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Music Savaged By The Average Beast

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for July 9, 2003

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Tuned Out, Part One
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Altrok readers, meet Laura, a twenty-something graduate student in library school who confessed to Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love that she had no idea what was going on, pop culture-wise. In a time when the newest-hippest-hottest-coolest fails to knock before it barges into our mass consciousness, well-mannered Uncool is an interesting phenomenon.
Laura: I am the girl who never knows who the hell the latest band is until they have reached the phase where everyone is saying, "They were SO 2002," and have become so sick of hearing them pumped out of the TV, radio, and mall sound systems that the music just sounds plain ol' lame. That's usually when I discover them and think, "this new band is awesome!" and make my friends shake their heads in pity for my cluelessness. I am the girl who sees about 2 movies a year - usually when I go home to visit the 'rents and need to get out of the house. And I am the one with no television, who hears about the cool shows (such as Sex & the City, or Coupling) from my friends after the first season is already over ... and they have to invite me over to watch once I do become hooked on it.
My only saving grace - the one thing that keeps me from become that curmudgeon who pokes my stick at everyone who passes by - is that I am a big reader and observer of the book world. I usually know what's new, who's written what, what it's about, and which books I ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE to gather dust on my shelves (because I'm too busy with school to read for fun much right now).
Altrok: So it's safe to say even your books endure a careful aging and curing process. What about the big pop culture literature that everyone goes bananas over and forgets a minute later?
Laura: I don't tend to read the new pop culture books by authors like Franzen, Coupland and that Bridget Jones creator, Fielding. For some reason - in the literary world - pop culture approval smacks of pedestrianness in my eyes. While I would probably enjoy the book, I don't get around to it for many years, due to my hesitancy to jump on the popular bandwagon (tangent No. 1 brought to you by Colgate - the brand most often recommended by dentists). And no - it's not that I think I'm a smarty-pants or one of the cultural elite - it's just that there is so much worthless cultural noise out there that I feel helpless to differentiate, and so often leisurely approach new things. If it takes a year or two before I find The Newest Thing, so be it.
Altrok: Were this a real interview - which it's not because Your Delight is in no way a journalist - we might be forced to observe that your missing out on pop culture currency sounds like a fairly recent development in your life, a change.
Laura: I wasn't always a pop culture misser-outer - I used to buy all the new albums when they came out, and watch all the hip sitcoms and see at least a movie a month. I did have some misser-out tendencies, however, as I never watched the Brady Bunch as a child, (did not see my first episode of this until I was in college!) Beverly Hills 90210, (think I saw 2 episodes) or Melrose Place (some friends were telling me the plot lines last week and I thought it sounded like one big silly soap opera ... which for some reason I respect it less for. If you are a soap opera and bill yourself as one, at least there is some dignity in that ... but to bill yourself as a sitcom and be drivel worse than the worst of it ... well ... that is just plain diabolical) ...wha? Did I go off on a tangent here again (brought to you by Perdue Farms - Quality Poultry since 1920)? Oh. Sorry.
Altrok: Dahhhhhhhhling, you cause the head to spin, but in a most charming way. We'll pick this up next time, when we have a look at functioning day-to-day in the po-mo world. Until then, Altrok readers: dream in color.

©2003 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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