Article by Florian Wupperfeld, 15/05/2010
But his death also manifested perhaps the death of ‘pop’ and decades of America’s pole position in business, art and entertainment. Pop somehow started on the 4th of July 1776 with the American declaration of independence, with constitutional rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. Today we call it ‘fun’ and our world seems to be divided between the ones who can afford it, and the ones who can’t. In a world though which gets smaller by the day, more and more inter-connected, those lines might be difficult to draw.. ‘Pop’ was for sure more than a style of music, it connected the world, offered identification with something to desire – like religion it is a dose of hope in everyones everyday life.
Pop’s death also went along with a weakening America, distracted by war, squeezed by financial crises and “Michael” himself symbolized this ‘sick America’. When one speaks to consumers aged 18-24 they don’t even think of pop as a concept of self assurance or self identification but as a period of time when music was a product bought by consumers in shops and which gave people like the Beatles, Michael Jackson and even Samantha Fox incredible wealth. And this, obviously, will never happen again.
Pop music will live forever but the concept of ‘pop living’ is over. Pop was about being sexy, inspired and different but contemporary media concepts like Amercian Idol, X Factor or ‘Britains Next TopModel’ offer a fascinating view into today’s social mediocrity. What are the drivers of people who watch other people with no talent nor looks? Rock’n Roll and the sexual revolution has pathed the way how we think, love, dance and feel. How will this new ‘talent show’ generation (or sometimes even more appropriate ‘no talent show’ generation) effect our patterns of life moving forward?