Cultural Blind Spots

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Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Johnny Carwash » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:39 am

Had been thinking of starting this topic recently, and saw that some of the posts in the Pet Peeves thread were sort of headed in this direction, so thought I'd put it up.

What are some areas of popular culture that, whether though a benign lack of interest or willful avoidance, you know virtually nothing about? Here are mine:

1. Most popular music since the mid-90s
2. Non-premium cable TV since about 2000
3. Reality TV
4. Comic book/superhero stuff
5. Animated movies since I was an adolescent (have seen a few of the Pixar ones)
6. TV news - I get virtually all of my news online; the chance times I encounter it on TV I weep for humanity
7. Literature/fiction - This is the one I'm most ashamed of. The vast majority of what I read is non-fiction, and frequently skipping through the parts I haven't heard of. On average I read about one novel a year. I just don't have the attention span to read one story exclusively over days or weeks. I wish I did, but the information age has mangled my ability to focus on one thing for too long.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by brian » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:43 am

Pop music for the last decade or so. I have no fucking idea who Bruno Mars, Iggy Alezla, Lady Gaga or any of that shit. (I know who they are, but I couldn't tell you if their songs were playing.)

When Rass posted that he was coming out here so his wife could see a Hozier show, my first question was "Who the hell is Hozier and how is he selling out a 4,000 seat venue in a city that doesn't sell out anything?"
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by A_B » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:03 am

brian wrote:Pop music for the last decade or so. I have no fucking idea who Bruno Mars, Iggy Alezla, Lady Gaga or any of that shit. (I know who they are, but I couldn't tell you if their songs were playing.)

When Rass posted that he was coming out here so his wife could see a Hozier show, my first question was "Who the hell is Hozier and how is he selling out a 4,000 seat venue in a city that doesn't sell out anything?"

I've listened to some of his other stuff, and people who only know his hit might be disappointed.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by The Sybian » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:06 am

brian wrote:Pop music for the last decade or so. I have no fucking idea who Bruno Mars, Iggy Alezla, Lady Gaga or any of that shit. (I know who they are, but I couldn't tell you if their songs were playing.)

When Rass posted that he was coming out here so his wife could see a Hozier show, my first question was "Who the hell is Hozier and how is he selling out a 4,000 seat venue in a city that doesn't sell out anything?"
I have at least heard the names of most pop stars, but I haven't heard of the majority of bands you mention in the Spins thread or Facebook. So that is a blindspot for me. In HS and college I was really into music. Not sure if it was a matter of getting older or just me, but music suddenly started to mean a lot less to me. Didn't have the emotional connection to it anymore. I always wondered it that is a normal change in people, a symptom of depression, or priorities changing in my life. Probably a mix of all three.

I am on board with all of Carwash's items, though having kids keeps me looped into animated movies a bit. I would also add MLB, NBA and NHL to the list. Until college, I was sports obsessed. From that point on, there were so many other time diversions, I stopped following everything except the Jets. Being in Buffalo, it was impossible not to keep up with the Bills, and law school in Boston made it difficult not to keep up with the Pats. If it wasn't for fantasy football, I doubt I would be clued in to the NFL anymore.

I watch a couple of network TV shows, but they are all DVRd. I don't know what day most of my shows are on, I just go straight to the DVR. I don't even watch sports live. My kids were shocked to learn that people used to have to sit through commercials. When we are low on shows, we try to find things to tape, but TV really sucks balls these days. Even National Geographic and Animal Planet are almost entirely reality shows. I know it is supposed to be cheaper to film, but fuck. There is so little worth watching. I'd love to see TLC's list of shows from 10 years ago, when it used to be The Learning Channel. Now it is nothing but cameras following freaks around. I don't mean to call little people freaks, but you know what I mean. The Duggars, Honey Boo-Boo, people who can't stop themselves from eating toilet paper...
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by P.D.X. » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:17 am

I'm pretty much Hellen Keller when it comes to pop culture. Unless that Hobbit flick is still out, I can't even tell you a movie that's currently playing.

I watched maybe a total of six hours of NFL last season, including the SB.

Also, bands with banjos (a grandpas guitars!). Unless it's some post-metal, Scandinavian outfit playing them, I'm pretty ignorant. Shame thats like the only music people play/listen too around here. Inevitably I'll be macking on some chick at the bar and have to nod my head and be all like "Yeah, that dude can pick!"

