"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Mall Wart/Cuture Wars

Thinking a lot about culture today after hanging out with Andrew last night and seeing The Matrix sequil. The more I'm exposed to mainstream culture, the more I realize how foreign and alien it is to me. So here are a few things on that note.

There's an interesting and unsettling article in todays NYT about the impact of mass retailers like Wal-Mart, Kmart and Costco on popular culture in this country. Since stores like Wal-Mart regularly account for 20% or more (much more) of a best-selling album, DVD, book or CDs sales, the buyers for these stores have an incredible amount of influence over what publishing houses choose to promote. Most of these buyers -- most likely as a result of the corporate culture and upper management within these companies -- are either conservative or christian, and often both. More of my thoughts on that here.

While thinking of culture wars, I did a little search for counterculture resources, and stumbled across this: ChristianCounterCulture.com, which is pretty fascinating and interesting.

Finally, back to the NY Times, the style section officially declares foam hats (they call them trucker hats, I've know them since my youth as "meshbacks") to be over. I think I called this about a month ago. On a similar note, I've been noticing more and more the silver and white earbuds that signify the owner is listening to an iPod. Apple was smart to make them so distinctive: I see them all over as of late. Wonder how long before some knockoff electronics maker like Coby starts making look-alike earbuds for $10. Something appealing to me about having those iPod-signifiers hooked up to a walkman.