domingo, 1 de febrero de 2009

Pop (?) Culture

Ok, so this is another rant about Spanish culture, kind of like my last blog. I have realized that there is yet another facet of Spanish society that I just don't get.

A country so far ahead of the US politically and socially and (usually) fashionably, Spain really seems to have issues with being up with the times on pop culture.

Exhibit A: Popular Music

I guess I was expecting this before I got to Spain, but man, do they love them some American music. And I'm not talking about the good stuff. They love THE SHITTIEST American music you can think of... granted, it's good dance music -- Katy Perry, Rihanna, Beyonce -- but damn, they're about 6 months late on the uptake. I love going to clubs and knowing every word to "Tipsy" by J-Kwon... last night, the DJ played a medley from GREASE. Wow. In all honesty, I kind of enjoy dancing like a complete jerk to these songs, so I don't really have a problem with it. It's just weird that they listen to this garbage constantly.

J-Kwon - "Errbody in Spain gettin tipsy."


Exhibit B: Hello Kitty
Hello Kitty says, "Me-ow, I'm back, bitches!"

Remember in the 5th grade when everyone brought their sweet Hello Kitty pencils to school? I used to spend the majority of my elementary-school income at Sanrio at Crabtree Mall, stocking up on pencils, notebooks, markers, and, holy shit, the FRIENDSHIP BOOK, all with the adorable faces of Keroppi (my fave), Chococat, --insert other creepy names here--, and of course, the woman herself, Hello Kitty.

Would you believe me if I told you Hello Kitty is still cool here with, like, late teenagers and twenty-somethings? I went shopping at H&M, one of the coolest stores, and guess whose face was plastered on every pair of underwear at the store? That's right, Hello Kitty's mug is ALL OVER Spanish fashion. I don't exactly know how I feel about this either. I mean, she is kind of cute. On the other hand, I despise of cats. But Hello Kitty has a bow in her hair and walks upright, so she's not exactly a cat. The battle wages on.

My point is that it is absurd that young women, NOT pre-pubescent girls, are wearing this shit and trying to be sexy in it. Wowsies. I guess it took, like, 8 years for it to get popular in our age group here in Spain. I thought Spanish women were sophisticated, but this has proven a strong piece of evidence against that argument.

Exhibit C: Rollerblading

This is perhaps the most mind-boggling past time in Spain. I have been attempting to run here in Sevilla since there are no cheap gym facilities in the area and the university doesn't have one either (lame). Every day, as I am peacefully run-walking down to the Guadalquivir, minding my own business and listening to the Jonas Brothers, I see countless rollerbladers. And no, they are not all 5 years old. I continually see people MY AGE rollerblading around.

First of all, when the HELL did rollerblading get popular again? I sometimes feel like I'm in a 1994 time warp, back when I lived in bumfuck Pennsylvania, when my sisters and I would rollerblade around our cul-de-sac. However, that was 14 long years ago, and in the US, rollerblading gave way to skateboarding and Razor scooter-ing. Here, though, Rollerblading is hot as ever. Early 90s or Modern Spain? You decide.

And it makes me uncomfortable. Verrrry uncomfortable.

I guess my point in all this is that Spain really isn't that cutting-edge on the pop culture scene. And as much as they want to hate on the US, they are definitely picking up our pop culture left-overs.


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