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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Rush2112 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:58 am

TV and music from the 90s.
Reality TV
Sadly, hockey from about 2005 on
Fiction
Popular and Indie Music
Personal involvement in winter recreation sports (I'm glad it's coming into Spring I'll have something to talk about aside from "pow.")
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Gunpowder » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:45 am

TV
Movies
Books
Actors
Authors
Directors


That's all.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Pruitt » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:34 pm

Having a teenaged daughter and a wife who listens young keeps me - sadly - fairly up on current pop music.

What I am ignorant of, and where I used to have at least a passing knowledge:

1) New movie stars
2) Hockey
3) Baseball
4) Indie Music

Not sure I miss any of it.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Nonlinear FC » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:06 pm

Well, this is an interesting thread, because I think you approach it from two angles:

Shit going on today that you used to be into, so your current level of ignorance is highlighted:

* Baseball - Growing up on the Tigers in the late 70s thru late 80s, I was huge into it. Strat-o-matic, collecting cards, listening to games on the radio.

Shit going on today that you are aware of and just don't give a shit about:

* Comic books. Sure, I read a few as a kid. I didn't really have a negative view of them, or the dorks that collected them. But to see them rise to the level of essentially taking over the movie industry? Did not see that coming/don't think it's a particularly good thing.

* Indie music. Someone up thread nailed this one. I used to be really, deeply into finding music off the beaten trail. Spent a ton of time on KEXP and other Internet radio stations, tooled around on Napster and other sites of that ilk (which I feel bad about these days). But, for whatever reason, I've really moved off of that hobby. I haven't shut the door on new music, by any stretch, but my energy and desire to seek out is about down to zero.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Mr. C » Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:23 pm

Music. Even when I think I discover something new, I usually find out it's 10 years old.

Movies. For instance I just started watching Castaway for the first time. I still have the last 20 minutes to go.

Go ahead and put TV shows in here, too. I'm half way through Breaking Bad.

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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Johnnie » Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:51 pm

New tech/gadgets

I'm fairly stubborn about changing my ways if it works.

Example: I'll acquire tv shows via wherever and then put them on my external HD and then plug that into my TV. I'm sure there's a way to set up a network where once it is downloaded I can just use my TV to "pull it from a cloud" or whatever instead of doing extra steps. But I just don't have the motivation to learn how. Hell, this raspberry pi stuff has been out for a few years and I'm just now dipping my toe in that pool.

Also,

Sabermetrics (if that's a cultural thing)
When who is playing where (concerts, comedians, shows..etc)
Video Games
Movies (I wait until the Oscars tells me what I should watch)
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Rush2112 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:54 pm

Johnnie wrote:
Example: I'll acquire tv shows via wherever and then put them on my external HD and then plug that into my TV.)
Or you could just use sickbeard to download them for you...
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Johnnie » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:17 pm

Does that just cut out the middleman of me searching for everything myself? And why do I feel like I need to run a server or something in order to utilize its full potential?

(Also, I'm capped by bandwidth here in Germany (tl; dr - every village is different and only certain ISPs exist in certain areas. I live in one of the worst villages possible for this.) I simply cannot leave all my machines connected at all times.)
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by GoodKarma » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:19 pm

Most items kid-related (Disney movies/shows, education system challenges, kid social trends). Not having them keeps me blissfully ignorant.

Is Camp Rock still a thing?
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by The Sybian » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:14 pm

Rush2112 wrote:
Johnnie wrote:
Example: I'll acquire tv shows via wherever and then put them on my external HD and then plug that into my TV.)
Or you could just use sickbeard to download them for you...
Fuck, I am officially the old guy who can't be bothered to figure out what these new technologies are, and too stubborn to figure out why I might use them. I'm just pissed that my TV can't play videos off of a flash drive. It can show jpgs, but not videos.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Rush2112 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:23 pm

Johnnie wrote:Does that just cut out the middleman of me searching for everything myself? And why do I feel like I need to run a server or something in order to utilize its full potential?

(Also, I'm capped by bandwidth here in Germany (tl; dr - every village is different and only certain ISPs exist in certain areas. I live in one of the worst villages possible for this.) I simply cannot leave all my machines connected at all times.)
Yes. You can tell it to DL from a particular service, what quality you want, etc. etc.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Johnnie » Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:35 am

The Sybian wrote:Fuck, I am officially the old guy who can't be bothered to figure out what these new technologies are, and too stubborn to figure out why I might use them. I'm just pissed that my TV can't play videos off of a flash drive. It can show jpgs, but not videos.
Trust me, I realized this by accident. I was looking for a Smart TV that was dual voltage and the Sony Rep suggested the one I bought. I noticed it had USB inputs, but whatever. Then as I'm setting everything up, it occurred to me to read the directions. Lo and behold, the TV recognizes .MP4 and .AVI files (and .MP3s..etc) So I thought "This is too good to be true, right?" Nope it was true.

