Pop culture – Pop Music?

Here’s something I originally published over 10 years ago.  I noticed that a re-publishing of it in 2008 was drawing traffic.  Thus, I thought I’d re-publish it yet again.  Nothing has been changed, but it is interesting that ‘pop music’ has changed and is going through quite a more loving phase (For now).  

I’m guessing that for the last 50 years or so the yardstick for popular culture has been pop music.

Pop music has always taken the centre ground, reflecting the era.  It usually reflects it so well that this reflection can only really be seen with hindsight.

I don’t care that much, but the importance of the ‘singles chart’ seems to have been slowly waning for some time.  More recently it has suddenly plummeted to a level of such unimportance that radio stations that traditionally played a top 20 countdown on a Sunday evening are now desperate to find something else to broadcast.

But, each era of the last 50 years has been reflected in the style and type of music trend of the day.  Currently, the pop chart is controlled by manufactured unknown stars crooning old songs as part of what is essentially a collection of very cruel ‘reality tv’ audition shows.

The hook for the viewers of shows such as X Factor is that they can laugh and point at people who can’t sing and get rudely told they can’t by Simon Cowell.  Then, there’s the boring bit where people who can sing compete against each other for public votes.  The blood lust is then satisfied by watching acts being shamefully voted out each week.

I guess that when we look back on this era we will see a cruel and vicious gladiatorial time musically, where only the one person controls and manufactures what the people buy and which losers the public laugh and point at.

Indeed, away from music, the ‘Blair years’ legacy is streets and neighbourhoods terrorised by feral children who nobody can control or fight in law, and ordinary people frightened to walk out after dark lest they be wounded or killed for just wanting to live in peace.

All around us there is this awful rage of disrespect for those who cannot sing, or those who wish to live without bricks coming through their windows, being stabbed or having their cars stolen.  All around us there is this empowerment of the aggressive and discouragement of the ordinary folk who have nothing to live in except fear.

Pop music has this habit of eating itself and turning 180 degrees to rebel against modern times.  Let’s hope it’s not long before pop music moves away from promoting the might is right attitude and how fun it is when cruelty is bestowed upon ‘losers’.  Maybe something will musically break through about love and respect, and a reclaiming of the streets, a promotion of security and safety in the home and a movement away from the evils of the selfish Blair Britain and Cowell culture.

Time will tell.