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[personal profile] shadeofnight
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 [ 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?

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?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-29 01:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Buffy is like that for me. It's a huge fandom through which I met and connect with a lot of people. Some of those friendships have spanned close to 10 years and even with the ones I don't see often, when we do see each other, time falls away as we catch up on the things we have in common and what bought us together. Buffy bought together hundreds of people from all over the World. I've visted and spent time with people overseas because of this particular piece of pop culture. Many of us have gone on to enjoy other tv shows, some in common, some not. Some have deepened those bonds over other shows since: Lost created its own fandom with a huge Whedon lovers overlap. Bones. House. Dancing with the Stars. SYTYCD. These shows continue to expand my social circles as well as trips to Dragon*Con, which is the pinnacle of geekdom and pop culture socialization.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-04 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You have always struck me as a media social person. You also seem to love Dragon*con a lot and always post good stories about it :)

My girl only went to Dragon*Con one time and had fun, but now she is all "been there done that".. and does not want to go back heh.

I have been semi amazed that for as many people that watch TV, so few post in the forums about them.

Good question.

Date: 2011-06-29 02:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's mix of shared values and a shared experiences, with media (usually web-oriented. I'm not much of a TV watcher) as a subset of the latter.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-06-30 01:24 am (UTC)
hel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hel
Oh, man, did you see the Mythbusters ep where they.... :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-04 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like the "defeat the high tech alarm systems"... :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-04 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
why do men watch sports? So they have something to talk about

I've had someone ask me that a number of times. "You don't watch sports, what do you talk about with the people at work?" My response is pretty much a blank/puzzled stare, "Talk to people at work? Huh?"

Coming from the opposite direction, when asked why I don't socialize at work, my response is generally "The only thing people at work talk about is sports and what was on TV last night. I've got nothing in common with that sort people, why would I bother talking to them?"

Now that might not be completely "fair". In the hostile environment that is the workplace ( it's probably not really safe to talk about much of anything else. So even if the people talking sports/TV had anything to make them worth spending attention/life span on them, I'm unlikely to find out; and I know all too well from experience the things that interest me mark me as "The Other" so I keep *my* mouth shut.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-04 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I talk to people at work about work gossip, or I talk to the few cool ones about their lives (and just keep mine on the PG rating.. which 95% of the time it is).

Lucky most of them do not talk sports to me.

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