Then one day I'm fiddling with YouTube on my phone and this weird icon pops up that i've never seen before: Image I press it. And instantaneously YouTube is on my television with no additional steps. "HOLY. FUCK." So don't feel bad. Just buy a newer model Smart TV and feel like a boss.

As an aside, that "Cast Screen" logo allows me to mirror my phone just because. Unfortunately, when I use my VPN on my phone it stops working, however.
Rush2112 wrote:Yes. You can tell it to DL from a particular service, what quality you want, etc. etc.
I'll have to look into that when I'm not so limited. I feel like when I get my Raspberry Pi going I can just go to the streaming websites that exist and use those instead of downloading ever again.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Pruitt » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:02 am

Johnnie wrote: Also,

Sabermetrics (if that's a cultural thing)
Good one - I too share this blind spot. While I was the first kid on my block to discover Bill James and his annual abstract was a rite of spring for me for a number of years, I reached a point a few years ago where I realized that so many advance stats are unnecessary.

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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by bapo! » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:57 am

I have my blind spots like everybody else. (Anything having to do with comic books/super-heroes/Hollywood blockbusters.) But let me share with you a success story.

Several years ago, I knew nothing about pop music. But my various jobs take me to places where I'm forced to listen to it sometimes. Maybe it has something to do with Stockholm Syndrome, but I've started to like some of it. I'm actually listening to Ellie Goulding as I type this.

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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by govmentchedda » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:17 pm

bapo! wrote:I have my blind spots like everybody else. (Anything having to do with comic books/super-heroes/Hollywood blockbusters.) But let me share with you a success story.

Several years ago, I knew nothing about pop music. But my various jobs take me to places where I'm forced to listen to it sometimes. Maybe it has something to do with Stockholm Syndrome, but I've started to like some of it. I'm actually listening to Ellie Goulding as I type this.

Justin Timberlake: Yes. Lorde: Yes!!! Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Pink: Sometimes!
That's about the extent of my pop music knowledge as well, and I'm perfectly happy with them. Those are the shining lights of current pop, and Sia.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by mister d » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:21 pm

I couldn't name a single porn actor/actress whose career started after the mid-90s unless they've crossed over somewhere.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by bfj » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:29 pm

Any soccer league anywhere.

Most college sports. Don't have a team, don't bother to watch.

Most movies. I haven't gone to a non kid movie in forever. I don't have Netflix either. I see commercials for the movies, so I know the names, but I don't ever see them.

Politics. Bores me to death. My life has never significantly changed depending on who is in charge, so I don't really care.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Johnnie » Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:48 pm

mister d wrote:I couldn't name a single porn actor/actress whose career started after the mid-90s unless they've crossed over somewhere.
So...you know Sasha Grey. And James Deen? Maybe Lisa Ann?
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by mister d » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:18 pm

If the last one is the one who killed Del Zotto, yes.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Brontoburglar » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:54 pm

I'm not sure how just now learning about Raspberry Pi is a blind spot.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Johnnie » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:39 pm

Brontoburglar wrote:I'm not sure how just now learning about Raspberry Pi is a blind spot.
It's the entirety of tech and gadgets and that's just an example.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Pruitt » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:22 am

mister d wrote:I couldn't name a single porn actor/actress whose career started after the mid-90s unless they've crossed over somewhere.
That was a different time, they were artists back then!

http://www.davesoldporn.com/home.php
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by MaxWebster » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:00 pm

wow this could probably be a long list. quickly coming to mind:

1) anything related to the NFL post ~2000. I can name you Tom Brady, i've probably heard of someone else on the Patriots, and i might know 2 or 3 guys on the current Bills if their names were given to me.

This is the more stunning since I probably could name 90% of everyone who played for the Bills from ~1988-1993 and easily all the RBs/WRs/QBs from the Joe Ferguson era through Flutie. hell, i went to games in the mid-80s. Bruce Mathison! e.g. Adam Lingner was the long-snapper for a few years in the late 80s. Fuckin' Ronnie Harmon. I was convinced Kenneth Davis was a top-5 NFL running back, but not good enough to start ahead of Thurman. I went to all the AFC Championship games in Buffalo and I didn't even live there anymore at the time. I just couldn't give a shit anymore. Would have felt completely neutral had Pegula not bought the team this year and they moved - probably more upset for my friends/family than anything else.

having said that, i suppose i'll be on the bandwagon if they're ever good again. after being away so long i guess i realized i just don't really like football.

2) most anyone on the supermarket magazines.

