Jun. 28th, 2011

shadeofnight: (Default)
Shared culture and stories

I was playing a computer game when E got home from the Buddha film fest going on in DC, and she went over how one of the monks was fascinated by how TV and Movies are our (meaning modern American) shared culture and bond that binds us together. He had a shared culture with his fellow monks from living in Tibet and surviving the culture cleansing of China on their way of life, but they had their own stories they passed down and their culture they passed down. We seemed to have a multi-media shared culture more than anything else.

I was only half paying attention at the time, but the more I talked with [livejournal.com profile] vvalkyri (and other TV free people), the more it occurred to me there was a lot more wisdom in this statement than I first thought. There is a large part of my life that she just does not really share because she is missing the shared stories. This is not to say she is wasting her time on other things that she finds more important, just that she is missing a lot of shared culture that crosses millions of people around the world. It also means she can not join in on show amazing conversations going on at some parties without a true understanding of the background information.

I spend a good amount of time cuddling on the couch with E watching TV, to have a shared experience with her. The more time we spend together with a shared history that closer we get. My best friend K, watches almost all of the same TV and movies I do, and so when we get together we talk and talk and talk about TV, what we thought, and how they rocked or sucked. I can get a little crazy talking about my favorite shows that where cancelled in their prime.

I feel very connected to both of them via shared experiences. Where this breaks down a little, is I am a little older than E, and her parents did not let her watch much TV or Movies, so she lost some of the pop culture history of my youth in addition to me being alive longer and remembering more of it (I guess that is one advantage of being old :p).

It is almost like the joke about why do men watch sports? So they have something to talk about with other men. I do not watch sports, but I do watch pop culture TV and movies, and it is a major topic of conversation (board games and computer games being two other topics I know well).

I am sure there are some very closed culture groups that use religion and a long history of “their people” for this same purpose. But I am an American Mutt and proud of it. I have German, English and Spanish Blood in me, and so trying to find “roots” in my culture past is just too much work and I find it is most fun and easy to be a pop-culture American :p.

Maybe Fandom is the new “sports team fan” analogy thanks to the internet where you can share you thoughts and meet hundreds of people that want to talk on your favorite shows/movies (or just rant heh).

I think it is human nature to want to fit in, and have a shared past and culture with people to “be part of something greater”. Since we no longer have a lot of the social outlets people of the past had, new (and sometimes better ways) where formed, via social networks and TV/movie fandom.

I can still sit down with old friends from EQ (Everquest, the original online crack long before there was a WOW), and talk about our experiences, and it takes away the years and puts you into a fun time. Sure we where all over the world on our computers for months at a time, but the raiding we did, and the shared moments are no less real.

Then again, what is “real”? I think that reality it always blurring a bit for all of us, and as technology advances, it will continue to blur and change the human experience.

What is the point of my post you might ask?

Well,
I like to put my thoughts to digital ink at times, as it helps me remember.
I also wish more of my friends watched the same TV as me :p

What do you find as the glue that holds your social/culture identity together?

June 2011

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