Pop Goes the Culture

Art and Literature Should Make You Feel

How disappointing it is to read of a school removing “To Kill a Mockingbird” from an 8th grade reading list in Mississippi.

A local website has the story. Evidently parents complained that the language in the book made them “uncomfortable”.

I’m a fan of all the arts – music, literature, and the visual arts. I was always taught the purpose of art is to provoke feelings – sometimes those feelings can be uncomfortable. That’s the point.

How unfortunate parents are preventing their kids from learning to be uncomfortable and think deeper. That’s an important lesson I guess they won’t be learning this school year.

Eliminating books from a reading list because they make you feel uncomfortable…that’s a BIG THUMBS DOWN FROM ME.

Posted in An Opinion on Everything, Pop Goes the Culture, Think Deeper, Up to Speed

Marketing Genius

Fanta of the Opera!!??

I may be a hard pass on pumpkin spice everything, but seasonal naming of soda (when appropriate) cracks me up.

Well played, Fanta.

hat tip: Twitter user Yacov Freedman – @yzfreedman

Posted in An Opinion on Everything, Just for Fun, Pop Goes the Culture, Up to Speed

Iceland Smites

Well, now even those nice people of Iceland are ridiculing us (in a loving way, of course).

See, Iceland qualified for the World Cup and the US didn’t (see earlier post).

The Reykjavik Grapeline is an entertaining magazine from Iceland’s capital which is a great follow on Twitter. They are immensely proud of their football team, and talk the best smack to opponents via Twitter before and during their national team’s matches. An example:

But they’ve now taken their trolling to a new level. Here is their post after the US failed to qualify for the Men’s World Cup in 2018.

They are a proud lot. And — full disclosure — I fell in love with the country after a vacation there years ago.

So of course I already knew it was immensely difficult for a US Citizen to get a work visa to Iceland, but I also knew it was easy to obtain be “Iceland-adjacent” in cheering on their country.

So sign me up for an “Iceland Smites” t-shirt. And I’m all in on the Viking Clap as well.

Because any country trying to smite me but in doing so made me laugh deserves all the love I have to give it.

Posted in Just for Fun, Pop Goes the Culture, Up to Speed

Soccer, Football, Po-TAY-to, Po-TAH-to

Maybe you don’t care about soccer (“football” for everyone except Americans).  But even if you don’t, once every four years the US fakes it during the World Cup and pretend to be interested.  I bet you chanted “I believe that we will win!” in 2014.  Admit it!

Yeah, well you won’t have to learn a new chant for 2018.  Because tonight the US Men’s team lost to Trinidad & Tobago, thus eliminating them from the qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

Never mind that qualifying in the group the US is in (they do it by continents) is one of the easier regions, the team just continually under achieved and tonight was just the conclusion of a poor season.  And I don’t think we can even blame Trump for this one.

You thought 2016 sucked?  LOL – 2017 says hold my beer.

Have no fear, though, there is still a great team to cheer for in 2018 — Iceland!  With a total country population of under 400,000, they qualified in the toughest region, Europe.  And they are a force to reckon with – they made it to the Quarterfinals in Euro2016, and their team is really good.  As a bonus, to cheer for them, instead of the latest chant, you just need to clap in time.  It’s so easy to get on their bandwagon!

Do that Viking Chant Clap in 2018.  You know you want to do it.

As to cheering for the USA, the Women’s National Team (who routinely win the World Cup including doing so in 2016, yet had to sue for equal pay to the under-achieving men) will play in 2020.

Oh, and US Men’s Team – Group Your Poop.

Posted in Just for Fun, Pop Goes the Culture, Up to Speed

The Rise of “Khloe” as a Name

Ever notice there are a lot of little girls around 8 or 9 years old named Chloe but spelled with a “K” as in Khloe?

I always thought that was a weird trend.  Then I saw an advertisement on TV saying it’s the 10th Anniversary of the show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”.

Then I put two and two together.  Is this what Oprah calls an “AHA! Moment”?

Poor kids.

Posted in An Opinion on Everything, Pop Goes the Culture, Up to Speed

Logo BOGO?

