between creator and audience has widened and so few people seem to care about content any more. Frankly, I watch the PBS channels, ButtonPoetry, cat videos and a couple of people with subscriber counts under a thousand. I don't even watch the vlogbrothers any more because of the way that they have blatantly ignored the behaviour of vloggers they have previously endorsed. YouTube does not feel remotely safe to me any more because of this culture of silence and censoring information that viewers need to be aware of. It's bullshit. It's absolute bullshit and I am frightened by the way in which the safety problems YouTube creates are growing larger and larger without any of it being addressed because it's pretty much unregulated (I understand that it does give freedom of content but my sister is twelve and beginning to idolise YouTubers and I can't explain properly to her what I am afraid of). The average vlogger's YouTube audience is comprised largely of women between the ages of twelve and twenty and the unbridled enthusiasm of that audience enables the explosion of culture happening here but does so at the expense of the safety of that audience. I AM ANGRY THAT THIS IS NOT BEING ADDRESSED BY ANYONE. ANGRY AND SCARED. ANGRY AND SCARED AND TIRED AND DISILLUSIONED AND DISGUSTED. I feel like the people at this channel are pretty much the last hope for anyone with any influence being prepared to discuss the issue on YouTube and I feel like because of the way you do things, you can do so without putting yourselves at great risk. The point of culture is to create and to be valued in some capacity by an audience if the culture continues to harm the audience that it was created off the backs of and for, then it isn't worth a damn whether people think its critically or monetarily or influentially valuable because none of those things are worth more than that audience. The most valuable thing about any culture period is people and people are being continually and violently devalued by YouTube.

  6. I suppose it's like Skillet, they are pretty popular. However just not hugely popular. They're a big enough band to be popular for AMV's. Also their style and even songs go well with anime. Especially how their recent album screams Attack on Titan.  However true for a lot of gritty Christian bands.

    Also at some point, often "most hated" is a form of popularity.

  7. I was with you until you claimed Metallica never changes. If you think they sound the same with Kirk Hammett and rob Trujillo as they did with Dave Mustane and Cliff Burton, then you aren't really listening, you're just hearing. (The difference is in the intent to perceive rather than simply sense.)

  8. "We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. And we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t even want to play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world."
    -Terence Mckenna

  9. I'd argue that it's not just the word "popular" that has gotten mangled, but rather the word "culture", because there are multiple definitions of what culture actually is. Not counting bacteria culture (ew!), the one I would look at is "the attitudes and behavior characteristic of a particular social group." – Google Dictionary, 2014
    In america there is something referred to as the "culture of everything", where every small group and stereotype has been assigned its own "culture", even though the term refers to a much larger demographic. for example, Americans like to think there is a goth culture, a nerd culture, a kid culture, a government culture, an internet culture, a lower bronx culture, a pokemon culture, and so on ad infinitum. However, there is actually a larger underlying culture that applies to america as a whole, with a particular way of looking at the world that underlies all the other cultures you could think up. This national culture is inherently different from european culture or japanese culture. Clture is the way a particular demographic looks at the world and applies that view to their surroundings though actions, words, and feelings. The culture of a demographic stays largely the same based on the overhwhelming scale of populations they take place on, but they can create very different outcomes if the environment changes around it. This is why the american culture for each decade of the 20th century seemed to change so much: because the world around it was undergoing massive and unprecedented social changes.
    A large number of the arguments in the video also ring true with this view of the term "popular culture" in that the word popular has been misinterpreted, or a least been given an incorrect connotation. I just think that both words should be looked at to determine if popular culture needs to be popular.

  10. i think that popular culture depend on quality more than quantity.so if alot of people watch a vedio but not partisipate in it then the thing is not actually popular but if a fewer number of people watch something and actually partisipate in it then that thing is more popular. so popularity is not only a number but the interaction of people with the thing.

  11. I think of "pop culture" as sort of a loose organization of a few distinct subcultures, at least in the United States. It includes things like the various American sports cultures (football, baseball, and basketball, most predominantly), the consolidated and highly commercialized "pop music" (as promoted by large record labels) and "Hollywood blockbusters" cultures, and a set of somewhat conservative, WASPY cultural norms (American standards of beauty, a disdain for the poor, etc come to mind). What's interesting is that this "pop culture" isn't set in stone, and parts of various other subcultures join and leave it over time, such as AAA video games.

