By Annaliese Meyer
I once had a dream that I was wearing an outrageous acid wash ‘90s jean jacket while the ghost-faced killer from Scream was chasing me through the woods trying to rip my heart out. I would continuously jolt awake, then fall back into the same dream, where ghost face would be waiting for me, that sly bastard. The next morning I kept thinking ‘why ghost face?’ and ‘why acid wash jean jacket?’ Because pop culture has seeped into my consciousness, I replied. It’s in me like white bloods cells and stretchy intestines and, unlike some individuals who like to think that the “awful violence” and “unholy smut” in TV and movies will soon turn our generation into emotionally stunted sex crazed maniacs. I’m all for it!
Why would I shade my eyes from the glory that awaits me on my television screen? Uma Thurman snorting heroin in Pulp Fiction, Arnold Schwarzenegger yelling “Do it! Kill me now!” in Predator, Buffy stabbing Angel in the heart when he turned evil and starting eating her teachers! The wisdom and excitement is all around us my friends! How else am I supposed to learn to always double check what I’m about to snort, genius diversion tactics like the Schwartz, or that the classically handsome, coy, quiet male will literally try to eat me once I let him into my Secret Garden? And does Buffy lay down and take it? Hell no, she sends that mutha uker to hell.
Not only is there wisdom in TV and movies but there are nuanced discussions regarding the power of the mind. For example, if Sherlock has taught us anything it is that deduction is a thing and we can use it to incriminate our family members and loved ones! “You were out drinking with your buddies huh? Then how come your fly is undone you cheating bastard!?” Probably because he’s drunk and filled with hoppy fluids… Don’t fret if this backfires though, because there’s always Jerry McGuire to remind you how to keep your lover. Just slowly say “You complete me” with mad conviction and an unbroken moist stare. Damn Tom… You had me at-
Furthermore, where, if not on television, can we discuss the complexities of the judicial system? We can thank Making a Murderer for forcing us to ask if there is any way to really know if someone is guilty. The answer is yes, it’s the amount of physical evidence. His blood was in the car you guys, so just drop it.
How about the ways Lena Dunham is transforming the way we see our bodies, armpit hair and feminism? Or the ways that Marvel and Universal Studios can take the comic book characters we know and love and shove them so far down our throats that we end up purging any and all desire to ever see someone suit up, blow up a building or shrug like Atlas under the weight of the world? That’s how you kill art my friends. There are literally lessons in everything, whether it’s garbage or Globe-worthy.
The point is, you who cast judgment upon the medium of TV and film make me want to Scream. Like it or not, it’s a part of us now. The collective us who refuses to go to the party because we need to finish season three of Alias, or who vigorously searches IMDb to see what Mark Duplass is working on next or who finally hears their own anxieties said so precisely and eloquently that they tear up a bit- it’s in us, and much like Rhett Butler, we don’t give a damn whether you like it or not.