Does An Obsession With Pop Culture Connote Godlessness?

The easy answer: Yes. To be without religion doesn’t mean you’re without a subject to worship. And the subject that’s most easily accessible is pop culture. The types of varying pop culture are like sub-sects, just as religion has its different factions: Catholicism, Protestantism, Calvinism, Judaism and on and on and on. With pop culture, the general divisions of worship are film, music, art and literature. The clan of pop culture you choose to subscribe to is, indeed, very much an indication of the sort of person you are.

Madonna mounted to a cross during the Confessions Tour
Madonna mounted to a cross during the Confessions Tour
Perhaps the most tantalizing part about venerating pop culture is that you don’t have to be loyal to any particular person or genre. The love of pop culture itself is enough to make you a part of its ceremony. If you’re more interested in following the current trends in pop culture than remaining loyal to a specific person, it says something about your malleability. Not to say that changing as you “grow” isn’t perfectly acceptable (for instance, it might be strange if you were still listening to Aqua, though, of course, we all secretly are), but it is a bit telling of your inability to commit. In religious terms, you’d be the person who starts out Catholic, converts to Judaism, dabbles in Mormonism and then ends up as a Hare Krishna.
Kanye stylized as Jesus
Kanye stylized as Jesus
The other element of pop culture that emulates religion is the tendency of most pop stars to deify themselves, including Madonna and Kanye West. Whether this is ego-related or simply filling a demand or void they know their audiences are seeking is at your discretion–though it’s probably a combination of both.
Nas as Jesus
Nas as Jesus
Is pop culture as a replacement for religion necessarily a bad thing? On the surface, it may seem so. It has the outside appearance of making people seem numb and vacuous, but, if you think about it, conventional religion has caused just as much havoc as the religion of pop culture. Mass warfare, discrimination, a battle for land control–these are just some of the requisite side effects that go with “spirituality.” So maybe pop culture is, after all, a more peaceful substitute (minus the part where kids interpret various aspects of music or literature as a reason to shoot people).