When I was in college,  working in college radio, I was always aware of, if not necessarily impressed by, the new, hip music.  The recent live-blogging of the Grammy awards by people interested (and people intent on making sure we knew they were *NOT* interested) underlined for me how much that is no longer true, with a parade of names and people of whom I’ve heard, but couldn’t pick out of a lineup to save my ‘Howard The Duck’ collection.  Based on the limited amount of information I have, I expect that I might enjoy Daft Punk, but have never combined the impetus to find their material with the money to purchase same, leaving me in an infinite loop of “Oh, yeah, that thing.”  It reminds me of the way my old roommate, Otter Disaster, refers to my love of ‘Legion Of Super-Heroes’, with a general sort of recognition but no real depth of field, which in turn begs today’s query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) only this week realized that the Katy Perry and Sara Bareilles songs that sound so much alike are actually different pieces, asking: What title, genre or specific bit of pop culture do you wish you understood better?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Honestly, I wish I understood the current “My Little Pony”. My best friend loves it, but I’ve tried watching a few episodes and the “Equestria Girls” special and it just confused the heck out of me. I know who some of the ponies are, but other than that I never understand what anyone is talking about when they reference the series.

    I also wish I had a better understanding of some of the tabletop RPGs that utilize mini figures and the like. The main problem I have is that I can’t find anyone in my area interested, and I’m more of a “hands on” learner. I’ve read descriptions and rules, but until I actually try playing and seeing a game in action myself (video doesn’t count), it doesn’t make much sense to me. The only one I’ve ever really played was the original incarnation of HeroClix (still have most of mine, including some mail-away special editions from Wizard and ToyFare), and I’ve seen some nice 3-D landscapes built for MageKnight but never got to try it.

  2. Anime. And Manga.
    There’s a certain unique exciting coolness about it that I really want to get more into, and I have a lot of friends that are deeply in love with the medium as much as I love superhero comics, but for some reason I’ve never been able to fully embrace the medium.

    • I second that. I’ve always found Anime/Manga drawings to be cool, but it all falls apart when I try to watch a single episode of any Manga show.

  3. I pored over this question for a while, and then suddenly realized that I’ve apparently reached the age that, if I don’t understand something in pop culture by now, I don’t care to make the effort.


    Good Lord, what happened to me? I’m only 40! Crap! I’m 40?!?

  4. I have never read harry potter. But with my boy’s upcoming 5th birthday and his love of the hobbit. (Makes me read it to him every night). I figure I better give it a shot. Just started it today.

    • I can’t promise that you’ll enjoy it, but I can say that I was pleasantly surprised when I did. I got the first book as a gift among a few books when I was stuck in the hospital at the time and I really didn’t think I’d like it because everyone said it was a kids book. By the time I left the hospital, I had read all three books that were out at the time and was eagerly awaiting the fourth.

  5. litanyofthieves on

    This is probably a common one, but b-movies have never really done it for me. For the most part, the “so bad it’s good” thing doesn’t interest me. The only exception for me with this is Zardoz, which I still believe is a really great movie, it’s just you have to approach it like a Jodorowsky film(which I guess some people consider “so bad they’re good” anyway)

    My second, wierdly specific one is video game plots/stories. I don’t care, I just want to kill dudes with fire balls or ak-47s or jump through portals or what have you. I have movies, TV, comics and books for stories. Video games are so I can turn my brain off for an hour and grind some levels. Story based games are either too boring or I just skip past them and get right to the button-mashin’.

  6. There really is nothing that I would WANT to understand better in terms of pop-culture, though for personal gain, I would want to understand computer software and how its built and fixed, as I am a hardware tech for a certain large computer company who’s name may or may not rhyme with Pewlett-Placard, and am asked constantly about issues related to software.

    If I HAD to choose something to understand better in terms of pop-culture it would have to be new pop music, or how certain groups (like Bruno Mars) can be considered rock, when I am used to bands like KISS, Motley Crue, Godsmack, Avenged Sevenfold and Van Halen being considered rock.

  7. Cosplay, I really like the idea of cosplay but I don’t have the resources to really do more research or to start up a project myself. It’s really wicked cool but I know next to nothing about it.

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