So I've been reading a lot of Chuck Klosterman who writes in this all out style, seemingly unedited for wordiness, sentence structure, style, etc. (quite the difference from the sentence correction studying I'm doing for GMAT. Fucking modifiers - those little buggers are really hanging me up). But it's amazing how we can elevate all the seemingly pointless TV shows, music, movies, all those elements of pop culture which we might consider as indicators of a declining society as meaning less about the content itself and more about who we are and why, for whatever reason, we love such inane crap.
For instance, Paris Hilton. EVERYONE dislikes her (Not hate, because that's a word we'd reserve for Al Qaeda or Pat Buchanan). She's described as vapid, shallow, whiny, and she's become this incredible scapegoat to unlodge all our unhappy annoyances with modern society.
But as I mentioned before, it's not really "her" we dislike, but those qualities we associate with her. We don't know the "real" Paris Hilton - we get TV glimpses and AMAZING Carl's Jr commercials showing off her 2%-body-fat-possibly-anorexic-body in a bikini - but very few people "know" her. It's the "idea" of her, of what she represents, that gets everyone's blood boiling. She's essentially that super hot, super bitchy cheerleader in high school whom every guy wanted to bone, in the context that the entire US is sometimes one giant high school. And so it was brilliant when she actually released a music video playing that role (see here).
So maybe what I'm saying is simple more anthropological in that what becomes popular or hated or spread or talked about reveals less about that thing which is popular/hated/spread/talked about and more about what we, as a people, deeply care about. The tricky part, of course, is: what do we care about? and how can we make some money off it?
Well, more importantly, what does it mean to all of us?