I’m in a class “other” when it comes to following trends. I tend to dislike popular culture and media on the general principle that if everyone likes it, I won’t. Ok, I’m a snob. I can live with that, happily, in my cave.
I choose to not partake in media frenzies, and am often out of the know when it comes to Media Queen names and faces. I have no idea who these people are, why they’re in rehab, or why anyone cares. It takes a couple of weeks of studying the covers at the supermarket checkout to be able to identify faces, and the occasional dip into NPR keeps me abreast of what “1.5 million Facebook users” clicked “like” on. I can now, at a glance, identify Lindsay Lohan in any of her drugged out stupefied states.
The opposing side of this quirk is that I take great umbrage to finding my faves on magazine covers. Bon Iver was on the cover of Whatsit Magazine. Piss. Oh well. Good for him. I suppose that an artist’s splash into popular media usually signifies to me the start of a downward spiral into being paid too much money, having too much of the world at one’s fingertips, and no longer struggling to render the inner fire into wonderful art. They’ve “made it”, and from that pinnacle there’s nothing new and nothing more to strive for. Somehow it’s a rejection, and I no longer feel part of that artist’s audience.
However, sometimes that’s not true. I love the authors and artists who can remain true despite their popularity. I’m interested in how bestselling authors and media stars can shuck the outer hull of popularity to still produce meaningful works. Christian Bale only takes jobs that are artistically important to him. Additionally, he does not sell his image into the media franchise, which is why you don’t see his face in the Batman movie posters.
I am not a George R. R. Martin fan, and less a fan of HBO’s typical gory violent scenery. I don’t appreciate being categorized. Just because I like A doesn’t mean that I like B. I’m annoyed with the Geek as Pop Culture Icon. I don’t like Dr. Who or Firefly. I don’t like The Wheel of Time, etc. I have read or watched these and they’re not for me. However, I am wildly glad that the Song of Ice and Fire got picked up for Screen-dom. It opens up the opportunity for the publishing industry to pay more attention to this genre.
I guess overall I’m just generally dismissive of popular culture. I think “It” misses the real gems, and doesn’t give appreciation where it is deserved. Why has Iain M. Banks never been honored with a Hugo? Why are Steven Brust’s Jhereg series not tagged for the silver screen? But I suppose everyone feels this way.
Being not often part of the crowd, I relish the opportunity to be part of it when the crowd’s focus of anticipation is relevant to me. Jessi and I watched many of the Midnight Harry Potter releases. I have stayed up until 12:01 am in order to download the latest Linnea Sinclair. With the upcoming release of Ghost Story, Duncan has politely allowed me to drag him all over town trying to find an irreverent bookseller dismissive of the Strict on Sale date.
I guess I’ll have to wait until tomorrow.