Sample Popular Culture Essay

We are living in the constantly changing world. Everything alters: people, fashion, technology, science and, definitely, film industry. Our generation cannot remember silent movies, because we were born in a stereo era. Only those, who know about Charlie Chaplin, or were born at the very beginning of the twentieth century, might compare these epochs and would prefer the present one. Everything changes and improves: people do not die of bubonic plague, because we have antibiotics, we do not watch black-and-white TV sets, because we have a palette of thousands of tints. Are all the changes for good? Do we improve all aspects of our lives? Or sometimes we bring harm to ourselves? To change, or not to change: that is the question.

Television entered almost every home on the Earth. Everybody at least once in his life watched movies, news, weather broadcasts, commercials, TV show episodes, and so on. An average person “consumes” media for over four hours a day. It is way longer than a decade ago. It makes us think, why people do it more. Is it better than earlier or is there something else?

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One of the mediums of the popular culture is action movies. According to the encyclopedia, action movies are a film genre where in the story is largely told through physical action as opposed to dialogue. That is why these movies are called action. These films have the largest box-offices. Why? Because they are interesting to watch. But it is difficult to call at least five latest action movies, where nobody was killed.

It is sad to admit that around 80 pct of the all-time best films were made before 90s.

Some experts say that the films became more violent in the 90s, when many independent filmmakers were “bought” by the media monsters. The critics call this period “neo-violence”, which is not odd. If we take a look at the film industry products, which flooded the market nowadays, we will see that the most part of them is action movies…with explicit content.

In 90s the “Parental Advisory” label appeared on music CDs and later on movies. People try to prevent their children from listening or watching things that can affect the minors. The date hints that earlier it was not a mass phenomenon, but it developed and became one.

Earlier the films were created to teach people a lesson. Very often deep content was embedded. Nowadays the bright and attractive image is more important than the meaning.

Changes in televised coverage of sports are immense. And “Praise technological progress”. Now different sports, like football look more violent than they were before. But it only looks like that, because with the help of a prefect zoom in cameras we can see not only the actions, but also the emotions, which the players express. When we see someone’s emotion, we also react on it. We express anger, disappointment, sadness, joy and fear. I feel, therefore I am alive.

It is scientifically proved that people’s eyes want action, because it is more interesting for the brain to follow moving objects than to think about context and subtext. Modern technologies in cinematography offer us many opportunities to interest our brain.

As well as films, printed media in a shape of men’s and women’s magazines advises us a lot – you should do this, put on that, say these words, omit those things. Very often they recommend what to do in some situations, but very rare how to deal with the consequences of these situations. We want everything right here and right now. We do not need to think because they give it to us. But later we turn to the magazines on psychology or to a psychologist, which is funny and sad at the same time.

In a propagated popular culture through the films sex has nothing to do with love. It is just one of the ways of satisfaction. What people need to care about is not to get a STD. Free love, free life, free thinking, but there is no such thing as a free lunch. So, here is a trap of the pop culture – we pay, but usually as we exit. We need to think…always.

When we watch a modern action movie, very often it seems that underlying message tells us that success is never blamed. If a hero kills a dozen of bad people, it is ok. He will not be judged…neither by law, nor by people, because good defeated evil…full stop. It is a happy end, which is followed by “they lived happily ever after” phrase. The End justifies the Means. But unfortunately, it is not like that in reality. There are people and their lives oppressed by the circumstances. There are consequences following.

Technology goes ahead. Special visual and sound effects are amazing. While watching a movie for a moment we can start believing that it is happening in reality, because our emotions are so true. The emotions make us feel alive, needed, and compassionate. The stronger the thrill, the stronger the aftertaste.

People wanted freedom, as for a very long time they were told by the country what was good. Freedom of choice in everything – now we have a wider choice of music, lifestyles, films and hobbies than forty years ago. These changes are for good. But we should differ between what we choose and what we are made to choose. Easy does not always mean better.

Modern films, TV shows, commercials and other media products shout to us that we can do whatever we want, take whatever we want, ask for more and live light-heartedly. Cheap products of popular culture are everywhere. They are easy “to digest”. They do not require any brain activity. And people “eat” what is easier, lighter, and tastier. We simply stop thinking. The result is low quality of our spiritual life. We should always remember “I think, therefore I am” and it will help us in choosing between good and the best.

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