The Culture Junkie Manifesto

By ProfoundWhatever

We need to classify what we are.

When asked what music we like, we say “Anything that sounds good”. When asked what movie to watch, we have recommendations ready, when they were released, who’s in them, and how they were received. We know what’s on without glancing at the TV. We know the cake is a lie and the princess is in another castle. We are CULTURE JUNKIES.

We raise culture to the heights of the noble pursuits. If academia claims that which constitutes the world around us merits study and mastery, we add culture to the syllabus. We know what there is to know about pop culture, and if we don’t, we want to, and we’re getting there.

We define as culture any product of any media, be it mass, mainstream, minute, or meager; any consequence of creativity, no matter how shallow or profound; any text bearing an author, origin, birthplace, or source, be it abstract or concrete; anything made, crafted, designed, written, drawn, or constructed.

We define as culture junkies those turning on and tuning in; those watching the airwaves; those reveling in a brave new world of cultural overload. We are not movie geeks. We are not TV addicts. We are not music freaks. We are not bookworms. We are all of the above and all that follow. We quote, we reference, we cite, we allude, we nod knowingly. Our holy texts are Rolling Stone, IGN, TV Guide, IMDb, Wikipedia, and the New York Times.

We are not scholars or theorists. We can be, but we need not be. We have no use for dense symbolism or cluttered semiotics. We don’t care what Demme is trying to say with Silence of the Lambs. Explaining Hitchcock’s misogyny or Seinfeld’s existentialism will impress few. We value the texts as simply texts, and we absorb every word; reading between the lines is not our game.

We claim nothing as sacred or universally accepted. We know there will always be those who hate the Beatles, The Godfather, The Simpsons, Hemingway, Picasso, Nirvana, and Singin’ in the Rain. We may scoff, we may question, but we respect the opinion, because you’ll respect ours. Some of us may not like Duchamp’s “Fountain,” but we like that others like it; we like that it’s there. Even “bad culture” adds to the wellspring.

We claim that culture is culture is culture; it is a never-ending process of revisiting, reworking, remixing, revising, remaking, and reconfiguring. Overhaul, twist, tweak, rattle, destroy and rise anew from the ashes. “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” We will fold culture back on itself and create something un/original. We’ll mash the Beatles with Jay-Z, Close Encounters with Deliverance, and Lost with Lolcats. There is nothing too sacrosanct to be excused from the cultural cannibalism. We de- and re-value the invaluable. “Forbidden fruits make sweet jams”; pardon us while we steal that rhetoric. All culture is source material for more culture. One plus one equals one.

We have no endgame in mind. We have no group aspiration because we have no group. We have no collective strategy, no devised approach, no plan of attack. Where culture goes next, where it takes us is not our decision to make.

We’re just in it for the ride.

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The Culture Junkie Manifesto

Created: Mar 31, 2010

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