POP culture cannot be dismissed. In so many ways it represents the time in which it is produced, a mirror to society and often an alternative viewpoint, a system of dissent.

Perhaps that is why it has over many many generations found such growing traction.

IT'S interesting, the odd corners the world holds. There are, obviously universes within universe that a person can explore endlessly, learning something here, something there - at the very least picking up appreciation for various professions and people's talent/proclivities along the way.

Yet, a person cannot cover a universe, or, perhaps, even an ounce of what lies within it.

A lifetime is not long enough [though one can try, and I've been fortunate enough to have the privilege of knowing some exceptionally well-informed people in their own fields]; still, exploration, discovery, is a wonderful thing.

In that spirit, as I write, I keep hearkening back to a conversation with a friend recently. This lady is a very learned person, and for quiet some time, friendship has deepened over a shared love for music. literature and poetry.

She is, of course, better schooled than I - or one could say she has worked harder. In any case, one has learned a lot.

However, the recent conversation revealed something that oneself, as an anthropologist, found fairly difficult to wrap one's mind around - a lack of understanding of pop culture, the importance of it thereof, and why it has for decades been of such iconic value in cultures.

[I can realistically speak of only the English-, Urdu and Punjabi speaking spheres, but others of course can be extrapolated around the world.

What I was surprised by was that this is a person who knows her prop culture well, the music and the legends, the tragedies and the trajectories, of [fairly] contemporary pop culture from 'American pie' to Andy Warhol, and the glory that goes between these goal points.

Even so, though, the iconic status of this field of endeavour was lost on her, or at least not appreciated enough.

Through the ages, pop culture - or whichever nomenclature has been applied to it over centuries - has been a pulse point for the age and culture in which it has referred.

This holds true for music, literature, poetry etc.

Charles Dickens was an author of his times, as was Jane Austen or Bronte sisters, or T.S. Eliot. From the travails of the chimney sweeps to drawing room romances, to the challenges of the ageing process, all refer to tiny portions of a galaxy.

''In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, as the title of the book goes - a glorious title, by the way, in one humble opinion.

One must not allow oneself to digress, though.

Exercising one's mind as these lines are being written is the subject of music. Well then, for one thing, Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize for literature, a decision that, at the time, was widely criticised but after the event recognised that lyric writing is indeed a form of poetry, therefore literature.

He was refereed to famously in one of the songs of John Baez, as the ''great unwashed phenomenon'', she being the person who introduced him to the world in the first place, having already achieved fame herself back in the 1960s.

The honor and serving of the latest thinking and writing on Pop Culture and Societal Reflections, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Hajrah Mumtaz [Dawn staff].


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