Pop culture gets popped in the face

By Matt Coughlin
February 15, 2001

It seems like we digest pop culture before we even taste or swallow it. I guess that’s the way life is supposed to be, but I can’t help noticing what bugs me about my surroundings. Here are the top 10 most annoying things about pop culture:

10) Awards Shows–Feel like watching hours of commercials, interrupted by Hollywood stars pretending to be surprised? By the way, why is any movie with Tom Hanks automatically up for best picture now? Do you remember when Tom Hanks used to star in any old piece of junk? Remember movies like Big, Joe Versus the Volcano, The Money Pit and The Burbs?

9) AOL Instant Messenger–It’s fun to talk to people who are hours away. But when someone in the next dorm instant messages you… it’s a little dull. Even worse is when you are instant messaged by someone in the same room.

8) Seventh Heaven–No, I’m not trying to incite the population of Woodcrest. This is just a bad, bad show. It tries very hard to be wholesome but still has a lot in common with trashy TV. Both are unrealistic and overdone. Each episode of Seventh Heaven has long periods of lecturing, where a character seems to actually address the camera. Remember how unbearable the end of an episode of Full House is? The lame music plays and Danny makes up with whatever member of the household he ticked off. An entire episode of Seventh Heaven is like that. It’s a full hour of sap with more preaching than those church infomercials on channel 48.

7) The Hollywood “Blockbuster”–How to make a Hollywood blockbuster: Take one absurd premise, add one overrated actor and mix with special effects. Coat with cheesy title. Allow to sit in area theaters for two months before a speedy release on video. Like Martha Stewart, I already have one prepared for you. Here is the preview: “What would happen if the president was kidnapped by a gang of international terrorists and the only man that can save him is a convicted criminal? Nicholas Cage is Jack Jones in Oath of Office. Time Magazine calls it `full of explosions.'”

6) Politically Incorrect–Want to watch a show where idiots spread libel and four people beat up on the one person with an opposing view? The worst thing is Bill Maher, who lacks humor, wit and appeal.

5) Kia–What were these idiots thinking? “Ok guys, we need a name for our car company. One that reminds people of old ladies or kittens with the sniffles.” Would you be proud to say that you drive a Kia? One of the models is called a Sofia. “Yes, I’ll pick you up for our blind date in about an hour. My car? Oh, it’s a light blue Kia Sofia. Hello? Hello?”

4) The King of Prussia Mall–Yes, last year I went on a tangent about the mall but this year I still hate it.

3) Internet search engines–Do you have a research project to do on Abraham Lincoln? No problem! Just go to Yahoo, Excite, Altavista, Infoseek, Lycos or Ask Jeeves (by far the most useless of all) and type in the words “Abraham Lincoln.” The results, pointlessly ranked for you (as if it helps) will no doubt be listings of pornography. And no matter what name you type in, there’s always a site that somehow offers pictures of that person nude: “Abraham Lincoln nude! Click here!”

2) Temptation of the Big Brother on Survivor Island–Ok, I know it’s useless to argue against such a strangely popular string of TV shows but I’ll try. First of all, let’s understand that networks (cable not included) don’t care about interesting and enlightening shows. Fox would broadcast three hours of dog poop if it promised rosy ratings. How much longer will it be before we see a commercial that goes a bit like this: “Tune in tonight for the first episode of Multiple Murder, the new reality TV show where we put 15 people in a room with one convicted murderer and 15 types of rifles. Who will survive?” Actually, that does sound interesting…

1) Cell phones–Need I say more?

Chris Vesci is a staff writer for the Loquitur

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Matt Coughlin

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