Finding The Bass Beat

"The only game in town?" C’mon, Dave! You don’t really want to give all that away, do ya’? Didn’t that Palestinian peasant come saying, "A new game is at hand"? Doesn’t that mean there’s a whole different game now? I guess the question is, "Whose game are we playing?" And do you really think he would have appeared on MTV?

Your "critical reading of the popular culture" isn’t critical enough. And you end up giving away the store. You and Bill make a sometimes bristling critique only to resign yourselves to the same old game in the end. We can do better.

First off, what do we mean by "popular culture"? Sounds to me what we’re really talking about here is the "profit culture" or the "corporate culture." Or let’s tell it like it is and just call it the "money culture." Isn’t that the real deal? You gotta have a sponsor to get on the "popular culture." Money’s the ticket to this show. And who’s got that kind of loot? Who are the sponsors?

That’s right, and we know what their politics are like. Surprising what keeps coming out of the "popular culture," isn’t it? Not very popular, as in "populist," "the people," and all that.

What about real popular culture? You know, as in ordinary folks, grassroots, local, neighborhood, community, indigenous, racial, ethnic, regional, and other good stuff. Much more life, vitality, variety, and unpredictability there—harder for the sponsors to control. You could even call it a counterculture; counter to the so-called popular culture that’s really the money culture in disguise.

Oh, no! There’s that word—"counterculture." You knew that would eventually come up. We will lose any influence! We will be written off to that fate worse than death; we will be marginalized.

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Sojourners Magazine June 1994
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