    A good example of this cultural enmeshing would be when Rock & Roll became a part of "pop culture." That subculture wasn't entirely absorbed (there are a bunch of cultural memes from Rock & Roll that never became popular, or only had a moment in the larger pop cultural zeitgeist), but you can definitely see how it came to be (somewhat) under pop culture's umbrella. A similar thing is happening with comic book culture right now (and, to varying extents, geeky subcultures in general) with the production of expensive, broadly marketed movies and such.

    The pessimist in me would say that subcultures become a part of "pop culture" when a large corporation takes an interest in them and markets them to the masses, but that would imply that "the masses" have very little taste or agency, and are swayed by repetitive marketing campaigns and media that flatters their insecurities. Which very well might be true (anecdotally, I love media that flatters my insecurities and biases; pretty much everyone does). I'd like to think that this isn't the case, though, and that there's some other facet of cultural products that vault them into pop culture.

  12. I agree with you about the "realms of popularity". Most of the youtube stuff I am into, everyone I know has never heard of. If anything, youtube is a place where, regardless where you are (if you live in the right country that is) you can be exposed to new and different ideas, that otherwise, you would know nothing about. Oh, and totally try new things. Experiment, do something crazy. Change up the writing style, maybe compare older things to the "pop culture" you talk about on the show, make a musical video, whatever. Sorry, I have terrible ideas

  13. People always compare our current culture, to the culture in previous years, or even eras.

    An extreme example would be . . . let´s say Moon Light sonata, in its time was extremele overrated, at the point it´s composer hated it.

    And if we should compare Mozart with some current popular "music" figure, we might  (unfortunately) say the bieber or other pop figure, I don´t know.

    The real change here is not taste, intelligence or culture (at least for now, I hope), Is that younger people are in control of the art market.

    And yes art has always been a product.

    In the Renaisance the people that bought art or supported artists, were older people, people with economical power high level education and time in their agendas, with very distinctive tastes in architecture/music/painting/sculpture and art in general.

    Right now the people that once were supporting art, are now working from 7am to 8pm (my dad), and providing the younger and FREE generation with money to spend on their favorite artist.

    As this gap increases, we see more "I lost faith in humanity" comments on Youtube.

    The detrimental part of this economical collateral damge- If I may say Is that younger generations grow in this bubble believing that their tastes and beliefs are definite, when in other times older figures imposed their tastes, so young people where exposed to this knowledge and experience from early ages.

    Right now people are worried to sustain their families, while their kids are listening their favourite pop artist, and there is no one to really blame.

  14. Just a short one:
    Regard underground culture. Loads and loads of underground genres across most art forms have as many if not more followers than for example Breaking Bad, but are rarely considered a niche and are rarely heard of in the public domain. There are specials clubs and events for underground culture and the participants might not even be in favor of popularizing the ideals or aesthetics of said culture. The outline of these underground movements might even be to alien for most people outside this niche to identify them as actual "culture".

  15. I'm glad you brought up VidCon. Most of my "celebrities" or people I follow on social media sites are, to me, famous. But, there are probably a lot more people who have NOT heard of them. But, in my eyes, meeting them would be crazy! Idk, popular culture is interesting.

  16. the video is took it wrong and is logical pigos is popular culture video video!! is more about the means you use
    in popular culture the point is to be popular
    (intentional or not)
    and have some defined characteristics
    to be sibley ,absorbable,replicative
    is result of capitalism/consumer society
    it is tries not to by pleasing by changing herself
    but by changing the audience….
    this we can say it is the first generation of popular culture
    that creates no art bat the audience
    and now the modern technology come in
    and exploits the replicable nature of pop culture
    the audience create more audience Image and likeness
    but with a margin of error!!!
    and behold we have evolution
    and the fittest survive in a weird positive feedback loop…
    youtube is 3 -4 generation of pop culture
    some time hard you can recognize the origin
    but it is to step it back..
    you can have abomination like Justin Bieber
    or diamond like vsauce and green brothers
    hipster is another example
    ted talk ice challenge is some others
    and the feed back loop go back to origin
    the industry
    creating pop culture vol 2 like gaga
    and then vol 2 generation 2…
    and we go on…..

    the thing is wear we put the line
    and the evolution process create a new specie..
    but this is almost impossible to observe from the inside
    in future maybe they say the internet help so the popular culture evolve in
    Communal culture

  17. When I first read your idea I thought you were going to talk about controversy in pop culture. Like something doesn't have to be popular in the sense that alot of people agree with or like it. But so long as a lot of people recognize it, it seems like that would qualify as pop culture.

