The Genesis Experiment

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    Welcome to “Pop Culture Saturation.”

    My hope is that this blog will become a one-stop shop for all things that go “pop” in our society, such as movies, games, comics, TV, and anything that falls in between the crevices of entertainment, arts, and culture.

    I love popular culture. And though I hate reality TV, I am glad on some level that it exists. Our lives, it seems, are becoming more homogenized, synthesized and packaged. We are more alike than dissimilar these days and, by and large, the thing that seems to bring most of us together is popular culture.

    From the James Bond theme to Superman’s soaring march by John Williams, whether you are a fan of these works or not, you are familiar with them. Michael Jackson (particularly during his MTV heyday) represents the purest expression of the language of pop culture (“Thriller” represents to me the ultimate “pop culture saturation”).

    Thanks to globalization and YouTube (not to mention Twitter), we are approaching a 21st century Tower of Babel in which we all speak a common language. The “confusion of tongues” has been obliterated almost completely, thanks in part to the speed at which information travels and is digested.

    Life is truly occurring in “real time,” for better or for worse. There’s footage of everything. I suspect even when we’re not looking there’s a camera pointed towards us recording life as it happens.

    There’s good and bad to this. My hope is that as this column expands and evolves into what I hope will be more than the sum of its parts, we’ll explore these issues together.

    It seems post-apocalyptic movies/TV shows are coming back. The Cormac McCarthy (writer of “No Country for Old Men”) adaptation “The Road” (to be released later this month) and Jeff Lemire’s “Sweet Tooth” (Vertigo Comics, $1), released this week, is exactly the sort of debut that you would expect from the leader in cutting edge comic entertainment.

    This post-apocalyptic story about a boy with antlers named Gus starts strongly enough. Though it moves slowly and is rather seriously handled (considering that the kid has antlers), you are nonetheless drawn into the story.

    The boy, a product of an unidentified genetic mutation that has occurred in a new generation of kids, is taught the ways of survival by his terminally ill father (a product of this as yet unnamed plague). I don’t think it’s giving away too much to say that his father dies and this opens up the adventure that seems promised by the end of this issue.

    “Sweet Tooth” is, if you’d pardon the pun, an acquired taste. Unlike Vertigo staples such as “100 Bullets,” “Y: The Last Man,” and “Fables,” this one doesn’t quite race out of the gate. But I think that’s part of its charm. “Sweet Tooth” has the potential to delve into those darker aspects of religious conviction, families, and isolation.

    You should take a look at this. It’s only  $1 and for those “Fables” fans out there, there’s a preview of next month’s “Fables” prose novel by Bill Willingham.

    Cornelius A. Fortune is the associate managing editor of the Michigan Chronicle. E-mail him at cfortune@michronicle.com.

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