Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Today's culture club

There are broadly two types of people in this world: those who waste time on matters of popular culture and those who don't. And just like with any continuum there are gradual transitions in range: in this case from the Big Brother watching, Heat magazine reading addicts to the look down nose at, 'yaya dahling' brigade.

As a fringe member of the former circle of shame, life was easier in the States, all I had to do was turn on Oprah and my finger pulsated to the cultural current. But that was then and there, and we are here and now. And in this day and age times are too serious, too tormented, too cataclysmic to frivol away our time with folderol. Or are they?

I propose we check by going straight to the undisputed source, the BBC, because after all Auntie knows best. So for a bit of fun, let's all play: "Guess the top 3 most popular subjects read on the BBC today." Not to fret, any hard core Type A's, over lack of preparation, I will get us going: 1. Heathrow security 2. Edinburgh Fringe Festival 3. Lebanon. Seems logical. First address any personal concerns and second wider political ones. This is how most of us prioritise our thoughts, by order of personal relevance, a means of self preservation.

With such in mind, the top 3 should come with muted surprise:

1. Time lists 50 'coolest websites'
2. Burglars steal Van der Meyde's (football player) dog
3. Staunton (football manager) unharmed after gun scare

So there we have it. Today's world unites around MySpace and football. And whilst only a momentary blip on this morning's BBC rankings, they are probably not bad proxy cultural bellwethers the world over. So it really is a good thing Premiership football kicks off at the weekend then, to give us some popular news to talk about.

Oh, and for those interested in poor Boy George. Not to fret, his litter picking order video sits pride of place at BBC's most watched. Quite a fall from MTV grace, but in this world we all 'Come and Go, Come and Go'.

For anyone looking to escape the silly season:

Tonight, Rory McCarthy, The Guardian’s Iraq correspondent for two years following the American invasion, will be talking about his new book, Nobody Told Us We Are Defeated: Stories from the New Iraq.

Email: Reply@guardian.co.uk (returns only)
Time: 7-8.30pm (doors open at 6.30)
Venue: The News, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3ER
Price: £5 each (payable on the door, all proceeds will go to charity)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great one CS. Where do you drum up this stuff? Love it

12:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know there rae more MySpace users in China than in Western Europe and covers all age ranges? Definitely football is global news.

2:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come now, this high/low culture divide is a bit 1950s isn't it? It's all about the blend these days. Look at Miami Vice. It's complete rubbish, sure, but it's very good rubbish. Or take Modern Toss ... I can't tell if it's one of those Czech art cartoons from 1976, or just Viz in disguise. Thoughts?

2:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ya Max. Agree but isn't that what today's is saying? We all think we are obsessed with the war but we are really mixing it with MySpace?

2:26 pm  
Blogger Monique said...

ok I admit it
I LOVE the circle of shame!!!!

2:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love life inside the circle and out. Blogs like this are the mixer me thinks. YouTube is hysterical.

2:56 pm  
Blogger Frankie Paige said...


thank you so much for all the ideas. It's so absolutely fabulous to have someone else sift through the millions of London's options and hand-pick the juiciest.

Will you be going to the FFF Boat Party, then, or is never going to the same event twice more your cup of tea? ;)

Ah, and welcome to the Metro blog roll! Makes you feel a little giddy when they list you, doesn't it? Whatever you think of them...

3:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah you goin to FFF boat party City Slicker? Was thinking of going myself. Good blog today. Poor old George and they taunted him too. Nasty New Yorkers

3:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meant to commend the Metro mention!

3:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a fringe member I was reading about Lebanon this morning. Who cares about football out of season? Sad so many obviously can.

4:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miami Vice was rubbish low or high divide apart.
What exactly was a Czech art cartoon like in 1976?

4:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like the site. Great look design feel. Keep it up. Stan the Man

9:45 am  
Blogger Just my opinion said...

I feel so dirty that I am watching BB... I really didn't mean to!

1:26 pm  
Blogger City Slicker said...

Hi Frankie Paige,
Not sure about the boat party yet as weekend plans still not firm. I definitely recommend the FFF events though. And, of course, I go back to things twice. Never too much of a good thing and all that. Thanks for reading, CS

5:29 pm  
Blogger nina chadwick said...

Your blog is cool! I like the way you're mixing up reviews, politics and celebrities.
I watch BB and i have hoildays where i attempt to just lounge around in the sun. Let's bin the high brow/low brow binaries- everything's worth analysing (notice how the word 'anal' is in there).

10:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks saw Rory's book in Guardian advertised. Will order a copy. Am sick of silly season

5:43 pm  
Blogger hungech said...

Culture (Latin: cultura, lit. "cultivation") is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions. However, the word "culture" is most commonly used in three basic senses:

Excellence of taste in the fine arts and humanities, also known as high culture
An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning
The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization, or group

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7:16 pm  

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