  18. First, one of my favorite episodes, awesome job. One note those – bad Metallica reference. Just as the Beatles had their evolution and different eras/styles, Metallica has three very distinct ones of their own. 1) Early Thrash (First 4.5 albums), 2) Mass Hard rock (half of the black album through Garage Inc), and 3) Modern Metal Crap (St. Anger and on). All bands evolve, some more than others.

  19. I think popular culture doesn't necessarily need to be "mass produced", but it does need to be numerically popular.  I don't think most of YouTube counts as popular culture; VidCon is just another niche con for a different audience.  I suspect the average teenager still doesn't know John Green has a YouTube channel.

  20. Pop culture is overall determined by the media. A whole bunch of people don't like something but the media shoves it down our throats anyway. Honestly pop culture is just a economical structure that allows corporations to have a selective culture to advertise to, because it's a proven demographic that will ensure profit.
    But just as important, a society must have a high class that herds the low class into a structure that won't be detrimental to society overall. And to provide the entertainment and media that keeps them in there level of thinking.

  21. I found this guy's video style to be similar to yours… pop culture? 

  22. I wonder if ratings zare an accurate representation of how numerically popular shows like Mad Men or Breaking Bad are?  I mean if people watch them through streaming services, or even though illegal means, it doesnt get counted in the official ratings, but its still people watching it.  

    I know for myself, I never saw Breaking Bad until after the show was over and I streamed it on Netflix.  And I suspect I'm not the only one.   I still intend to watch Mad Men that way, but I somehow got pulled into watching all of the Star Trek series(yes even Voyager) first.  

  23. I feel like it would be wise to start drawing a distinction between "pop" and "popular."  So, for instance, pop art and pop music refers not the the popularity of the works, but rather to the style in which they are composed.  If you create a work in the style of Andy Warhol or a song in the style of Katy Perri, it is fair to call it "pop," but unless it reaches tens of millions you can't honestly call it "popular."

  24. I can't find the reply about it but i'm commenting on that post made about weather counter-culture and subculture really exist.

    I think sub culture is made as a reflex action by people coming together for their commonalities good or bad in popular culture or in society whereas a counter culture is created as a response to culture or society. Neither are meant to last as we all know that capitalism is meant to take the piss out of everything and create numerous watered down carbon copies for sale to the public. This becomes the conflict of becoming a "movement". When a culture (sub or counter) gains enough following to create change or a shift in paradigm to a portion of population. As creators of subculture and counterculture. The response by sub cultures and countercultures to the the profiteering is to subvert the previous subversion as capitalism only commandeers aesthetics. By being fluid with tactics those cultures can remain ahead of the game. I'm almost convinced that that there is a secret subversive aspect to almost anything's history.

  25. Oh, you… it's so weird that my mind gets so oversaturated with thoughts by this topic (which I love… after all I wrote my MA thesis on it) that I don't know what to write ahhaahah… sorry for that.

    Now, getting my stuff together a bit, I've always liked Henry Jenkins' take on the term popular culture. He says that "popular culture is what happens to the materials of mass culture when they get into the hands of consumers. In other words, popular culture is what happens as mass culture gets pulled back into folk culture". He kind of woks with Storey's ideas of the "folk" and the gramscian aproach. Popular culture becomes in this way a site of counterhegemonic re-apropriation of cultural elements by an empowered and self-aware group. The confrontations has become very evident in some cases, as in the copyright lawsuits that media industries issue against "unauthorized" use of their property or in the case of the manga scanlation communities (there are some really interesting research papers on how they consitute highly organized transnational and transcultural communities with clearly deffined identities and "political" views on copyright and the agency of cultural actors in relation to the products they consider the base of their activity and identity). One of the focal points of the hegemony/counter-hegemony interaction between the "people" and the "industry" lies in the different aproaches to the value the attach to the product. In an interview Jenkins did with Mark Duffett, the latter said that "fans use economic mechanisms for cultural purposes, while media industries use culture for economic ends". This idea of media industries producing and distributing cultural products focusing on economic value and fans doing it based on cultural relevance is fundamental to understand popular culture as much more than what Habermas and the Frankfurt School used to say about it and also helps to see the active role people have in the shaping of "their" popular culture. It gives agency to the passive and duped masses Habermas & co. used to warn about (in what turned to be in hindsight a rather obvious try to justify a break between high and low culture under a neo-marxist disguise, but basing it on a complete disregard for the complexities culture comes with… something Gramsci did much better).

