Is there anything of interest in popular culture? Is all popular culture "low brow"? Do you have guilty pleasures such as watching Jerry Springer or COPS regularily? (I used to watch Jerry Springer. I had friends who went on his show, they were part of an improv group and created a storyline and faked it on his show)
I love Lewis Black and he has an awesome show on the Comedy Network called "The Root of All Evil". The premise of the show has two people debating issues in front of a live audience. Topics under debate include: "Red States vs. Blue States" and "NRA vs PETA" and "Ultimate fighting vs Bloggers" and "Donald Trump vs. Rosie O'Donnell".
I think Lewis Black is high brow!
HighBrow LowBrow by Larence Levine contends that early 19th-century America was characterized by no rigid cultural divisions between elite and mass culture. By the later part of the century, however, a clear line had been drawn; Shakespearean plays, classical music, and art of the old masters increasingly became the property of the elite only. The pendulum has swung back now, he observves, as there is a lessening of cultural divisions in contemporary America. A well-written contribution to the history of American culture. Without hestitation, this book is recommended highly to all academic American studies and popular culture collections as well as to large public libraries.
From Lowbrow to Nobrow
A groundbreaking book arguing that pop culture is the driving force in the development of culture.
From Lobrow to Nobrow demolishes the elite argument that popular fiction and culture are the underside of civilization. In this innovative book, Peter Swirski goes beyond demonstrating that "high-brow" has been transformed to "low-brow," showing that nobrow art is the interactive factor in the relationship between popular art and highbrow art.
Swirski begins with a series of groundbreaking questions about the nature of popular fiction, vindicating it as an artform that expresses and reflects the aesthetic and social values of its readers. He follows his insightful introduction to the socio-aesthetics of genre literature with a synthesis of the century long debate on the merits of popular fiction and a study of genre informed by analytic aesthetics and game theory.
Swirski then turns to three "nobrow" novels that have been largely ignored by critics. Examining the aesthetics of "artertainment" in Karel Capek's War with the Newts, Raymond Chandler's Playback, and Stanislaw Lem's Chain of Chance, crossover tours de force, From Lowbrow to Nobrow throws new light on the hazards and rewards of nobrow traffic between popular forms and highbrow aesthetics.
One having uncultivated tastes.
adj. also low·browed (-broud)
Low culture is a derogatory term for some forms of popular culture. The term is often encountered in discourses on the nature of culture. Its opposite is high culture. It has been said by culture theorists that both high culture and low culture are subcultures.
Kitsch, slapstick, camp, escapist fiction, popular music and exploitation films are examples of low culture. It has often been stated that in postmodern times, the boundary between high culture and low culture has blurred. See the 1990s artwork of Jeff Koons for examples of appropriation of low art tropes.
Romanticism was one of the first movements to reappraise "low culture", when previously maligned medieval romances started to influence literature.
Lowbrow, or lowbrow art, describes an underground visual art movement that arose in the Los Angeles, California, area in the late 1970s. Lowbrow is a widespread populist art movement with origins in the underground comix world, punk music, hot-rod street culture, and other subcultures. It is also often known by the name pop surrealism. Lowbrow art often has a sense of humor - sometimes the humor is gleeful, sometimes impish, and sometimes it's a sarcastic comment.
I watch a lot of low brow shows and read a fair bit of low brow literature. I watch Oprah and Regis and Kelly. I read pulp murder mysteries. I watch Survivor. I watch a couple of soap operas. I listen to a lot of mainstream pop music. I love some of the most overplayed pop music in the world like Bruce Springsteen and U2. I love Chris Brown, Beyonce. I watch Snoop Dogg's reality show "Fatherhood". And Tori Spelling's reality tv show. I watch hockey and football. I used to collect comic books. I follow the WWE ocassionally.
All of the above are considered by souls classier than me to be among the very banal of mainstream culture. Some people might say these are the lowest forms of entertainment designed to attract the lowest denominator in the popular imagination..."working classes" "lower education classes" (of which I am both).
Is there any artistic merit in various genre's marketed and designed to appeal to the widest demographic possible? And since when did making things that appeal to lots of people become a "bad" thing?
I know this stuff isn't Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, Proust, Shakespeare or HBO or other "high brow" art forms. I love them though...is there any thing you like about popular culture that is considered "low brow" or industrial pap for the masses? I never feel guilty about these pleasures except when my friends tease me about my mainstream bad taste. heh heh.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
So, three questions. 1) Is there any artistic merit in various genre's marketed and designed to appeal to the widest demographic possible? 2) And since when did making things that appeal to lots of people become a "bad" thing: a wide demographic of consumption associated with "shallow" or lowbrow quality and content? 3) Do you have any guilty pleasures in work designed by a seemingly industrial production geared for the widest demographic of tastes?