Essays On American Pop Culture

In their day these heavyweights also had only elitist audiences.Since World War II, however, has come the massification of culture.

Even as Europeans visit one another's cities and beaches more than ever, national self-obsessions prevail in the visual arts, new plays, literature, contemporary classical music, pop music and movies. Is it not enough for European culture to be sustained by the masters of the Italian Renaissance, the Spanish Golden Age and French Impressionism, by composers from Bach to Janacek, by writers of the stature of Cervantes, Goethe and Voltaire, by thinkers like Erasmus, Locke and Hegel?" Pop culture, short form for 'popular culture,' refers to the prevailing set of styles, expressions, practices, beliefs and other ways of life that are widespread and with a growing influence on people at any given point or short periods in time.As the name suggests, it refers to the set of things that are popular with people at some period or point in time due to influences from various visible aspects of public life like sports, music, movies, politics and so on.Here the union's old and new members alike know surprisingly little about one another's artistic inventiveness today.Creative life may be flourishing in widely different ways across Europe, but the most common cultural link across the region now is a devotion to American popular culture in the form of movies, television and music.It may simply be lack of information: European newspapers offer poor coverage of their neighbors' art scenes, and television is not much better, with the exception of the French-German network Arte.Whatever the reason, artistic endeavors that do cross borders today reach few people. The region's movie industries constantly bemoan the power of Hollywood, which for the most part leaves local films less than 15 percent of the box office even in cinephile countries like Italy and Germany.In 1996 Yasmina Reza's '' Art'' was the first play by a living French writer to reach London's West End in 40 years.Organizations like the British Council, the French Association for Artistic Action, Germany's Goethe Institute and Spain's Cervantes Institute actively promote their countries' cultures. Europe's museums may be crowded, yet many Europeans would struggle to name the leading living artists of France (Christian Boltanski, Annette Messager, Sophie Calle) or Spain (Antoni Tàpies, Miquel Barceló) or Germany (Sigmar Polke, Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer). A.'s -- Young British Artists -- because of clever marketing by the collector Charles Saatchi.In response Europeans have tried to reinforce national and regional identities, to hold onto their languages, foods and folkloric traditions.But given the option of American-style entertainment, they show little interest in one another's arts.

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