And so can you!
pop goes the culture
I have one formal job at the Carillon. It’s something that I think I do quite well and, believe it or not, in no way involves writing. I write these articles simply for the love of writing. I like putting pen to paper, or, in this case, inputs into a keyboard that are broken down into binary commands in a computer that represent characters of text in a word processor.
Instead of resurrecting my old column “I’m Not Angry” this publishing year, I opted to write a more congenial column (with a delicious pun for a title) exploring all things popular culture. Though often full of vapidity and arrogance, sometimes popular culture can be a force for good, or at the very least, moral ambiguity.
Every week, I task it upon myself to analyze, in a sometimes humorous, sometimes serious way, the most pressing or relevant pop culture issue as I see it, and do so by 12:00 noon on Monday.
“Cool,” so sayeth you that may or may not be reading this article. “Are you arriving at a point in the near future?”
“Well,” say I, appearing beside you like a goddamn shape shifter, “I’m a little embarrassed to report that I just don’t have an article this issue.”
“What do you mean?” my editor asked when I informed him of the news.
“Sorry mate,” I shrug. “Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention this week.”
“Well,” he says in a panic, “write about Jian Ghomeshi!”
“I could,” I respond, stroking my Van Dyke thoughtfully. “I’m sick of Ghomeshi, though. I mean, he was a pop culture hero across the country, and in the span of a week, he self-destructed magnificently. I’m also sick of the speculation about sexual abuse. Whether or not he did it or not is getting lost in the muddled voices of men’s rights activists and victim blamers yelling about it on the Internet.”
“Okay,” my editor says, taking a controlled breath. “Talk about Gamergate.”
“Same deal,” I say, shaking my head. “Not being a female, I think some people may ask me to check my privilege regarding the issues about being a female in this day and age.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well,” I elaborate, “I consider myself a rare type of man for this time period, in that I’m not a total piece of shit. I’ve never hit or sexually abused a woman, I think that females are equally as important and valuable as males, and I’m generally respectful. Ergo, I can’t write about that issue from either side of the coin.”
“What about Nicki Minaj?” my editor pleads with me.
“Nicki Minazi?” I ask. “I think it would be hard to write a 500-word article when you can just say ‘Nazi imagery is a really bad idea in 2014.’”
“Now you’re just being fucking difficult,” my editor told me. “Just write a story.”
“That’s the worst idea you’ve had,” I say. “A story is what hacks write when they can’t think of anything to fill out their section. I’d rather not write a thing than a story.”
Oh well. I guess there’s always next week.