    I believe popular culture doesn't need to be number-popular, especially nowadays, but it need to be constructed up to some level by the agency of the people that "consumes" it. Following the previous stuff, I think that it need to be a deconstruction and reconstruction of the cultural products that surround it. If it is just a passive following or consuming, it is more mass than popular-culture. The creation of a community, the analysis or socialization of the implicit texts, etc. is wat distinguishes a trend or a mere fad from a living culture. After all, at the centre of culture is the social codification of meaning, which can only happen, or at least only makes sense, if it has a projection in time and if that projections implies change (language being a good example for this). It is interesting to use Umberto Eco's definition of what makes a cult-text (movie, book, etc.) "cult" and extrapolate it to the previous idea. To Eco, a text ascends to that status when it offers multiple readings that provide satisfaction, engagement and the possibility to explore and build on it for the reader. In the same way; and using Jenkins' idea that fans are not followers of extraordinary texts, but people who do extraordinary reading on ordinary texts; popular culture is all about what we do with stuff (in a way this is just the same as the old-fashioned ideas about folk-culture being the offspring of the people-medium interactions).

    Now, the idea of the fan is particularly important to understand popular culture, since the fan is kind of the "über-popular-cultrural-agent". They are the early adopters, they tend to be the hardcore ones, the more engaged and active and usually the ones that do the bulk of the exploration of cultural products' possibilities. This is not to say that fans are the only actors in popular culture, but unlike "most" people, they tend to percieve themselves as "owners" of their cultural space and it's contents, leading them to confront more often and more openly the staus quo, putting them at he heart of what Gramsci calls the contested space (which I believe is what popular culture is at its heart). Of course, to most people popular culture is much more about cunsumption than action, but it's never 100% one or the other (if not just go and see what happens in the world of sports, its followers and their unmittigated sense of belonging, ownership and agency).

    Uf… sorry if that came up  a bit confusing. I hadn't written about this stuff (I love so much) in a while and wasn't particularly inspired. Also, forgive my errors (I'm not a native english speaker).

    Great topic! Great channel!

    Oh… On this topic I recomend Henry Jenkins' "Convergence Culture" and "Fandom: Identities and communities in a mediated world" edited by Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss and C. Lee Harrington. Also, for those who read Spanish there's the excelent "Fanáticos: la cultura fan", edited by Daniel Aranda, Jordi Sánchez-Navarro and Antoni Roig; and of course you should check out Matt Hills' stuff and John Fiske's much earlier and much more political takes on fandoms and popular culture.

  26. I thought rush would of been a great example for the definition of 2 as they're so popular but are still kind of a cult band

  27. I think popular culture is defined by individual groups. 
    A school can for a period of time be in to pokemon cards or whatever. 
    Love your videos!

  28. What's up with the Marvel hate AGAIN, naming guardians of the galaxy as a typical wannabee popculture movie even though it's pretty original and different and where it not made by Marvel it would have probably put in the "cult" category. Also at every mention of big corporations and lesser art forms a picture of Marvel or the Avengers shows up,why is that ?

  29. Also why would you use Metallica as an example for doing the same thing, these guys are famous for trying different stuff all the times, it's the main reason old fans dislike them. Bad example guys..

  30. Recently I've been thinking about The Simpsons and The Beatles as Cultural Bookmarks: when something it's inside the pop culture we can watch a Simpsons' episode about it or we can see a Beatles' Abeey Road parody about it.

  31. Nit-pic acknowledged, nothing personal, registering an objection. Metallica didn't "do the same thing forever". Granted they're no Maynard James Keenan, and even he has a shtick, which happens to be 'try not to do something different forever'. But, they're no Axle Rose either. There have been several phases in their evolution. I count four of significance. The worst, arguably, was their attempt to redo what made them who they are.


  33. Hello Mike
    I just watched a recent Vlogbrothers video "My face on a bus" were Hank Green talks about how he feels about the new attention that Scishow is getting; Also he states that when youtube, and other media like it, becomes less special when it goes/becomes mainstream, I hope to see a video about it.     

  34. This was a really interesting episode and I went to look up "Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction" and I found out it was a textbook. Not very helpful to a person who wants to read about these ideas independently and non-textbook format. Any suggestions that talk about the same things in that book and episode? 

  35. my miku shield flew to my hand, miku is not only made to look popular, she is popular,and has loads and loads of videos on youtube and nico nico douga. bad example man.

