Extreme Trigger Warning: 21st Century American Pop Culture

by Frost on June 7, 2012

It’s easy to take for granted that we of the blogosphere choose to live in an entirely different mental and cultural world than 90% of our peers. But it’s important to poke our heads out into prime time TV, Top 40 music, and the New York Times Opinion page every now and again, just to keep tabs on the how things are going in the rest of the world. But please, clear your house of razor blades and rat poison before doing so.

Last week, my workout in a Limoges gym was serenaded by a TV blaring the Trace Urban top ten countdown. Here are some lessons learned:

1) Who Runs The World? Girls!

Beyonce strikes a bold and courageous blow against patriarchy and male privilege. How this slipped past the official Evil Patriarchy censors, I have no idea.

2) Chicks Dig Jerks

One of the most common mistakes guys make with women is over-smiling. Look at the expression on Chris Brown’s face throughout this video.

He looks like he’s brimming over with anger, one the verge of snapping and going all Rihanna on the viewer.

Smiling, like any other submissive behaviour, can deceptively get you immediate positive feedback in an interaction. Other people reward you, subconsciously of course, for deferring to them. But in the long term (i.e. longer than at that exact moment) submission makes others respect you less. If you think you’re an over-smiler (record a vlog of yourself talking to check for this and any other maladaptive mannerisms), take a step in the right direction by shooting for the Chris Brown look, aka The Angry Stoic.

3) America Is Dead

Are there any contemporary mainstream rap that isn’t about some combination of turning the music up, getting on the dance floor, and putting your hands up in the air? This monstrosity manages to nail all three, in a song allegedly about going to the beach.

When it came on, I could only stand in front of the TV like an idiot, gaping in awe at the horror of it all. With all the willpower I could muster, I resisted the urge to order a Very Berry Whey Smoothie at the juice bar and drown myself in it.

Seriously though, I felt an intense and penetrating sense of despair while watching this video. Sometimes I truly believe that the internet-enabled free flow of information will change the world, my generation will overthrow and destroy the order built and maintained by the baby boomers, and the decline and decay of civilization will be arrested. Other times, I just lose hope. Watching this video, and reflecting on its status as the default cultural diet of the majority of young American and European girls, was one of those times.

But you know what? Oh well. The world should hold together long enough for me to enjoy the next sixty years or so, happily ensconced in a bubble of leftover wisdom and beauty, and a tiny contemporary counterculture of others who recognize it as well.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Keoni Galt January 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Pop Culture is the lcd of bread and circuses. The elite’s most effective and insidious weapon of mass distraction.

Winter is Coming is a great post, I’m in complete agreement with your analysis and proscriptions…..but one question: why are comments closed at Thumotic?

Frost January 24, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Thanks. I closed comments on Thumotic to see what the blogging experience was like without them. Matt Forney and Jack Donovan wrote some solid arguments recently against allowing comments. Basically I want to focus 100% on creating good original content, rather than responding to commenters.

What June 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Oh, lighten up

derp June 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

The Nicki Minaj video was hilarious. It has like, buff black dudes in tribal shit making funny faces and guys jumping around getting splashed by paint.. Kinda like Gunthers music videos… The producers are probably fucking with us

Bronan the Barbarian! June 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Nicki Minaj’s hair color is more toxic than her music. The amount of autotune in her song has convinced me she’s actually a holographic sexbot.

Mike Mason June 12, 2012 at 11:22 am

“Smiling, like any other submissive behaviour, can deceptively get you immediate positive feedback in an interaction. Other people reward you, subconsciously of course, for deferring to them. But in the long term (i.e. longer than at that exact moment) submission makes others respect you less.”

“submission makes others respect you less” sounds like the words of someone with self confidence issues.

- Try visiting http://airtime.com
- Spark several conversations with random strangers
- Smiling with uninterrupted eye contact makes for longer conversations times and deeper conversations.

Frost June 13, 2012 at 8:00 am

Do you disagree that a submissive personality makes others respect you less?

Do you wear a goofy smile constantly in your interactions with others?

I’m sure the results of the airtime experiment would be as you predict. Here’s an experiment for you. Strike up a conversation with a girl, while keeping a neutral expression most of the time. Wait until she says something you find particularly interesting or endearing, and then bust out a big grin. Watch how she lights up.

