Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pop Culture

"Pop culture’s assault on beauty is too wide-ranging to elucidate here. “Pop” may be “popular” abbreviated, but it also calls to mind brands like Coke and Pepsi—producers of something fizzy, sweet, briefly stimulating, and rotten in the long-term. Pop culture is junk culture. Its invitation is not to “savor life” but rather to exploit it for the sake of instant gratification. It is designed, manufactured and marketed to be consumed and thrown away."

The whole essay is fabulous, and much deeper than this quote. I just like the way the author links junk food to pop-culture. You can read the whole thing here.

Before you click on that link, here ia another quote from the article and an observation.

"When I attend evening mass on Sunday, the music is often a watered-down version of folk rock. It’s John Denver 1ite, which wouldn’t seem possible but there it is. Pastors and youth ministers, understandably eager to entice teenagers to church, pander to what they perceive as the “taste” of the younger generation....The folksy liturgy is supposed to appeal to the younger generation. It’s supposed to make the mass “more accessible.” This is condescending to kids who know better. Recall that the only people who stopped to listen to Joshua Bell play classical music [in the subway during rush hour] were under the age of ten, and then ask yourself who has the more sophisticated taste. Going to church must offer us something that we do not get from the wider culture or else what’s the point? It’s the sacred liturgy. Treating it as a diluted rock concert is silly, for the simple reason that somewhere else in town (or even at home on a pair of headphones) any kid can experience a better rock concert."

For a brief time I was the leader of a small group at PBCC (Wow! That is is really hard to imagine.) and I took my group of people, all in their 20s to visit an enormous youth group (500 to 600 teenagers) in Santa Cruz one night. There was a band leading the congregation in the expected Christian rock songs. But hardly anyone was singing along, many talking with each other and flirting (For the record, I am in favor of teenagers flirting in church. It is the safest and best place for it.) Just before the preacher stood up they sang a 1200 year old Orthodox hymn. For that song - beautiful, slow and without instrumentation - everyone paid attention, and sang solemnly and thunderously.


Anonymous said... i don't agree with you on
the music.not every one wants a really slow song or out dated music
not saying that that music was not god inspired or cant be moving but..some times we want to jump up and down.

Matt said...

Anonymous, you write like we know each other well. Are you one of my cousins?