Does pop culture inadvertently cater to stoners?

Posted on August 15 2017

I have a keen interest in popular culture, whether it be contemporary or historic, It just fascinates me. I have ideas on how to improve it, In fact I would consider it a major goal in my life to contribute to popular culture in some way shape or form, which is impactful in a positive way. I’m also a stoner, whether there is any particular correlation between the two interests is what I am here to discuss today. I don’t believe the origins of my interest in popular culture are based in the fact I smoke cannabis, in fact I imagine the former predates the latter by a number of years, but I could say that marijuana has only served to amplify this interest. While I am perhaps more interested and embroiled in counter-culture, a marriage of the two is well within my parameters of interest.

If you look at mainstream media, specifically film and television, there are a lot of things which seem a tad out of place, it wouldn’t be difficult to argue that this is as a result of the all-encompassing nature of what we call ‘mainstream’. However, there are some television programs from way out of left-field which struggle to find an audience amongst the majority of viewers but garner a cult-like following after they have already been cancelled, the same could be said for films, some of which are actually panned by critics as well as bombing at the box office yet find themselves reinvigorated by fans coming together in support.

With many of these productions, it is difficult to see how the producers ever envisioned widespread interest. So, to this end, are they seeking a different audience?

Stoners, I find are extremely attentive when it comes to finite details in things such as films and television shows, with obscure references and antics appealing to both intrigue and humour. You will find this in B-movies such as Nuke’em High and Tank Girl, the latter of which was actually intended to be a big deal but wasn’t to be, as well as perhaps even more so in modern mainstream successes such as Rick and Morty and Adventure Time. Rick and Morty is abundant to references to science fiction both obscure and old as well as contemporary. Adventure Time on the other hand bursts with elements of the fantasy genre from books, films, RPG’s and even video games.

In discussing this, you have to consider that while these shows may see widespread release and mainstream acclaim, the creatives who take time to build the plot and elements of the show in general will be those from the fringes of society, those with interests all across the board. To this end, many true creatives will aim for an equilibrium between complex intellectual elements and factors that will appeal to a larger audience.

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