Thursday, December 14, 2006

The "Pop-Culturization" of Modern Life

Another insight occurred to me while thinking on the story of TIME magazine founder Briton Hadden as related in Isaiah Wilner's book The Man Time Forgot. In reviving this blog as The Word From On High earlier this year, I took as my self-appointed mission to cover and comment upon Pop Culture. However, as you can tell from my tagline, "All Culture Is Pop Culture," I define the term quite broadly, if not loosely. It has long been my contention that in the age of information overload and fierce competition for even a tiny share of the world's ever dwindling attention span, all media content, including politics and the news, must be packaged and presented in as entertaining and attention grabbing manner as possible in order to appeal to the widest possible audience.
It seems to me that the first tentative steps along this road began with Hadden and his creation of TIME in 1923. Hadden had as his stated mission in founding the magazine to make the news accessible and understandable to a mass audience. He did this with a light, breezy, personality oriented style of prose that came to be known as TIMEstyle, that entertained even as it informed and was soon widely imitated.
Thus, it seems to me that credit--or blame, depending on just how you feel about the matter--for the "Pop-Culturization" of modern society can be laid squarely at the feet of TIME magazine and Briton Hadden.

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