This, ladies and gentlemen, is my pop culture tour.
On this tour, we will navigate through three aspects of popular culture that directly impact and influence my personal life. The three subjects being addressed consist of music, culinary arts, and skateboarding.
Blink 182, a crappy punk rock band out of San Diego, CA formed in 1992. I was born in 1993. By the time I was old enough to listen to music and thoroughly enjoy it, Blink 182 has been one of my favorite bands, among others like The Story So Far, A Day To Remember, Taking Back Sunday, August Burns Red, Silverstein, etc. Blink 182’s style has greatly influenced me in music. Not only do I love to listen to music, I play it and create it daily. Many people have not heard of Blink 182, but individuals familiar with the genre of crappy pop/punk rock are. Blink 182 has not only been around for over 20 years, they have released 7 full length albums, 1 EP, and 1 greatest hits album. They have toured the world multiple times and continue to do so today. What makes them apart of today’s popular culture is that they are a widely dispersed and accepted band. Millions of people around the world enjoy their music daily and spend money and time going to their concerts. Their music is riddled through out Youtube, and other media sites. Not only do fans enjoy listening to the original work done by Blink, there is a large amount of them that enjoy doing covers of their songs. Also, creating fan made logo artwork, shirts, wristbands, hats, and other kitchy items. Their band has been considered an icon for pop punk and an inspiration to other bands as being one of the founding bands of pop punk. What this means is that Blink 182 has the potential to continue being apart of the popular culture in the music industry for many years to come, possibly even after they are no longer a band. Personally, I know Blink 182 will always be one of my favorite bands and a strong influence to me.
The knife above is a 6″ Zwilling J.A. Henckels, German culinary arts chef’s knife. Henckels is a name brand knife in the culinary industry. They are crafted with precision and are one of the best sets of knifes around. They have a weight to them that allow chefs to cut, slice, chop and dice with ease. Knifes to a chef is as water to fish.
The reason why I am discussing this is because I know from personal experience how important the proper tools are in a kitchen.
The culinary industry over the last few years has become a huge part of my life. My first job, and still current, is in the kitchen of a 4 1/2 star restaurant here in Prescott, AZ. I started as a dishwasher and was promoted to a prep cook, line chef, and now lead line chef. It is a stressful, but rewarding career path and a great influence in my life. Not only do I love to cook food, I love eating it more.
The culinary industry is a major component in the realm of popular culture. Food is made everyday, all over the world. Whether it is being made in restaurant kitchens or in the comfort of people’s homes, dishes are prepared and consumed every second of every day. What makes the culinary industry pop culture is that it is people don’t just cook or have someone cook for them. We watch cooking on television and read about cooking via internet, books and magazines. The Food Network is a channel devoted to nothing but cooking. Whether it be Guy’s, Dinners, Drive Ins, and Dives, Chopped, Cupcake Wars, or Beat Bobby Flay, we witness the culinary arts being mass distributed. We view commercials for Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute regularly, and read special Thanksgiving recipes in magazines like Food & Wine. These things don’t just show us what the culinary industry is like, they invite and encourage the common person to try recipes themselves, to pursue the culinary arts field, and to impress guests with our ability to create wonderful dishes. To me, this by definition is what makes popular culture so much apart of our culture.
The image above illustrates a multitude of skateboarding deck brands, apparel brands, and sponsors to professional skateboarders. Like many sports, skateboarding is one that I’m not personally very great at. I have been skating for years, and have progressed greatly, but in no way can compete with the style and accuracy of the professional skateboarders like Mike Moe, Caswell Berry, Cairo Foster, or the amazing Rodney Mullen.
I skateboard as often as I can, and am constantly pushing myself to get better, learning new tricks on flat ground, in the vert, and on the streets. Skateboarding is something that can be very dangerous, but if done with caution, rather therapeutic. Its a different feeling, one that almost escapes description, but is best defined as a sense of freedom and removal from the outside world. Ask anyone with a passion for skateboarding, the feeling of being in the zone, focused to the T on what your body is doing, where it is going, and how to maneuver the board in order to land that perfect laser flip down a set of 12 stairs. Its an adrenalin rush and once you experience it, you only want more. The feeling of success when surpassing any trick or move that hindered you before is something that motives skaters to continue doing what they love.
What makes this pop culture is that skateboarding is practiced all over the world. Countries around the world hold competitions locally and nationally that are broadcast and previewed on television and the internet. Youtube holds many of the Vans skate competitions every year. Professional skateboarders create films with the companies they are sponsored by and those films are release and bought in skate shops all over the country and via internet. Professional skateboarders go on tours around the world to demo the new equipment each sponsor company is producing, and to get crowds pumped up about the extreme sport.
One of the most widely known competitions is in the XGames, which is basically the Olympics of extreme sports. It was in this competition that Tony Hawk, a world renowned pro-skater landed the first 900 ever recorded.
Another aspect that makes skateboarding a huge part of popular culture involves clothing and brand name apparel. Many people aren’t familiar with the origins of the brands they wear, but companies like DC, Vans, Audio, Globe, Element, Flip, Fallen, etc. are all skate boarding sponsor companies that also produce clothing, shoes, backpacks, hats, sunglasses, and much more. These items are most definitely widely dispersed and bought by millions of people every day.
These components of popular culture are and will continue to be very important parts of my life. I would like to thank you for letting me guide you through this tour and look forward to reviewing yours!