Pop goes …. er …. pop!

Raph Koster is one of my favourite bloggers. He was a lead designer on the best game of all time. His blog is nominally about games but he covers a lot of the surrounding territory too. Today’s post is about the recent history of pop culture as seen through the covers of Entertainment Weekly whenever a new actor took on the James Bond role.

In 1995, with Pierce Brosnan on the cover, we see an article on “What’s Hot (And Not) on Laserdisc.” To which today’s response is “what’s laserdisc?” We see a pre-Shakespeare in Love Gwyneth Paltrow insisting that “I’m more than a head in a box.” And the cover article asks, “Do we still need 007 in a post-Cold-War world?”

and

In 1987, the cover was Timothy Dalton. The cover boldly argues “Those Silly Simpsons: Why Tracey Ullman’s Cartoon Clan Deserves Its Own Show.”

He bemoans the ever-changing nature of pop (maybe that’s a definition of popular art? it certainly has very little to do with what’s popular)…

At any given time, pretty much everything in the pop cultural landscape is doomed to irrelevancy; the landscape is actually a landfill that hasn’t figured itself out yet.

…but concludes that the ever-changing landscape gives us hooks on which we can hang our own personal memories. I like that.

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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