′S: The Struggle Between Pop An Hig Essay, Research Paper
Power StruggleMedia in the nineties is creating a great power struggle between high and pop culture. Movies and television have such a great influence on today’s society, that many people are turning away from high culture and towards pop culture as a way of gaining knowledge, as well as entertainment. Today, more and more people would prefer to sit at home and watch television than travel to a museum or a library. Also today, people are not excited by the prospect of reading a book and would much rather view the same story at the movies or on their television. All of these things are leading to the decline of high culture, and pose a great problem for the future.The decline of interest in history, literature, and other aspects of high culture have members of this community up in arms. They are concerned about this issue, not because pop culture has gained power in society, but rather because they feel that pop culture has too much power over society. Television and the movies are beginning to take over people’s lives, and this has members of high culture worried that their culture will be forgotten forever. The goal of high culture is not to eliminate pop culture, but rather to create a balance of power between the two cultures. Members of high culture feel that this is important because if high society is done away with, much of history, and all that is authentic will be done away with forever. There are already many instances where this has begun to occur.One example of this loss of authenticity is discussed in Stephen Jay Gould’s, “Dinomania”. In this essay, Gould uses the example of “Jurassic Park” to show how movies tend to eliminate the truth and invent or recreate their own version of history when it is beneficial to them. The example that Gould uses from “Jurrassic Park” is how, director Steven Spielburg, enlarged the dinosaurs called velociraptors in an effort to make them more convincing bad guys. There are two problems with this. First, this, and the many other inconsistencies in the movie, conflict with what history and high culture have established as truth. Second, and more important, is the fact that most of the people viewing Jurassic Park do not realize that what they are seeing is not authentic. They simply assume that what they are viewing is an accurate representation of history. This is where a major problem arises. If high culture is eliminated from society, all that is authentic will be forgotten forever, and people will take the fiction presented to them in the movies, such as “Jurassic Park”, as the truth. Eventually, a new version of the truth will be created and all information from the past will be forgotten.
This loss of authenticity that accompanies the dissipation of high culture can also be seen in literature. In recent years it has become very popular for directors to create the movie versions of classic literature as well as modern novels. In doing this, the directors are forced to cut certain aspects of the books out of the movie script either due to problems with length or with content. In addition, some things are also added that were not in the original novel in order to draw crowds into the theater. Many times the entire plot of a novel is changed when it is converted into a movie. One modern example of this is the movie production based on the classic novel The Scarlet Letter. In the end of the novel, there is a tragic ending and one of the main characters dies. In the movie version, the man never dies and he and his lover go off and live happily ever after. This part of the movie is a major change from the novel that completely changes the tone and mood of the story. If high culture was to be erased and the book version eliminated, people in society would think that what occurred in the movie is what was written in the book. The true point of the author would be lost forever. This same problem occurs in many other novels ranging from classic Shakespeare such as Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, all the way to modern novels such as Striptease. If high culture is done away with, the essence of these novels and millions of others will be forever lost.This is the problem posed by the ever-growing power of pop culture. If it continues to grow, and movie and television companies refuse to give way to high culture, the future of our society is in great danger of losing all that is authentic.