3) television, free or pay. have never seen an episode of many with dedicated threads around here

4) music is a tough one - on the one hand i think it's great how wide open the world is now in terms of getting music "out" to the masses; on the other hand the sheer volume of sources makes it impossible to "keep up" - occasionally frustrating personally as a musician!

5) vampires - seriously, wtf.

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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by DaveInSeattle » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:25 pm

The NBA. Don't care, don't watch.

Sadly, college basketball, which used to be my favorite sport (living in Bloomington, IN will do that to you), is coming close to that too. But at least I can jump in and pay attention for just 3 weeks.

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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Pruitt » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:00 pm

MaxWebster wrote:wow this could probably be a long list. quickly coming to mind:

5) vampires - seriously, wtf.
I'll add zombies to the list. Don't get it, don't like them, don't watch them.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by mister d » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:51 pm

That's a good one. All that Twilight / Harry Potter nonsense.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by MaxWebster » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:01 am

hey...whoa whoa, now. Harry Potter is boss.



(but in with Pruitt; Zombies. although aren't they the same as Vampires? probably not but who fucking cares)

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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Pruitt » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:25 am

MaxWebster wrote:hey...whoa whoa, now. Harry Potter is boss.



(but in with Pruitt; Zombies. although aren't they the same as Vampires? probably not but who fucking cares)
Zombies are much more socially relevant and worth studying as shown by this academic paper from the second best university in Canada's capital, the University of Ottawa.
In addition, we assume the birth rate is a constant, Π. Zombies move to the removed class
upon being ‘defeated’. This can be done by removing the head or destroying the brain of
the zombie (parameter α). We also assume that zombies do not attack/defeat other zombies.
Thus, the basic model is given by
S
0 = Π − βSZ − δS
Z
0 = βSZ + ζR − αSZ
R
0 = δS + αSZ − ζR .
Full paper here: http://mysite.science.uottawa.ca/rsmith43/zombies.pdf
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by rass » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:42 am

brian wrote:When Rass posted that he was coming out here so his wife could see a Hozier show, my first question was "Who the hell is Hozier and how is he selling out a 4,000 seat venue in a city that doesn't sell out anything?"
Missed this. Yay my wife. I'll print this post out and put in her birthday card.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by Ryan » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:03 am

Image

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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by bapo! » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:32 am

I recently had an email conversation with somebody about the band Vampire Weekend. He refused to take them seriously because of their name.

me: I don't get the fascination with vampires and zombies, either. But as I've said elsewhere, if we need a scapegoat, I'd rather it be vampires and zombies, rather than The Mexicans or The Jews or whatever.

somebody: Wait, you like the Mexicans?

me: Well, not universally. But I'm also smart enough not to blame them for all of my problems. That's what Muslims are for.

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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by mister d » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:19 am

It is a pretty unfortunate name. Like picking a kid's name a couple years before it becomes wildly popular than everyone lumps you in with the followers.
bfj wrote:
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My people call that Kishka.

ETA - we don't call weird dicks Kishka.

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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by A_B » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:23 am

mister d wrote:It is a pretty unfortunate name. Like picking a kid's name a couple years before it becomes wildly popular than everyone lumps you in with the followers.
I actually looked up the name origin. And it's even more pathetic now. Apparently the lead dude wanted to make a Lost Boys remake while in college but gave up on it after a weekend.
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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by bapo! » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:28 am

mister d wrote:It is a pretty unfortunate name. Like picking a kid's name a couple years before it becomes wildly popular than everyone lumps you in with the followers.
'Freakonomics' had a great chapter about this, about how names are 'passed down' from one socioeconomic level to the next every generation.

There was a show a few years ago, some short-lived dramedy on NBC I think, probably starring Mike O'Malley or somebody. Anyway, nobody watched it, so it was canceled after a few episodes. But I read about its one great joke. The father coached his daughter's soccer team, and 19 of the 20 girls on the team were named Caitlyn.

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Re: Cultural Blind Spots

Post by DSafetyGuy » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:30 am

Pruitt wrote:Zombies are much more socially relevant and worth studying as shown by this academic paper from the second best university in Canada's capital, the University of Ottawa.
In addition, we assume the birth rate is a constant, Π. Zombies move to the removed class
upon being ‘defeated’. This can be done by removing the head or destroying the brain of
the zombie (parameter α). We also assume that zombies do not attack/defeat other zombies.
Thus, the basic model is given by
S
0 = Π − βSZ − δS
Z
0 = βSZ + ζR − αSZ
R
0 = δS + αSZ − ζR .
Full paper here: http://mysite.science.uottawa.ca/[b]rsm ... ombies.pdf
Not too surprised it was written by a (former) Swamper.
Stick this in your trophy case.

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