Blog Author: Charles Gustine
I am a pop culture buff. I love television, music, movies, comics… You watch it, read it or consume it, it’s likely I’ve heard of it, that I know who wrote it and whose in it, and that I’ve read and can repeat various critical opinions on it. I know a lot, but it is an empty knowledge, the kind you get from looking at a picture of a taco with the caption “Really good taco” without actually putting yourself in a position where you can eat it and enjoy it for yourself.
So now, I have one wish I want to fulfill. (Okay, I have lots of wishes. I’d like a job, that’d be nice. Also, a published story. And… Okay, back on topic.) I want, for once, to not be satisfied with simply learning about great films, or great music, or greatness. I want to experience greatness for myself and see what comes of it. I want to take every opportunity I can to let all the things we as humans have created to move us, shake us and inspire us move me, shake me, and inspire me rather then reading about the experience one could have in a dry textbook, anthology, or best-of list.
Hence “Today I’m Discovering…” This is what I hope to be a document of first encounter as I start digging through all the things I’ve been telling myself I should see for years (and which I’ve been falsely implying to my friends that I have seen for years) as well as unearthing those wonderful things I just happen upon along the way. I think of it as archeology of sorts. What is old hat to you may be completely new and profound to me, so, here I will treat it as what it is — a text and an experience which is a new find, a world-changing disturbance in the world that is my perception of my surroundings. In digging down to what that object means to me and what I think it might mean to us, I hope to possibly get at the nature of how it is exactly we process and cope with popular culture as it comes into our lives and shapes who we become. In that vain, this blog will hopefully be both academically critical and deeply personal. So, starting today, I tell my Dad to shut up when he asks me why on Earth I would want to rent an old black and white movie when the new releases are over there, because this is my push to plant my flag where I haven’t been (or where I’ve barely been long enough to truly get my bearings). That’s a lot of places, yes, but as Linda Holmes pointed out a few weeks ago, giving up isn’t the appropriate reponse to being overwhelmed by all the stuff that’s out there. The appropriate response is to say, “Yep, there is a whole lot out there I’m never even going to come close to seeing, but I am going to see what I can, and I am going to enjoy the heck out of it!” Today, I start enjoying the heck out of all that surrounds me.