Blog Post 1
September 14, 2016
For my happy hour, I was to listen to a segment from Pop Culture Happy Hour, about breaking out of a cultural rut. Although it was not defined, after listening to this podcast, I was able to decide that a cultural rut was instead of trying new music, shows, movies, etc. you go with what you know, what is comfortable. It’s important to break out of a cultural rut because if you are stuck in one, you limit yourself and will never be willing to experience anything different that culture has to offer. I’m not going to lie; I have been in a rut before. I find myself not in the mood to start a new series, or a show outside of my comfort zone. Which is probably why I’ve seen the series One Tree Hill close to 4 times. I think the main reason I have been in a rut is because I’m not in the mood to try something new. When someone tells me to try a television show, I feel like when I watch it I have a “getting it over with” type of mentality. What this podcast has taught me is that you should be a cultural tourist and although you may have an open mind, your pre conceptions may try to take over your train of thought. You have to consciously go outside of your comfort zone, but don’t be discourage if you don’t like what you try.
No matter how hard I try, I just can’t get myself to enjoy country music, so for this blog post I decided to listen to three songs from Blake Shelton’s album “If I’m Honest.” The three songs I listened to were “She’s Got A Way With Words,” “Sangria,” and “Came Here to Forget.” Although I viewed these songs on Spotify, you can check them out, as well as other songs from his album here on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkdFDGWHa3o&list=PLNvTFutp30COytlQm9wPeeM-dDCXrCGzh. I’ve tried many of times to enjoy country music, but I can’t tell what it is about it that bothers me so much. Is it the accent? The instruments? The constant singing about emotion and love? Regardless, this blog post gave me the opportunity to sit down and listen to some hard core country music. Blake Shelton is a very famous country artist and country music fans tend to love his work, so I chose him to catch my first glimpse at country music.
The very first song I listened to made me very impatient and I couldn’t wait for the song to be over. Then my friend, who happens to enjoy country music, told me I needed to listen to at least two more songs to really give the music a chance. Though the music grew on me as each song played on, I still feel the same dislike for country music as I did before. Maybe I need to try another country artist, but for now, Blake Shelton will not continue to be played from my iPod. However, this experience showed me that if I give a different types of pop culture, something out of my comfort zone, a chance, there is a possibility that I could enjoy it.
After reading A Theory of Mass Culture by Dwight MacDonald, I began to understand what differentiated the ideas of mass culture from the ideas of high culture. This article used cinema as an example. They explained how movies are made for the masses, while plays and shows are made for high culture. Using the articles ideas to compare to country music, I believe that country music is more mass culture than it is high culture. Mass culture is less sophisticated than high culture. People enjoy mass culture more because it involves less thinking and it is easier to understand. A majority of the topics covered in country music and the language used in country songs is comparable to mass culture, rather than high culture. Also, high culture is considered elite, while country music on the other hand is considered the opposite of elite. Country music appeals to such a large audience of people, and although not everyone enjoys it (myself included), it was exciting to break out of my comfort zone and try a new genre of music.
Macdonald, D. “A Theory of Mass Culture.” Diogenes 1.3 (1953): 1-1