Here’s some news in case you wondered. It takes approximately ten minutes to learn everything occurring in any category of pop culture. I know this comes as a surprise to you, what with the millions of sites, blogs, tweets, shows, songs, movies, vines, and instagrams. But here’s the thing; they all concern the exact same topic.
Sports. Flip on any sports radio show, listen for five minutes and you now know the subject that will be minced, diced, and pulverized for the entire day. Log on to any site, read the pro and the con and a few comments, including SuperFan182 who seems to have invested way more than he should have in this area, and voila, you’re done. All else will serve as only a rehash, a resummary, a redo, a regurgitation of that first five minutes.
Music? Please. Buzzy download of the day, the live and acoustic versions, DangerMouse mash-up, finished.
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg commented in 2013 that the investment in ever-bigger blockbusters will lead to even fewer movies and higher prices. Lucas predicted $150. If we do some quick math, that means popcorn will cost $10,418. As if to immediately get the ball rolling for the Jedi master, that summer Paramount announced you could see World War Z two days early in select cities for $50. But you got to keep the totally collectible 3D glasses. Not taking them out of the plastic to ensure value made the movie seem oddly more compelling.
Television, good as it is right now, only produces one show a night to ponder and discuss, so no sweat. Throw in an extra thirty seconds to skim the meltdown, breakup, elimination, outrageous behavior on reality programming and call it a day.
Viral kitten video, yelling talking head on politics, over-the-line comment and backlash, and let’s be honest, you can finish before the coffee has gone cold. Search your feelings, Luke, you know the truth.
The internet functions like an enormous game of gossip, where you whisper the same phrase over and over around a circle until it mutates into something ridiculous by the end. Yes, it’s fun, yes, it amuses, but the fact remains repetition has become the new sincerest form of flattery.
So here’s your future, to repeat The Thermals. Each year an Idol-style competition lasting six months will determine the song of the year, immediately followed by a six month Voice-style competition of people singing it. Moments after the song has been released by the winner, Skrillex will begin streaming forty-two remixed versions that all sound exactly the same but have killer titles and drops. Pit Bull will make a beer commercial featuring the song and the Rolling Stones will use the song as an excuse to launch a tour. Remember the floating celebrity-heads-in-a-jar on Futurama? Start picturing Mick that way because it’s inevitable.
On the movie front, Marvel and DC will take turns releasing summer films with ever more obscure superheroes. Each studio will produce one additional movie for Oscar consideration, although many will just shoot extra footage of the summer movie stars milling around between takes. The Grumpy Cat franchise will win best picture six years running.
All reality show stars will be rounded up and released on a remote island where they will compete not to be prepared by Top Chef contestants and eaten by various housewives. Hang on a second while I go pitch that to Mark Burnett. Damn. Already in pre-production with Tim Gunn and Padma hosting. The Duck Dynasty crew keep finding crumbs of Ryan Seacrest in their beards.
Original television programming, pop culture’s shining star, will be left alone, although syndication of HBO shows will begin after only two episodes. Netflix will stumble badly when it releases all 413 hours of its Andy Griffith reboot at once. The casting of Johnny Depp as Aunt Bee will cause the internet to collapse.
America will elect a Viral Video Czar and Meme Overlord to determine each day’s obsession. The Hype Index will let you know which theoretical entertainment situation and rumor to hyperventilate about that day. One blog post a day will be endlessly reposted (uncredited), dissected and deconstructed to reach wildly different conclusions.
In sports, each team will appoint one Troubled Star to brood over and one Juiced Athlete to love and then revile. SuperFan182 will remain overinvested and churlish in the comments section. The Kansas City Royals will again reach the World Series where Madison Bumgarner will pitch 56 innings on no rest to defeat them (sorry, brief moment of personal bitterness).
In other words, pop culture will look the same but will be streamlined to make wasting time at work more efficient.