It is Saturday 21st January; and as I was keenly watching the Women’s March unfolds, I slowly realize that pop culture is one of USA’s strong indicators of the culture and identity of masses. That revolution seemed totally “pop cultured” if I can say that; Signs were mostly based on popular culture references, quoting famous movie characters, female empowering movie lines, song lyrics and so on.
The March showed that pop culture can influence not only the culture but also the political thinking and action of masses. Slogan such as “Ovaries Before Brovaries” and “Uteruses Before Duderuses” from the comedy Parks and Recreation; “Female are strong as Hell” from the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and references from Beyoncé, Cher, and Janet Jackson could be seen everywhere.
I do not totally think that consuming pop culture and referring to it, is political in itself, but it was clear that pop culture had provided to those women across the country, the language they needed to express their anger, frustration and grievances. They told us that as much as pop culture can be used to escape from the realities and sometimes cruelties of actual politics, it can as well be used as a way to raise voices at the people in charge of policies, and somehow be heard.
If popular culture is such a huge factor of masses identity, it means that people are what they watch, what the listen to and what they read. Pop culture takes then, a communal aspect. People use it not only to show their own identities but also the community culture. They consume pop culture and pop culture binds them together as a mass, meaning “if you understand the popular culture references we are using, then you can be part of the club”.
But it doesn’t matter if the use of pop culture against politics is a good thing or not. The fact is that in this era, it is something we cannot avoid. It is here to stay for a long period of time. It will be aired on media outlets, it will be discussed on the internet and become a trend, and obviously it will be replicated into thousands of memes. We can see that just by taking example from The Women’s March. Popular culture is what masses looks like now. It is what masses are identifying with.
Seeing the impact that pop culture has, what can the people who make and sell popular culture change or improve?
Can pop culture celebrities use their fame to make a difference?