Over-smiling takes away your ability to actually effect people with your smiles, paradoxically, because it cheapens their value.

more is less June 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I’m with frost, neutral expressions make you mysterious and give you a stronger base for positive (smiling) reinforcement. It also goes the other way, people turn and look and girlfriends cry when I raise my voice and drop a solid f-bomb because its a departure from my neutral expression vs. the guy who is always loud talking f-this, f-that. People would notice if that guy went silent. Someone wrote a post about that effect before…’the voice’ Married man sex life?

Mike Mason June 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm

This I can agree with. Similar to the quiet guy who never speaks, but when he does, you bend an ear and shit gets serious.

Roosh June 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm

The Nicki Minaj video is the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

Frost June 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm

It was more depressing than the concentration camp I visited.

Aloof June 10, 2012 at 7:59 am

The ensuing hangover is going to be a long one, however the mainstream producers and industries no longer have a monopoly, genuine talent and creativity is still out there, it can bypass the conventional routes thanks to the net.

‘The world should hold together long enough for me to enjoy the next sixty years or so, happily ensconced in a bubble of leftover wisdom and beauty,’

Nah, I say bring it on now, I don’t fancy facing the brown stuff after I’ve lost my hair, teeth and prostate.

icr June 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm

And “Fifty Shades of Grey” for the “literate.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifty_Shades_of_Grey

The trilogy occupies the first four spots on Amazon.

RoidRage June 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm

This music nearly made me puke up my annavar shake.
I’ll stick to my metal, thanks.

Another fun fact to note: nothing that these people sing about is earned. They want money for the sake of the money, sex for the sake of sex, and drugs for the sake of drugs. Essentially a permanent feedback loop of vacuous crap. They show undoing of polite society, the lack of control over their biological nature. It’s sad, these people don’t even own themselves.

Scott June 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm

The post was depressing enough. Aurini’s comment just made it worse. I completely agree with both but it’s just sad this is what is happening.

Aurini June 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm

That ‘Starship’ video is depressing on so many levels.

First, because the tune itself is rather catchy and upbeat. It’s the sort of thing I might find myself tossing on a playlist, for when I’m in a good mood and looking for some bubblegum. Unlike that ‘Girls rule the world’ video – where the ‘music’ is something a homeless kid could tap out on a plastic drum – it’s actually somewhat enjoyable.

Second, the title itself: Starship. These filthy savages have never read a single work of science fiction, have never seen footage of the moon landing, and to them ‘starship’ is just some sort of happy, jokey, LOLey metaphor for shiny and shit. They utterly lack any realistic conception of humanity exploring the stars. Sort of like how Hollywood idiots lust after stupidly expensive Lamborghinis, and fail at the mechanical knowledge to admire the artistry in an RX-7.

The lyrics. Get drunk, dance like a retard on E, don’t pay rent.

The cretins dancing on that beach. If I saw people dressed like that, I’d be locked-and-loaded in preparation for the rape, theft, and vandalism which would follow the party.

And finally – 12 year old girls are going to be singing ‘fuck whoever you want’ thanks to this. Wonderful.

Frost June 9, 2012 at 11:32 am

Hah. I just read the lyrics, didn’t catch the part about not paying her rent when I heard it. I wonder if it would even be possible to parody modern pop culture anymore…

Dan Fletcher June 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm

“Second, the title itself: Starship. These filthy savages have never read a single work of science fiction, have never seen footage of the moon landing, and to them ‘starship’ is just some sort of happy, jokey, LOLey metaphor for shiny and shit. They utterly lack any realistic conception of humanity exploring the stars”

I am frothing at the mouth in agreement. Best thing I’ve read all day.
A+

That Nicki Minaj video is not nearly as bad as her Stupid Ho’ video. The starship one seems “normal” in comparison.

But really though, you are probably better off never seeing the Stupid Ho’ video.

Also interesting that the “Girls run the world” video is set in an apocalyptic MadMax style hell-scape. Which is actually a touch better than what the world would look like if girls actually did run the world.

E June 7, 2012 at 9:54 am

I want to be abused by Chris Brown

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