Friday, August 12, 2011

Mainstream niche

Full disclosure: the following post is probably going to be at least a little bit hipstery and douchey.

I'm not the first person on the internet to write about this, but it is something that I find a little bit amusing. There is this phenomenon where there are certain things that are pretty damn popular and mainstream, that people for some reason treat like they are eccentric or unique tastes. A popular example that comes to mind is Star Wars. I hear people all the time say things like, "Oh, I'm such a geek -- I love Star Wars!" It always makes me think, "Dude, EVERYONE likes Star Wars. It's not exactly offbeat and geeky if EVERYONE likes it." Which isn't to say that people shouldn't like it, because obviously Star Wars is awesome. It's just that I don't necessarily think liking it earns you geek cred. And I also think it's kind of weird in general that people are clamoring all over themselves to earn geek cred. Didn't it used to be that being a geek was kind of a weird thing? Does real geekery even exist anymore if geek = mainstream? Does it even matter? People have been fighting against "labels" for so long, mostly by reclaiming tarnished labels, that maybe in the end the thing that makes the most sense is for people to be mainstream and geeky, popular and nerdy, weird and cool, all at the same time.

Another one is Daft Punk. A performance group used a Daft Punk track from the Tron: Legacy soundtrack on So You Think You Can Dance last week, and I read a few responses online implying how unexpected and awesome it was that a Daft Punk tune appeared on the show. My reaction was like, "First things first -- Daft Punk is an insanely popular group. Pretty much every oxygen-breathing organism on this planet has heard of them. Secondly, you're talking about a song from a very well-known, heavily marketed, rather successful Disney movie as if no one will have any idea what it is." Foolishness, I tell you! And given what I wrote up there, I guess it really doesn't matter whether they're "popular" and "mainstream" or not. I just can't help but laugh a little to myself when people treat these very popular entities as if they have some kind of subcultural cache.

Anyway, so this will be one of those posts that really doesn't have much of a point to it, other than being my less-funny version of a standup routine where they make all of these humorous observations about life and people's little oddities.

No comments:

Post a Comment