  36. Pay with a tweet is an interesting concept.
    In terms of the value of things in general, if you take the sentimental value it has for you into consideration it's definitely objective and varies from one person to another, for the same object (I love my old GameBoys).
    In terms of the value of social media and how it's affected by time, I for one agree with the comment. If the value depends on the views (the number of people reached by the post) and that this number is at its highest when the post is new, when it's fresh, when it's in your newsfeed, then I believe it's safe to say the value decreases over time. That's if you assume the value depends on the views. I also assume that fewer people will go and check out your old posts, arguably here I'm a bit hypocritical as I am watching all of the Idea Channel episodes starting with the oldest one, so I guess it's fair to say it depends on the social medium (do people do that say on Twitter?).

  37. Fish aren't aware of water.  In the same way, we are not aware of our own culture.  Popular culture is just the part of our culture that most people like.  Go to another region of the world and you will get a whole new popular culture.

  38. I think "Office Hours" would be fantastic (if I ignore the cost of flying out to where you are, and how intimidated I might feel about how much more well-read you are).

    I cannot speak for everyone, but I often feel the need to discuss things with people outside my social circles who also share my interests, which is why I visit forums and dare venture into the comment section of youtube. 😡

    Maybe have your "meet-up" be on a Twitch stream? I feel the chat system would distance you from us, compared to a face-to-face, but sadly, casual virtual reality forums aren't an option yet. 

  39. What is the significance of the record swap? I think ive been silly and ignored the real meat of the public thought section of your videos. Boy do I love some Boards of Canada.

  40. Will there be a point in time when the number of views on a video exceed the number of living people on Earth? Will our current construct of popular culture survive that long?

  41. i PERSONALLY think that like the Metallica reference was a bad one, mostly bc they did grow and change(in the wrong direction) compared to a many a other metal bands who are stagnate. I think it is importatant to move forward and it upsets me when artists do this and they get all this backlash for trying something new, like c'mon atleast they are trying. They the backlash will turn the artist inward and usually they will try to "get back to their roots" which means to me as a playing it safe as a way to please their audience. I think this is the place where mediocrity festers and grows the most.

  42. Damn, talking about King Crimson you made remember something… David Bowie died, now people are going to talk about him even more, making a bunch of people to start listening to him and get hooked on.

    But what will happen when Robert Fripp dies? Since King Crimson was never numerically popular, the only way this will go is less and less people will begin to listen to King Crimson until theyre such a little group… So sad considering the talent the man has and the legacy he has left.

  43. You talked about popularity here completely in terms of admiration. But popularity has to do with interest, not effection. "Hate views" are not only something that happens but happen enough for creators to have it their pitch. While I wouldn't say the TYT falls into this category, they do tap into it as evidenced by the view count on any video that has Trump in the title. Most TYT viewers (myself included) find him at best a 2nd grader's joke and at worst terrifying and appalling. Yet a clip of "what did Trump say this time" will get more views than anything else that week.

  44. For me it just seemed like a meshing of mass media/culture (corporate products for large populations) and local "folk" culture (how YOU and your local friends/community interact with both corporate made product). Meaningfully I think pop culture can only be mass markets oriented products because though people can use means of mass communication and shape an entire culture, means of mass communication by people is often made in a niche mindset. (I.e, to communicate to THEIR audience)

    To encapsulate everyone's "popular" culture you're more describing "normal" people's communications and micro cultures. In this sense normal means middle class white that's consistently more progressive and diversity accepting as the years pass by. (Younger people are more open minded.) Of course different people exist with different normals. A black community will consistently have a different popular culture, with varying disconnectedness and similarities commercially to the white's idea of "popular" culture.

    Just an idea though I do think I posited my idea to inevitably suggest that only "white" culture (with it's varying degrees of accepting minorities) is accepted as pop culture with a possible exception to the "post modern" culture

  45. 4:05 Since when does something have to ubiquitous to be 'folkey'. Keeping in mind that nothing has been ubiquitous in the anywhere in the ever.

  46. I always referred to pop culture as forms of media that are popular such as television, movies internet videos, music, comics, etc. so I think even if a particular show or movie isn't popular within itself, it is still a part of popular culture…ya feel me?

  47. Popculture is the culture of the people, aka, not of the elite; it should have nothing to do with popularity, which tells about the amount of people it attracts. But. We kinda twisted the meaning.

  48. 7:03
    "We don't want to be like Metallica, and just do the same thing forever," he says, while playing a clip from the Black Album–which was a complete departure from what they'd done previously–in the background.

  49. Your videos are like really well done research/analysis papers, but more impressive because they're performed.

  50. What do you think about ‘Indie Pop’ as a genre? Because, it seems like an oxymoron, but I suppose it would qualify as media that imitates Pop-culture (even though it hardly ever resembles anything that’s actually been on the radio).

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