The Pop Culture Explosion

There was a time, not so very long ago, when it was possible, even easy, to be conversant in the language of popular culture without a great deal of effort. There was a lot out there, sure, but most Americans could keep up with the steady stream of hit movies, recordings, and books deemed to be the foundation of modern life. “But that foundation is buckling under the sheer weight of all the things that now qualify as pop culture — and all the new technologies that deliver them to finely calibrated consumer niches. Today the national water cooler bubbles with competing monologues rather than inclusive dialogues… The proliferation has been so fast and so dizzying that even people who study popular culture for a living find it hard to keep up.”