Is Pop Culture Actually Good for You?
Pop culture has been thought to be the cause of social decline amongst humans for many years. But do we really have the right to blame anyone but ourselves? Pop culture may provide violent videogames and inappropriate television shows, but we as human beings make our own choices and should not be influenced by mere fantasy. Pop culture can actually provide American’s with beneficial results through depicting American culture, intellectual programs, and cognitive videogames.
Many parents control what their children watch on television, tending to block programs that are inappropriate and disturbing to the child. But do these parents bother to educate themselves on the background of these “inappropriate” shows? I know that when I was a child my mother had just about every show on Adult Swim blocked because of vulgar language and hurtful jokes. For example, Family Guy’s humor could be constructed as offensive (Peacocke, 306) but its intentions are much more beneficial. Antonia Peacocke states “but those who pay more attention and think about the creators’ intentions can see that Family Guy intelligently satirizes some aspects of American culture”. Family Guy created a skit to emphasize how American’s have a tendency to follow in celebrity footsteps, accurately describing the present teen culture of our society. Also, Family Guy provides historical information through what some might consider offensive. A skit that was created to denounce and ridicule sexism during the 1950’s rather than condone it (Peacocke, 305) has caused many to overlook the history aspect and focus on the offensive joke. Many are unable to think more logically and open-minded about television shows such as Family Guy, which creates a bad name for television shows that take the same outlook as Family Guy.
Because there is a staggering amount of violent, grotesque, and gory television shows out there, many people tend to denounce the intellectual mind stimulating programs that also exist on television. Fusing comedy with news created shows like The Daily Show where people receive their news and informing facts from a comedian (Zinser, 363). Many people believe that news should be real and serious, not formed into entertaining jokes. But the purpose of this “funny news” is to keep viewers entertained and informed. According to Baum, “regular viewers of fake news programming are more aware of foreign affairs than those that don’t watch such programming.” The Daily Show provides American’s with a more attractive way to obtain worldly news. Along with amusing presentation of serious stories, The Daily Show is able to humanize them, providing more than just facts but also multiple perspectives on each topic (Zinser, 373).
One of the most controversial forms of pop culture is videogames. Although not all videogames are socially inappropriate, those that contain blood and guts has given all the others a bad rep. Yes, some games provide nothing but violence and anger. But have you ever noticed yourself thinking about different strategies to obtain the main goal of the game? Videogames that focus more on a person’s cognitive ability allow creative thinking and a wider range of narrative variability (Bissell, 355). In the videogame Fallout 3, a player creates his or her character to be intellectual, strong, or charismatic. This selection differs from the usual videogame choices of weapons and cars. Fallout 3 requires a player to take a ten question aptitude test in order to customize their character indirectly giving real life scenarios. This form of character design provides the most streamlined, narratively economical and interactive videogame yet (Bissell, 357).
Pop culture will most likely remain a controversial subject for as long as I live, but hopefully we as human beings evolve to a more open-minded and self determined race. Not all offensive television shows are aiming to come across as strictly...
Cited: Bissell, Tom. "Is Pop Culture Actually Good For You." They Say/ I Say. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. 349-362. Print.
Peacocke, Antonia . "Is Pop Culture Actually Good For You." They Say/ I Say. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. 299-311. Print.
Zinser, Jason. "Is Pop Culture Actually Good For You." They Say/ I Say. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. 363-379. Print.
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