I wrote the following when I was trying to come up with a personal statement for grad school. With a limit of 500 words, this was one of the first paragraphs to go, but I feel it encapsulates how I feel about popular culture.
There is a feeling I sometimes get when I’m watching a great movie. Or, a great television show. It’s an almost paralysis that starts in my heart and works its way out to my lungs. A smile will come to my face, and even when the scene or movie is over, I’ll find myself unable to move because I’ll just keep replaying it over and over again. I don’t get that feeling often, but when I do, it’s an amazing experience. The idea that something I’m watching on celluloid or on video can affect me to such an extent is baffling. I know that what I’m watching is fake. I know that actors are being paid an awful lot of money to say words written by a writer who has also been paid an awful lot of money to make me feel that way. But, I’m never alone in my feelings. Other people who are watching that movie or that television show are experiencing similar emotions. And they know it’s a fake also and they don’t care. It’s a powerful thing to be able to make people feel. And when it's done on a mass scale? It's awesome.