What is pop culture? Does it make sense to distinguish it from high culture, or can something be both?
Meet Mark, Erica, and Brian in this first attempt at a conversation together, featuring a special appearance by our editor Tyler.
We touch on opera, The Beatles, Fortnite, 50 Shades of Grey, reality TV, and more.
Some of the articles we bring up in our discussion are:
“The Long War Between Highbrow and Lowbrow” by Noah Berlatsky from the Pacific Standard (2017)
“Pop Culture’s Progress Toward Tragedy” by Titus Techera from the National Review (2019)
Read more about the 1895 silent film that featured a train coming right out of the screen, sending people screaming in terror.
Here’s more about the opening of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” at which spectators rioted.
You may also enjoy episode 137 of The Partially Examined Life about the tastes of social classes that analyzes Pierre Bourdieu. Also see episode 193 on liberal education and the idea of a “canon” of essential, high-culture works.
The opening music is by Mark (guitars, cellos, djembe) and Erica (violins). Our logo is by Ken Gerber (Brian’s brother), with episode-specific customization by Brian.
The ending song was written by Mark just for this episode. It’s called “High Rollin’ Cult,” and features Erica on violin and harmonies.
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