religions of AMPOPCULT
This is the section of the Cultural
Blender which collects our individual iconic images.
Click on an image in the blender
for the individual icon pages. The links will work as the pages
are constructed. First pages are Shirley
Temple, John Wayne, Elvis,
for it's effects, so make sure you turn scripting on in your browser
and please let the page load, which might take some time on older
stands for American Popular Culture. The United States is the most powerful
nation in the world, and throughout it's history, writers, historians,
and makers of popular culture have engineered and created trends, and
nurtured celebrities which not only speak to and are embraced by American
citizens, but by the entire world. Thanks in part to cinema, literature,
advertising, and the global spread of television, pop culture icons
are not local but universal. Genres and historical events are represented
by our cultural icons. First they might be merely tv stars or singers
with a hit record. Through quirks of fate, thanks to the tireless optimism
of their publicists, and because of the sometimes slavish devotion of
their fans, American Pop Culture icons have permeated the global landscape,
and identify America for millions of people throughout the globe.
time permits, each "image" in the Cultural Blender above will
be given it's own webpage, with pertinent links, biographical or historical
information, iconic images, film clips when obtainable, and observations
about why their precedence is valued in the Blender. When first constructing
this website, at the dawn of the current millennium, the "images"
seen through the blender's glass were chosen for their lasting quality
and their permanence in the cultural landscape. Some images represent
more than one genre or trend. Because there are so many more cultural
icons to be considered, some have been passed by, and of course as time
goes on, more will be added, but for now, this is a pretty good representation
of the cultural touchstones of American tastes in the 20th century.
American Pop Culture
goes back almost as far as the history of the country itself, and this
is evidenced by the inclusion of the American Flag in the Blender. If
we think we are bombarded with "reality shows" and advertising
images in the 21st century, all we have to do is go back to the boisterous
early days of the industrial revolution, during the late 19th century,
to see an equal fascination with both cultural icons and celebrity,
plus the inclusion of both print and imagery related to advertising
all the various competing products vying for space on the country's
shelves. Since America was founded as a capitalistic country, entrepreneurs
and hucksters have been present since the beginning, and everyone always
had something to sell. It is which icons the public chose to "buy"
again and again, which places them firmly in the Cultural Blender.
In no way is it the
intent of this website to suggest that organized religion is "dead".
Pop culture icon John Lennon, of the early 60s rock band "The Beatles",
once claimed that his group was "more popular than Jesus",
giving way to heated criticism and scorn from the religious community.
Pop culture is not a substitute for religion, but the United States,
although founded with "Christian Principles" is a secular
nation, and the "separation" of Church from State means that
the "average American" has no set religous demonination, and
the secular American tends to "deify" the pop culture, and
specifically, the "icons" within that culture.
First there were "religious
icons" in the Christian Faith, not to be confused with "pagan
idols" which the Christians didn't advocate. Religious iconography
gave the devout symbols of their faith. In the 21st Century, the religious
icons have been for the most part replaced with "pop culture icons".
The "Blender" image above will direct you to dozens of important
pop cultural icons, but the most important are the twin dieties of "Elvis"
From the original
page constructed in 2002:
like the religious iconography it replaces, stands for a belief in celebrity
which borders on the absurd .Lately, the premier icons of Elvis Presley
and Marilyn Monroe have assumed almost Godlike qualities, and some are
known to pray to their spirits. This is the section of the Cultural
Blender which deals with our icons.Our icons are almost religious, and
our devotion to their iconic images borders on the reverential. In an
age characterized by George Lucas' embracing of the idea of the heroic
myth in the press releases for the first Star Wars movie in 1977, as
a people we embrace the heroic stance and the idolatric nature of our
icons, and worship our heroes, even if they were hardly heroes in real
life.As the image of the "real" icon fades with time, the
"iconic" ideal flourishes with the fading of the real, until
there is no remembrance of the icon as real. This has certainly happened
with Elvis and Marilyn, and to a lesser extent, to iconic figures such
as Muhammed Ali or Bob Hope. Elvis and Marilyn remain special cases.
In the 70's and 80's, beginning with the passing of Elvis Presley in
1977, a watershed year for iconic thinking, the images of these two
figures began to multiply. Marilyn Monroe died in her early thirties
under mysterious circumstances following a particularly unflattering
film shoot in which she arrived late or not at all to the set, and even
though her last years were sad and her life ultimately lonely, her legacy
has made her a goddess of all America finds delicious and sensual. Elvis
died of a drug overdose in his early forties, and even though his fans
turned blind to his obvious excesses in his later life and still loved
him, his legacy, as Marilyn's, really began after he died.The impact
of these two, a movie star singer and a singer movie star, with thousands
of remembered images in the cultural blender of time, are so popular,
iconic, and copyrighted, that an internet search for Elvis and Marilyn
images for this website page yeilded very little good content originally.
The estates of both icons guard their golden geese well. On this portion
of the cultural blender, I will mix it up with our icons, and the individual
essays from the images on the main page blender will end up here. I'm
not sure of the composites, but they are an essential part of the blender,
and the reason for being of this website. We worship the ground that
graces the feet of our icons. To this I dedicate these pages. MFN 4/03/02
© are copyright
1999-2007 MikeVideo Enterprises and Michael F. Nyiri.
Blender uses images and references to American Popular Culture. So
even though, in the interest of science, images and references are
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.
Blender is part of the AllThingsMike
pages are best viewed at 1024 x 768 on a 19” monitor. Fonts are Swis721
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