This week I was reminded just how ephemeral and time specific our own popular culture references are. I was chatting with a 17 year old who had recently seen an episode of Leave it to Beaver – a wholesome family entertainment I believe from the 1950s. Her assessment was “Really Creepy”. Having not seen but heard of this program I understood her point about the overly idealised and terrifyingly neat lives portrayed, I still found the “creepy” assessment amusing from an afficionardo of as much stylised supernatural violence as she can get her hands on. It occurred to me however that catchphrases and references which to my contemporaries are simply part of our store of life understandings, are meaningless and confusing to others. While a drawled “Wrapped in Plastic” will forever evoke images of red curtains, the log lady and a woman obsessed with drape runners, to those of us of a certain age – to our children it just means a way to keep their sandwiches fresh.
Welcome readers and viewers to my CLN647 Youth Popular Culture and Texts Blog. Over the next few weeks I will be exploring some of the material that is engaging our younger fellow beings and looking for insights into what makes them tick.