I must apologize to my readers. I have been a bad blogger. I know that you have been hanging on the edge of your seat awaiting my blogging return. I am that important to your world. You have missed me. Okay, maybe that is a little dramatic but you could humor me a little. A lot has happened in the last couple months, and I won’t bore you with all the details, but here is a brief synopsis:
Had an Upper Respiratory Infection, got a promotion, went to trainings, watched a lot of The Walking Dead, read 10 or so book, slept (not enough), played hockey, nieces had volleyball, went to a couple movies, went to a couple plays, husband had softball, caught up on the current season of Arrow, played with dogs. You get the picture.
So enough about that, here is the real blog post…..
One of my favorite podcasts is The Pop Culture Happy Hour. It is a weekly podcast that is brought to you by the good people at NPR. On a recent episode, the discussion was about anniversary re-releases of various pop culture items. For example: recently it was the 30th anniversary of the release of The Breakfast Club. What I took away from the podcast was that these anniversaries cause us to take a look at things that were influential to us when we were younger.
Listening to the discussion about this topic kind of took me down the rabbit hole thinking about pop culture topics. One of the points made (and this is not the first time that I have heard this brought up this year) is that we are currently 30 years in the future of when the “modern” times of Back to the Future was set. If that makes no sense and you have not heard this discussion, let me clarify. In the first Back to the Future- Marty goes back 30 years to the time when his parents met (1955). At that time this seemed a million years in the past. In Back to the Future 2- Marty goes 30 years into his real future or 2015. (Anyone confused?)
So I started thinking about that concept. Does 1985 seem like it was so incredibly long ago to my nieces now, as 1955 seemed to me then? And why doesn’t 1985 seem so incredibly long ago to me now? I know that this is all a bit timey-whimey. Does the current generation of teenagers have 80’s themed parties or homecoming days and think that it is so old school? Has crimped hair, neon, side pony tails & plastic bangle bracelets become the new poodle skirt?
One of the points made on the podcast was that the pop culture events that occur during our early teen years seem to have the most lasting influence on us years later. I find that somewhat true for movies. Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller are still among my favorites to this day. But looking at this list, maybe it was just John Hughes that had an influence on me… I can’t say the same for music. Sure I still enjoy listening to the 80’s channel on occasion, but I can’t say that I am stuck on that music.
The other point that I grasped on to as I was going further down the rabbit hole, was at what point do you become too old to be in the know of what is hot? I have always liked to think of myself as being “in the know” on pop culture. But in recent years, I am losing that more and more. I am busier with work and other life stuff, so some of that is natural. The increase in the amount of media is another factor. We had 60 channels when I was in high school. I currently have well over 200. The internet barely existed, let alone in the palm of my hand on my phone. There was no iPods or satellite radio. In Northern CA, we were always a month behind truly new music. We were limited to what the local top 40 radio played. Unless we had a cool cousin that lived in Southern CA and shared their latest find. What I would have given to have an alternative radio station growing up… So basically, I simply cannot ingest all of the pop culture that is out there anymore.
I read Entertainment Weekly and People. I listen to satellite radio’s college radio station. I flip through Buzzfeed fairly regularly. But I simply can’t keep up. And I have to accept that I am just old. Knowing that True Detective is cool. I am in on this. But naming all the members of One Direction does have the same importance to me that knowing who Joey, Donnie, Jordan, Jonathan & Danny are, once did. At one point, I would have been devastated not to be the one who didn’t watch Orphan Black. But I am okay with it.
I am still pretty cool. I have read books by Rainbow Rowell. I know that Daryl Dixon will kick your ass. I can tell the difference between an Ariana Grande song and one by Iggy Azalea. (To clarify-that doesn’t mean that I necessarily like their music, I can just differentiate them). But I also still buy CD’s on occasion. The Lost Boys soundtrack is still amazing to me. I will still watch Friends reruns on regular TV, not Netflix. I still quote lines from Heathers or Sixteen Candles. And I am perfectly okay with this.
So this is not only my chronological middle age, but my pop culture middle age. I am in PC Limbo. I will never understand every meme created. But I certainly know enough to recognize that the Jem & the Holograms cartoon from back in the day is way cooler than the live action movie coming out. At least in my memories it is.
And I know that Abe Froman will always be the Sausage King of Chicago.