Pop culture ‘n’ all that

It has been brought to my attention (by those who know much more about it than I do) that I am misusing the term ‘popular culture’ to describe some of the posts on my blog.

I have, it seems, swept into this category those topics that reflect our current culture, without considering trendiness or mass appeal. If popular culture is strictly that which feeds into widespread fads and fashion, most of my posts lack the necessary ingredients. The closest alternative I’ve come up with is ‘contemporary culture,’ which I’ve rejected as bland and generic.

The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English defines pop culture as “commercial culture based on popular taste.” More to the point, the Berkeley English Department says that “popular culture is undeniably associated with commercial culture and all its trappings: movies, television, radio, cyberspace, advertising, toys, nearly any commodity available for purchase, many forms of art, photography, games, and even group ‘experiences’ like collective comet-watching or rave dancing on ecstasy.”

While I am admittedly and with impunity taking liberties with the term, I will continue to toss popular culture into the same pot with what is merely contemporary culture and label it as the same dish.

Anyone really familiar with the cuisine will immediately grasp that this is a transparent admission of my own ignorance.

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