Latin: /'vɒks pɒpjʉliː/ VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Pop Culture and the Middle Mind" by M Goldsmid

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. "Doctor, it's too late."

Culture is dead, and pop culture and consumerism have risen from the ashes like the twin, slack-jawed, drooling phoenixes of shallow desires and pretention. Desire? The word itself means nothing anymore, like similar things it is now nothing but hollow fakery, manipulated into a marketable product. So-called "modern culture" is mostly mindless content, and not culture in any real sense of the word. We are fed the monotonous drivel of our own disenchantment and ennui, thus, we no longer think. So, how is it that we were bled of meaning, of emotional substance, and reduced to the gratuitous emptiness of a deflated, wretched middle-mind?

We are beset by images and ideals created out of corporate ambition and representing greed, sexual or otherwise. We are deviously manoeuvred into a sense of incompleteness and lack, when really what we lack is any sense of real meaning or value. This is achieved via the flashing screens of cell phones, televisions and computers that blast mindless, manipulative drivel at us with an incessant fervour. And so, we are unwittingly drawn into it, becoming fools of our own ambition, willing participants in our own slavery. We pathetically attempt to adopt many of the characteristics and expectations that are projected onto us, and we lose our sense of self. All the while, the vapid nattering of cell phone conversation and the mindless chirps of Twitter blur the distinction betweent he real and the virtual, and human communication is degraded into a jumble of weakn contractions and asanine repetition. FYI, like OMG.

We don't know where we are or where we're going, what we should feel or think. This is precisely because all these things have been imposed on us. Far from the blunt authoritariansim of bygone eras, the fascism of the modern age is far subtler, and in a different, insidious way just as damaging. Before we were confined by values and ideals that at least served some purpose, however narrow that might have been. In the modern age the deathly face of apathy and dissolution screams at us behind every beaming, trashy romantic comedy and shallow spoof, behind every slavishly worshipped pop goddess. We are imprisoned by our own lack of originality.

This manifests in how we desperately adopt any semblance of pop culture and ego-material. We are walking advertisements for companies and conglomerates that have nothing to do with us and we perceive ourselves as validated by their labels. What is more, we define our sense of self in relation to the rest of the world by these things. Under the guise of individualism and expressionwe conform to social stereotypes that are ultimately irrelevant, incorrect and often harmful. The same trend can be continued into music and language. The middle-mind has infected almost every area of life, and only a few alert critics are aware of it - or aware at all.

And so, we are stranded in a technocratic cultural wasteland while the ghoulish faces of vacuous and plasticised pop icons and ghastly Hollywood creations stare us into a corner of morbid isolation. We have the illusion of being in control of our lives, but are at a psychic level, lost, aneasthetized and helpless. We are lethargic, dispassionate and willingly so -blinded by our own idiocy and every stereo is blasting the imbecilic, thumping sound of our own damnation.

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