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This Week in Elitism: The End of an Era, My PCA is Middled-Aged

Pop culture awareness is a waxing and waning knowledge. As a young child, you're well-versed in the latest "educational" cartoon phenomenon, but little else. You slowly progress to liking the oldies that your parents choose for you. I was introduced to Elvis Costello and InXS at a very early age, and to such a frequent rotation that I can say every lyric to some songs I swear I've never heard before. In middle school, you gradually acclimate to Top 40 pop music and maybe even pick up that year's dance faze and perform it, with your friends, at school talent shows. In high school there's a learning curve for the period of transition into music genres. The jocks may take up jock rock and house mix music as their own, the band and theater kids know their showtunes, and the AV club finds the best indie tunes first. As a nerd, I basically had no idea what was happening; but, and I don't completely regret to admit it, I was a fan of Jewel. Her lyrics tapped right into my hopefully optimistic (about leaving high school and never returning) attitude. In college, I started with a mix that included some Shania Twain, gradually learned better, and finally settled on a slightly alternative/indie mix, with some world and classical artists to spice things up.

As I sat down to map out ideas for this post, I realize something so frightening it was funny; so previously apochryful it made me burst out laughing; so endemic of my current place in the pop culture community that I decided to post it for discussion. It's this: I've grown out of, or away from, the youth-obsessed pop culture that I loved so just 6 months ago. I've transitioned to a boring adult. Basically, I've developed the PCA of my mom, and this is why...

My current favorites:
The New Yorker
The New York Times
CNN
NPR
...and maybe, if I have time, I might read Domino, a monthly interior design magazine.
I've even, for shame, read Martha Stewart Living, O, and Everyday with Rachael Ray at the gym, to get helpful tips and recipes!

Honestly? How did I let myself sink so low? I have no idea what's popular on the music charts, which of my past favorite bands is releasing new music, or which lead singer is checking into rehab. I might be the person to ask if you're interested in what's playing at the Metropolitan Opera House and if you need someone to name every single on-air personality of "All Things Considered." Useful and fun skills, to be sure.

My question for you...
Is there hope for me? Or have a entered a new level of PCA from which I can never return?
Should I give in and buy a Volvo and start doing pilates (and prepare to drive my future 1.5 children to soccer)?

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  1. Blogger qualler | 11:44 AM |  

    Personally, I think there's room for the "boring" stuff and the cool stuff if you let yourself find what's great. I also listen to NPR/Minnesota Public Radio as my first radio station of choice these days, but I don't let that stop me from also checking out what's new in good music with Radio K, Pitchfork, etc. I definitely know more about more music now than I did when I was in high school and did wild things like buy a CD by Pavement (the same day that I also buy a Red Hot Chili Peppers CD.) (Hey, remember CDs?)

    I probably went through all of those stages you speak of at earlier times in my life (and not in a good way!) which accounts for my now embarrassing childhood obsessions with Mariah Carey, Paula Abdul, and The Bodyguard soundtrack.

    p.s. Have you seen the show on Sundance called Spectacle, hosted by Elvis Costello, where he interviews other pretentious old guys like Lou Reed, then plays songs with them? It's great!

  2. Blogger Sean | 12:05 PM |  

    yeah, i feel this way sometimes when i listen to the radio stations and i hear a bunch of bands i never knew about. but then i realize these bands are terrible and rock attained perfection in 1997, so who gives a shit?

    they're all copycats and posers anyway..

  3. Blogger nicole | 12:53 PM |  

    I found something I'm excited about this morning, but it was too late to blog about it: Clint Eastwood is in a new movie called Gran Torino, about a dissatisfied auto worker in Detroit who accidentally befriends a group of Hmong immigrants. It's exactly the kind of film I'd love;) Maybe my problem is I'm just weird (and I had adult-onset ADHD, which prevents me from enjoying series television). But I also bought the new People magazine this morning, so I still have a desire to know what's going on in celebrity gossip. Whew, right?

  4. Blogger qualler | 1:00 PM |  

    1997, Sean? Really? The year of the "electronica" movement?? All copycats and posers??? Who ARE you???????

    Gran Torino looks like it could be good, although I'd probably rather watch a documentary about a dissatisfied auto worker in Detroit who accidentally befriends a group of Hmong immigrants. Maybe I'm old and lame, too.

  5. Blogger chris | 5:08 PM |  

    Sean is the greatest blog troll that ever blog trolled. Because he does it with heart.

  6. Blogger Sean | 6:06 PM |  

    YOU'RE THE TROLL!

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