If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? If an anarchist simultaneously enjoys pop culture, does this make him a piece of shit? These are the heart-racing topics we’ll be focusing on with Anarcho-Pop, courtesy of the Gonzo Times. Strap on your strap on, this is going to be a bumpy ride!
In all seriousness, I feel that our movement lacks a certain…well…relatability. To be honest, the internet anarchists we see (and are [and yes, I’m generalizing, but go to any anarchist group on facebook and you’ll see what I’m talking about]) tend to be prickish, negatively demonstrative, and above all, insulated from the real world. You know, the one with all those people we want to liberate, right?
The arts retain a distinction very similar to class division: On one hand, bourgeoisie art exists to entertain and enlighten the rich, powerful, and ivory tower intellectuals. On the other…hell, just look at this sentence via Wikipedia:
“Whether or not a form of creative endeavor can be considered one of “the arts” can be contentious due to the cultural values attached in Western culture to the term ‘art’, which can imply that it is a field elevated above popular culture.”
A field elevated above? I don’t remember getting to vote on this! Did Obama slip me Rohypnol and gain my consent or something? If anarchism is about railing against elitism, this seems to be a decent place to venture.
When I was in high school, I used to get in arguments with people about pop music. They’d say to me, “Dude, there’s clearly some music that is objectively better.” And I’d reply. “Who cares?” I’m no hedonist, but if I find something enjoyable, why should arrogance and narcissism rain on my parade? Sadly, this attitude seems to persist, and anarchists are no exception. Apparently, pop culture is the Nickelback of the arts scene; everybody visibly dumps on it, and yet it still seems to be everywhere. This is a major reason I find it so compelling.
So with that, Anarcho-Pop has arrived. We’ll take a look at today’s newest films, television shows, books, and music from the perspective of dedicated anti-authoritarians, but also from a neglected perspective: that of the average 21st century American, whose goal each day is to find their way back into bed the following night without majorly fucking anything up. This isn’t a particularly positive trait, yet it’s indicative of our larger societal flaws, and if nothing else, exploring pop culture is a way to understand what’s gone horribly wrong. Hell, we may just be able to find a kernel of truth somewhere along the way.