When I got to college in the late 1980s, I was lucky enough to witness the earliest days of what would become Comedy Central, a channel whose programming included copious amounts of Monty Python reruns, the Canadian hijinks of The Kids In The Hall, and even the absurd (but brilliant) antics of ‘The Young Ones.’  it’s hard to categorize my favorite import pop culture, because for a while in my callow youth, it was cool to only enjoy things that were “imports”, whether it be ‘Akira’ on VHS, European albums at the local record store, or my cache of Golgo 13 comics.  These days, I’d say that any balanced view of pop culture has to take into account that we live in the fabled future global economy, as seen with the movie adaptation of G.I. Joe, downplaying jingoism and cowboy diplomacy to emphasize a less ethnocentric view.  This, in turn, begs today’s slow-boat-from-Japan query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) would have a hard time deciding between Monty Python, Super Sentai and Doctor Who, asking: What pop culture fave-rave constitutes your favorite import in your native land?

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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.

5 Comments

  1. The original Danger Mouse. Robotech doesn’t count since it is a repackaged version of Macross, Southern Cross and Mosepeadia.

  2. the highest-level-view answer is (first/second wave) ska and reggae. it took me a long time to realize reggae wasn’t all just Bob Marley/Peter Tosh freshman year hackey-sack stoner music, and once i started to dig a little deeper beyond the surface, i discovered some of the best love songs, some of the angriest protest songs, and some of the best party jams that aren’t just “One Love” or “(Eat) Two (Sandwiches)” or whatever else the idiots in dorms of semesters past would’ve been blasting on a wednesday night.

    a close second would be 80’s/90’s Hong Kong action movies. coming from a family from that general area of the world, i got to experience the whole John Woo, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, etc boom about 5-10 years before everyone else in america, and way younger than i should’ve been exposed to violence on that level. once you see Jackie Chan crawl over live coals, or Chow Yun-Fat get literally splattered with the blood of his enemies after a gunfight, something like True Lies just felt so….lightweight.

  3. Daniel Langsdale on

    By sheer volume of consumption, I think I have to say Doctor Who. Though there are many other imports I’ve enjoyed greatly, as well. The InBestigators comes to mind, as well as Case Closed manga. The works of Agatha Christie. The comics of Paul Grist. Pan’s Labyrinth. Etc., etc. etc.

  4. In this case, I don’t count anything from US of A as “import” because everything western world consumes is so saturated by Hollywood. But, there are waaaayy too many manga & anime franchises to choose from. Then there’s kung-fu films and video games. It may actually be Gojira though.

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