For reasons you now believe are inscrutable, every couple days you just have to have a cupcake baked fresh at a boutique bakery that’s gained a reputation as the best in the city. This is a culinary craze that has swept not only the United States (Spain is teeming with cupcake factories), and in reality, the miniature cake obsession most likely owes all credit to Sex and the City and the infamous Magnolia Bakery. Without terrible pop culture, we probably wouldn’t desire frosting quite as much as we do now, so thank you television.
Although cupcakes are a societal win, many other examples of pop culture exploding certain things into the minds of everyone everywhere are certainly disheartening. Media in general has the tendency to squeeze all life out of cool things, even the cupcake (now over-saturating the universe). So what are some other things the media has taken and turned them into sad fluff?
Christopher Lee and Bram Stoker are so unhappy right now. Before the media caught wind of these bloodsuckers’ sex appeal, these terrifying creatures inhabited the nightmares of many. Then, the author of Twilight decided that vampires sparkled, True Blood became a thing, and vampires became this angsty, sexually charged creature that, while still being able to explode faces in a way reminiscent of being a badass, lost its truly grotesque charm. Now, vampires are synonymous with action flicks and teen lust, and that’s not good, not one bit.
OK, so, zombies will never be ruined, but the market has been completely flooded with our favorite brain eating monsters, and there’s very few original zombie ideas remaining. The Walking Dead is a pretty decent show, and there’s always Zombieland, but now people are just a bit too obsessed, and before we know it, zombies will be so ubiquitous that they’ll become just annoying, and I wouldn’t want that to happen to one of the best monsters to ever appear in fiction. Before fashion kills the creatures, though, check out Humans vs. Zombies, an epic college campus game of tag that combines campy zombie flicks with running around like a crazy person. Their website will tell you all there is to know.
Since the dawn of time, humans have feared the eradication of their species, and the utter destruction of the earth. And since the turn of the century, it’s been super boring. Movies like 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow got piles of moviegoers interested in the apocalypse, and ever since, authors in the young adult fiction genre have been making fluffy dystopias, television has been obsessing over the end of days, and movies have just gotten worse and worse. The media took hold of our interest in how the world is going to end, but forgot to make these movies with any sense of quality. Take Knowing; end of the world, yes, good flick, absolutely not and why god why?
Sex is a good thing. Always has been, always will be. But now more than ever, every single human everywhere wants to throw their two cents in about how it should be conducted to maximize erotic awesomeness, starting of course with 50 Shades of Grey, the book, and soon film, that’s changed how people view sexy times, but in really silly ways. Instead of inviting an intelligent discussion about kink and bondage and all those fun things, it instead submerged the subculture further into the shadowy depths. Also, the writing is terrible. Sure, more and more folks are taking sex seriously, but the media’s obsession with kinky stuff puts a big ol’ stigma on all those practices. Can’t an average Joe tie someone up without being referred to as Christian Grey? It’s terrible.
Oh, and the entire fantasy genre
Nerds have suffered due to their Tolkien-based lifestyle, and now shows like Game of Thrones have invited everyone to dig dragons, swords, and fantasy stuff, so long as it carries some political or sexual message. Pop culture has taken an impossibly huge universe of fantasy rules, stories, games, and smushed it all into an easily marketable package, the same way Michael Bay ruined childhood forever. While this is a good a thing in some respects (a GoT fan who’d likely beat up a nerd now will empathize with how cool crossbows are), the magical fantasy elements are being stripped away. Which is to say, pop culture kills all dreams, and should be stopped at all costs (so long as I can still have my MacBook).