Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Cultural Imagination...

There's actual stuff, and then there's the way we think about stuff. I am increasingly interested in the latter (in relation to the former). The cultural imagiation includes all the messy, dreamy, illogical, unconscious, self-serving, magical thinking that is collectively brought to the table when virtually any subject is invoked. Fantastic stuff!

Take anything... The Crusades for example. What is triggered by this concept? Probably something not too far from the image above. The actual Crusades were probably a good deal less cinematic and crisp than this imaginary depiction. Those scaly suits of armor got sweaty.But for this tobacco company, it was the satisfying idea they were interested in not the trench-foot reality.

The "Pop Imagination" has real value. To ignore it, or event to vaguely acknowledge it, is to deny the most accurate portrait of our collective experience. Can it be measured without ruining its wonderful organic sloppiness? Probably not, thank gods.


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