Friday, November 30, 2012

Pop Culture and UUs II

I wasn't satisfied with what I wrote yesterday. It didn't quite capture the UU relationship with pop culture.

Then on my bicycle today, cranking up busy 122nd street, something I do as quickly as I can because it's five lanes with semi's and kind of scary, I thought, "it's id, pop culture comes right out of the id".

Back on my computer, I found this definition :
The id acts as the driving force behind personality. It not only strives to fulfill our most basic urges, many of which are tied directly to survival, it also provides all of the energy necessary to drive personality.
Pop culture comes out of the collective unconscious of mass culture. It's not good or bad just intent on surviving and feeling good. It's vital and all over the place expressing whatever it wants. Nowadays there aren't many limits to it. Turn on the tv, sign on to certain tweets and you get a fire hose of everything society wants or is anxious about! Get rid of it though and you lose the energy that drives everything.

What I wrote yesterday was about how UU's generally feel about pop culture. They distrust it, want to detach from it, and would probably abolish it if they had half a chance. The trouble is to deny pop culture too much is to flip into the shadow side and to cut off access to messy, messy life. And that is what UU's do sometimes, and then we get characterized as nerdy religious people who don't connect to Spirit and want to set up panel discussions. People yawn and walk on.

All religions have to negotiate this connection to popular culture. Ironically, we may be more like very conservative Christians at times. They also find popular culture pretty crass and warn their members about it.

The trick would be to connect with pop culture, know that you are doing it, and try and maintain some sense of control or balance. Not all pop culture is created equal. Tomorrow, Pop Culture III will be some ideas of where UU's can connect and a little differentiation in the big, big world of pop culture.

Yeah, like I am an expert!


Joel Monka said...

Nah, what comes from the Id is monsters. And Robots. I saw it in the movie, "Forbidden Planet"!

Bart said...

I feel like you are making generalizations that aren't accurate of any UU young adult or the vast majority of the adult UU population. How many sci-fi nerds make up UU congregations?

Are you taking about Elder UUs not embracing pop culture?

I don't even know what these posts are attempting to discern. Just because you aren't hearing about pop culture or seeing it in your community, doesn't mean it is missing or there are negative attitudes.

OnlyConnect said...

You are right Bart, I am generalizing a lot. I am just trying to make a point based on Tandy Roger's original post which said that the UU's she talked to did not engage much with popular culture. In fact their idea of what pop culture was, was pretty high brow. Adding in some qualifiers, ie "some UU's" instead of "UU's" would have made the piece better. Thanks.

John A Arkansawyer said...


I found this and the Tandy Rogers post to be spot on in so many ways about our congregation that I've sent it internally for further reading.