We live in an age of unparalleled access. There isn’t an album I couldn’t listen to, a movie I couldn’t watch, or a book I couldn’t read within minutes of the desire to do so, especially if I’m willing to ignore some pesky copyright laws. Within the past week, I’ve listened to a folk concert recorded in 1970, watched a British sitcom which aired 13 years ago and read a couple Sherlock Holmes stories. Thanks to public domain, Spotify, and my roommate’s Netflix account, I did it all for free.
This access isn’t limited just to artistic output either. In a world of TMZ and plentiful cell phone cameras, I know ridiculous details about the personal lives of celebrities. I know how Gisele Bundchen feels about the Super Bowl. I haven’t yet discussed it with my brother, who I played football with for years. I know both that George Lucas thinks Han shot second and his (deeply flawed) reasoning. I know not just the release date for the next Song of Ice and Fire book, but I know when George RR Martin is planning on writing it. Simply put, pop culture has never been easier.
This has fulfilled of one of the great promises of the internet: the destruction of the expert. Anyone with a minor obsession and an internet connection can learn unimaginable details about almost any subject. Your friend who knows the entire filmography of Scorsese is only useful at trivia night. You don’t need to search dusty record bins to become familiar with the early recordings of Miles Davis; you need a free Saturday afternoon and a decent pair of headphones.
Except on rare occasions, we won’t be writing reviews. There are several practical reasons for this. First, there are many writers out there who do it professionally and produce very good work. Second, with our assembled team of writers, we wouldn’t be able to cover the full extent of movies, music, and TV shows released each week nor could we do so in a timely manner. We intend to offer a much more eclectic aggregation of articles spanning trends in food, media, and popular opinion. Specific articles will be determined by whatever it is that the writer finds fascinating at that time, because what better way is there to write a good article than to have it be something they hold a passionate opinion on?
Given the free access we all share, why do we need another website writing about pop culture? Ideally, the answer would be as simple as “Because we’re quite good at it.” While I do believe this to be true, it seems insufficient on an internet saturated with the columns critiquing every move of reality stars, analyzing the latest feud between big name rappers, and commenting on the drastic changes in Justin Bieber’s hair style. Even with the multitude of sources available, there is always a place for informed, interesting opinions. The most important component to any article on this site isn’t the attention-grabbing headline or flashy accompanying image; it’s the answer to the question “why was the article written and why is it true?” If every article on this site can answer those two question, we may just have a shot at earning a readership.
While the above reasons offer some decent support, perhaps the true answer is closer to the same reason any mountain climber will give for his ascents: “Because it’s there.” We have opinions and the ability to post them to the world. We enjoy the debate among ourselves and our readers which results from a particularly well written and supported point. And maybe in our discussions about some of the more superficial aspects of our modern civilization, we’ll find some deeper and more profound insight. Alright, that last point is a bit much, but hopefully we’ll produce something that’s worth reading.
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