Whatever happens to the “swing movement of the late 1990s? Me neither. The last time I looked in it was going gang busters. So what happened?
Everyone interested in contemporary culture has a tough time keeping up with all cultural developments that interest them. I am thinking about books, magazines, cds, music videos, zines and the profusion of experiment they represent. This isnt so bad if our interests are narrowly defined. Somewhere out there, theres a magazine editor getting the job done. But most of us have a several interests, driven by a breadth of enthusiasm, or at least curiosity. (We are all anthropologists now.)
Normally, the marketplace would solve this problem by creating a “clipping service with summary comment. But as far as I know, there isnt such a thing. The magazine/CD Blender tried something like this a few years ago. But it didnt have the breadth I wanted. Sarah Zupkos excellent popculture.com does this but it is more academic, more mediated than I want (for these purposes). Arts and Letters Daily does a nice job for, well, arts and letters, but it doesnt have extraordinary pop culture cover.
What I dont want is someone demonstrating their pop culture chops. They may know a area inside out, but I want something that a) takes nothing for granted, and b) is really inclusive. Entertainment Weekly satisfied both conditions (and supplied very good reviews by Lisa Schwarzbaum) but I have got out of the habit of reading it in print and access to the website is restricted.
This might be something that could be handled in an emergent way by a Friendster variation. Everyone posts the things that interest them and eventually we find the people who post the things that interest us. (If anyone knows of such a thing, please let me know.)
Surely one of those pop culture virtuosos wants to step up. The demand is there. The business model is not hard to imagine. The VCs are opening the pockets once more. The suppliers of pop culture are eager for exposure. A great many music videos are already on line, waiting for reference.
Perhaps, Im missing something. But then thats the problem.