I’m confused — are the Chicago Cubs playing the Washington Nationals or the Walgreens Softball Team in the NLDS?

Their logos seem quite similar.  Perhaps the Nationals took advantage of a BOGO deal – BOGO is the retail acronym for ‘Buy One Get One Free’ offer.  So, Walgreens bought a logo and gave their free coupon to the Nationals?

Oh, I see – tweak the color red and rotate it the opposite way and voila – a new logo!  I’d say this work was uninspired.

And shouldn’t the Nationals still be using the Expos logo anyway?  Since they are really the team previously from Montreal…just saying.

Logo designers – you are paid to be creative.  You can do better.  Group Your Poop.

Posted in Group Your Poop, Pop Goes the Culture, Up to Speed

Asked and Answered

Twitter user @JackiSchechner asks a question which needs to be answered:

Answer: “What to wear when your arms are cold but your tits are hot!” (obviously)

And it’s not cute.

Fashion designers, this is your ‘Group Your Poop’ moment.

If you have pressing questions such as this (or truly want our advice), hit the gang up at focusedfeed@gmail.com. We answer all email. Seriously. Because we have no life.

Posted in All the Feels, An Opinion on Everything, Group Your Poop, Pop Goes the Culture, Up to Speed

RIP Tom Petty

Music is profound. Music is life changing. Music is inevitably attached to memories during our life.

And what is interesting is that songs can mean different things to each person. But while singing along to your favorite tune with your friend or at a concert, you are simultaneously projecting your personal meaning of the song while experiencing the feeling of unity of that moment with others.

So it is today it’s with sadness I learned of the passing of one of my favorite artists of my teen and early adult years. Tom Petty, a classic rock genius with too many hits to count. His music featured a simple chord structure and oftentimes lacked flourishes, which only served to enhanced the songwriting and melodies meant to supplement the lyrics and their meaning.  And made for killer acoustic versions, too.

My favorite Tom Petty song has always been “Learning to Fly”. Many thought it was about drug use, but he said he was moved to write the song after hearing pilots talk about flying being easy but landing planes being the hard part.

I always felt it was about young people going out in the world on their own, leaving behind an earlier, simpler time, and while things change for the good or the bad, always knowing they’ll never be the same thereafter. Maybe that’s me projecting and you thought it was about something else. Which is the uniqueness and moving part of music, and why the deaths of artists move people profoundly.



           Learning to Fly

Well I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up, the world got still

I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

Well the good ol’ days may not return
And the rocks might melt and the sea may burn

Well some say life will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown
So I’ve started out for God knows where
I guess I’ll know when I get there

I’m learning to fly, around the clouds
But what goes up must come down


Posted in All the Feels, Happenings, Pop Goes the Culture, Up to Speed

They’re Baaaaaack!

Holy Guacamole!

I nearly forgot tonight is the night, peeps.  The triumphant return of Will & Grace.

Surely there are countless pieces on how W&G changed the landscape of TV with the main-streaming of LGBT (mostly the G) characters which I could link.  But hey, everything doesn’t need to be an exercise in serious analysis.

I enjoy the sharp wit, the rapid fire dialogue, and the comedic genius of Megan Mullally.  Maybe you like something else.  We all probably enjoy seeing the friendship of four divergent personalities.  And frankly, the country could use a little escapism for 30 minutes — am I right?

So, don’t be bothering me at 9pmET/8pmCT tonight, I’ll be tuning in.  And admit it, you probably will be, too (while recording Project Runway on the DVR and keeping one eye on the Thursday Night Football score, too, obvi).

Posted in Pop Goes the Culture, Up to Speed

90s House

MTV has a new show called the 90s house where people are forced to give up their current technology and live as if it’s the 90s.

It’s probably a train wreck (first episode is on my DVR), but I don’t care.  I AM HERE FOR IT!

Fire up that dial-up modem, get out your banana hair clips, put on your neon clothes, and come with me to a simpler time.

Verdict:  90s House…YES, PLEASE!

Posted in An Opinion on Everything, Pop Goes the Culture, Up to Speed