This is actually the last column of the year, so I guess you can say I have the last word, or I guess I could say. My goal this past quarter has been to provide my readers with valuable insight into the things we find entertaining. I’ve always believed pop culture can be talked about in a smart way because the things that we use to entertain ourselves often reveal something important about our society.
Because there are just so many things that I didn’t have a chance to cover, I wanted to use this last column as an opportunity to provide some tips, and tell you what to care about and look out for in your dealings with pop culture in the future.
You should care about the representation of women in popular culture. Don’t laugh at thoughtless, dumb sexist jokes; instead, point out stereotyped roles that women play in commercials to your relatives. Don’t be on #teambreezy; don’t buy his albums and try as best you can not to dance to his songs.
You should watch premium cable TV shows because they are becoming better story-telling mediums than movies. People now talk about television shows the same way we talk about books, and though this may sound like a bad thing, it really isn’t. These shows are rich in plot and character and provide for deep, multifaceted stories that make our minds work. We simply need more than two hours to develop these complex characters and form relationships with them. We’re not replacing books; we’re replacing TV shows like “Miami 5-0” and movies like Man on a Ledge. Have a three-hour conversation about the season four finale of “Breaking Bad” and you’ll understand. It’s not a coincidence that the best four television shows of all time have come out in the last 10 years. Get on this, now. Go.
You shouldn’t knock something just because it’s popular. Popular things are popular because people really enjoy them. You’re actually the minority. Ease up. If you’re worried about ruining your rep by listening to Katy Perry, then your rep isn’t very stable in the first place. “Swing” by Savage is the seventh most-played song on my iTunes.
Give other music genres a chance. Everyone has their preference, but I promise your ears can handle diversity. Don’t be the person at the party who has never heard the rap song because you’ve been too busy downloading indie folk-rock. That doesn’t make you cool or hip, it makes you one-dimensional. You won’t meet a successful indie music writer who can’t break down all of Drake’s Take Care.
Respect DJing as an art form. You wouldn’t ask Rembrandt to paint a Jackson Pollack; stop asking the DJ to play a different song. Don’t complain or ask for something else; simply nod your head, shuffle your feet and hope there’s some artistic statement being made.
Don’t be Republican on social media. It looks weird.
You should care about and read content on the internet. This Web of ours contains some of the best writing man has ever produced. And it keeps on coming. Every day when you wake up there are 30 new articles talking about exactly your interest, whatever that may be. Please find blogs and sites that write about the things you care about. I promise they are out there. There are people like me who want to compare Don Draper to Lil Wayne and this just isn’t possible if you guys only read the Yahoo! stories about the “10 best places to live if you have allergies.”
Stop complaining about reality television and enjoy it. There’s never been a show more about escapism than “Teen Mom.” Don’t waste your time criticizing something that’s so clearly meant to be criticized. Enjoy the absurdity.
A song enters a state of staleness for about 4-5 years after it becomes popular. At a certain point it becomes cool to play that song again. Right now, I’m getting back into the Justified album.
I can’t believe I have to say this, but stop posting the Gotye video. Try as hard as you can never to wear sandals. You can’t say swag ever again. Don’t brag about unpaid internships and better yet, don’t take unpaid internships. Get a Twitter. Stop referring to yourself as a foodie. Santa Fe chicken salad till I die. Oscar Wilde once said, “You can never be overdressed or over educated.” Don’t ever accidentally sit in the wrong seat at a sporting event. Don’t do the wave at a sporting event. Vote for stem cell research.
If you want more ANDY VERDEROSA you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at @andyverderosa, andyverderosa.tumblr.com and andyverderosa.wordpress.com. Get at ur boy.