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Pop Culture and the Media

By KJ Mullins     Jun 8, 2007 in Lifestyle
Pop culture gets a bad rap in journalism. It's the "easy" way out. Write about the current celeb and you're sure to get hits. The media frenzy this week with Paris has proven that. "True" journalists scoff at the notion that celebs are news worthy.
Yet pop culture defines us. All of us to some degree. There are those who reject the culture of today.
Hippies did it in the late 60's and early 70's. They rejected all that was part of their parents norms.
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But then again, they were following the trends and the stars of the time. John said give peace a chance and others followed.
The masses were captivated by the words and music of the era. The stars led, the disenchanted followed. Their parents had Elvis who's hips caused ramblings of the evils of youth. Before that the movies were the pop culture. The past centuries biggest fads were all part of it.
I remember when I was in my early twenties and River Phoenix died in front of Johnny Depp's Viper Room. Before he was known as an actor that took challenging roles he was a pinup boy. Pop culture at it's finest.
Even if you don't want to admit it, I am sure that most women in their forties today had a few Tiger Beats under their beds. Savoring the little fake tidbits of the favorite of that week.
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When there is a landslide of bad behaviours among the celebs we scorn the writers that type out a hourly account of the misdeeds. Who is sleeping with whom. Who ate like a pig, who didn't eat more than a twig. It's the fluff of the news. But somewhere, deep down there is something more. Eating disorders became big news when Karen Carpenter collapsed and died from anorexia. It became alright to question if the girl beside you in the lunchroom may have a problem.
When Rock Hudson announced he was not only gay but was dying of AIDS the public listened. AIDS research became something that was needed.
Michael J. Fox's illness brought gene research out in the open.
The fluff of the day is the big news of tomorrow.
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With all the insanity surrounding Paris the state of short term prison sentences may finally be addressed. Mental health issues may have a deeper meaning in later years concerning where an offender is housed for their crimes.
Like it or not, the fluff has value. Kids learn more about morals from the front covers of the rags at times than from the nonexistent family dinner hour.
We are pop culture. Global warming to Paris crying. It's all media.
In that fluff lays the next story. It's up to the reporters of the world to find it, cultivate it and bring attention to it.
Are you up for that challenge?
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