The Cultural Blender

 

A Treatise based on the assumption that there is no cultural trend or reference used today that didn’t exist in another form either ten or twenty years ago, or ten or twenty minutes ago, and was copy/pasted into it’s present existence.

I have always called myself a “student of popular culture”. To offer a loose explanation: In my spare time, by the very act of existence, by watching tv, reading magazines, and buying every media software ever invented, (including quite a few that don’t exist anymore)  I have “studied” all the popular cultural trends in American Society as they happen, and  try to find an academic reason for why they react to history, or if history reacts those trends. When a cultural icon passes my frame of reference, I try to remember each in it’s social context and  in chronological order. By doing this am trying to develop a view of society and culture by watching these trends, their impact, importance, and lasting effects. Most importantly, I wish to document my somewhat skewered personal beliefs and rants about society, and it’s somewhat sick sense of humor.

So, in the interest of purely academic bullshit, I have decided to write my master’s thesis on the subject of popular culture, from at least as far back as memory serves till yesterday, or whenever I decide to FTP a page or two to this site. This website will incorporate this “thesis”.  The major point of the piece (this website) concerns, as the title suggests, the immersion of 21st century society with a popular culture  based on advertising and entertainment, which  changes as rapidly as technology, so arrives and departs much quicker as the years multiply. (And as I age.)  Since most cultural “art” and “music” in the 21st century is copy/pasted from something that existed before in either that or another form, this has really started to get interesting. With the proliferation of “boomer nostalgia” sites on the internet, young people growing up today are discovering history and culture  as  more and more is remembered, unearthed, and documented.

All  American Popular cultural icons carry equal weight in cyberspace. Most everything has it’s own cadre of websites, “fanzines” of another time created on a current medium for a current society.

This website, part of the ever growing AllThingsMike webhub linking the writing and art of Michael F. Nyiri, brings us Culture in a Blender, all in one place, in and out of context: entertainment and historical significance are  equal here. Art and advertising exist like the flavorful ingredients of a fine elixer……an elixer created in the Cultural Blender.

So pick your button on the blender, or chop, blend or puree them all together

Original text from site commencement in Oct. 3, 2001

 

 

Ashley Judd as Marilyn in a composite by MFN

 

One of the early images of the Cultural Blender

 

 

 

 

 

Our Icons are Pop Icons

The Cultural Blender Movie page

April 22, 2007: The Cultural Blender Movie page is online. The image above is from the animated title sequence of the video. Completely animated in my new Vegas movie editing software by Sony, the movie is a "flash animatiion" type video, in which 16 of the "icons" pictured in the Cultural Blender image (at left) "come to life", jump out of the Blender, and are "celebrated" with images, video, music and soundbytes. A complete "history" of the conception and execution of the video is included on the Movie page, as well as a high quality stream of the movie, links to the YouTube and Google feeds, plus, for a limited time, a download of the full 256MB mpeg 2 file, which is crystal clear, and can be seen in full screen on your computer once it is downloaded. Other similar "Cultural Blender" movies feauturing the other icons are already in the planning stage.

The Shirley Temple Page The Marilyn Monroe Page The John Wayne Page

The Elvis Page The Betty Boop Pages website on AllThingsMike

This website first went online in 2001. The "mission statement" is in the box in the left hand sidebar. New sections have sporadically appeared over the years, but recently, plans have been made to completely update and revitalize the site. The first section of the Cultural Blender to be updated in a long while, the new "Cultural Iconography" section is moving ahead in the construction phase. The original image of the "Blender", also first created in 2001, has been "re-created" for the just released MikeVideo Internet Movie showcasing the "Cultural Blender". On the "Cultural Iconography" page, each of the "icons" in the blender index the pages with info about that particular icon. The links will become active as the pages are added online. Pages about Shirley Temple, America's Sweetheart, the number one box office star in the U.S. from 1933 to 1935, John Wayne, the archetypal "western hero" and Marilyn Monroe, the "blonde bombshell" and sex goddess are online alreayd.A page about Elvis, "the King" is partially completed. The page is online. The plan is to create a page for each "icon" in the blender image, and link them from the image itself on the Icons page. UPDATE: April 20: The "Cultural Blender Movie Page" is now online and features both a streaming version and a downloadable high quality mpeg2 version of the 9minute 16second "Cultural Blender" internet movie, the latest MikeVideo project.

 

 

I finished an essay I started in 2001 and the TeeVee page of the Cultural Blender includes an essay entitled "The Cultural Significance of Television, the Electronic Babysitter". It weaves a historic and personal tale of televsion's impact and importance, and why this seemingly simple device is responsible for the future of entertainment technology. Television has morphed with computers and the internet, and possibly not too far in the future, virtual reality. The 500 channel universe is rapidly evolving into the 500,000 channel universe with the addtion of internet sites like YouTube. which allows users of the site to become in effect, their own programmers.

The "Robots" website.

Didn't you know? The ROBOTS are here. And they have their very own website on the Cultural Blender. For the first time anywhere, the Cultural Blender gathers robotic lore, cultural images from the collective consciousness of the world population, and history of the "real robots' and mixes it all together including of course the famous composite artwork by Michael F. Nyiri, the webmaster. This special website was not only a labor of love to create, it came about in only 48 hours. Beginning with a google image search for "robots" at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13th, 2006, and FTPing six sections, four completed and two incomplete, but with more content in their unfinished state than most websites that have been up for almost a decade. Robots is, like all the websites in the Cultural Blender, and on the AllThingsMike Universe, an electronic experiment in art. Experience the art of the Robot, exclusively on the Cultural Blender.

Advertising Images have been collected in both Gallery 1 and Gallery 2 of the Advertising Section of the Cultural Blender. The page is currently being reconstructed as well, and will include more commentary and images of advertising from America's past, present, and future. Ads are as much a part of the Cultural Blender as anything else within it.

 

The "Cartoons" section concerns the ultimate form of copy/paste. The animated cartoon is profiled in the section. Here you will find a history of cartooning, a treatise concerning the use of computer CGI effects and how this is changing both cartooning and movies in general, plus six pages of imaginative cartoon themed composites sure to bring a chuckle. Check out the cartoons. And don't forget. Betty Boop has her own pages on AllThingsMike.

The first "Blender Image" and site navigation tool, from 2001

Puree Puree Blend Chop Channels: Links to similar cultural and socialogical sites. Art and Criticism in The Cultural Blender Cartoons in The Cultural Blender Advertising: Blending Art with Commerce Television:The Electronic Babysitter Cultural Iconography:Our New Religion The Cultural Blender

allthingsmike© and ©

©, ElectricPoetry © 1999-2007 MikeVideo Enterprises and Michael F. Nyiri. All original essays, poetry, and art are copyrighted, and cannot be used without permission. The author is pleased to see his words on the pages distributed by others, but only if permission is granted. All popular cultural and news images are taken from the internet in general, and no copyright enfringement is implied by the use of these images. Some images used in composites might be copyright, but all attempts to identify and credit all images is ongoing. If you see words or images that are not credited correctly, please email the webmaster

is part of the AllThingsMike Webhub

Cultural Blender uses images and references to American Popular Culture. So even though, in the interest of science, images and references are used, full credit will always be given, or at least attempted, within the context of this document. On the “Channels” page, where links to these sites will be posted, there constitutes a bibliography , of sorts. If you see a photo., part of a composite, mention of a trend or a feature of American Popular Culture which you do not believe I have documented correctly,please email the webmaster.

Push a button on the Cultural Blender ® ®© © © From the Personal to the Universal ©

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