Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

What Aspects of Pop Culture Will Age Badly?

I've probably mentioned this before, but of my favorite new-ish podcasts is the official Cracked.com podcast, which is hosted by the might Earwolf media empire (home to the great Comedy Bang!Bang! and Indoor Kids 'casts). I enjoy Cracked for the most part and find it an amiable time-waster, though it suffers heavy from the Buzzfeed listicle model, and the format often leads the writers to often make flip, pat assertions. The podcast, on the other hand, is much looser and more organic, and has the quality of a great late-night bull session. It's hosted by the website's editors, Jason Pargin (aka David Wong, author of John Dies At The End), and Jack O'Brien, who discuss a variety of issues, often with a rotating cast of guest co-hosts.


Anyway, in the most recent episode, they discuss how some aspects of movies and popular music endure over time, and others don't. The big example is hair metal versus gangsta rap; both come from roughly the same period, but while Ice Cube still sounds fresh and powerful in spite of a subsequent "family friendly" movie career, the former comes off sounding supremely silly, with little sense of menace or glamour. Towards the end, they turn to the current crop of movies, specifically the recent "dark, intense" superhero movies. They really hate Man of Steel, but suggest that Dark Knight will age very badly over the next few decades, pointing to the interrogation scene as something that future audiences will find just as silly as Leslie Nielsen's "straight" dramatic roles from the '50s and '60s do to us in a post-Airplane! world. It's a scene that's shot like a '70s cop drama, but it involves two grown men in Halloween costumes talking in silly voices about matters of life and death. In their minds, it's already pretty campy.

So with that in mind: Are they wrong about Dark Knight and Poison? And what aspects of modern entertainment will age better over time?

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