Losing my Religion: Popularizing Subcultures
There was a time when I was sure that if I dropped the phrase ‘X-Men’ into everyday conversation, I’d get blank stares, or some half-assed cartoon reference. The only comics people knew about were ‘Superman’ and ‘Batman,’ and that was because of the movies or ‘Superfriends’ on Saturday mornings. You could be fairly sure that nobody had any idea what you were saying if you started talking about Storm, Cyclops or Professor X. Now? They’re all media darlings. Far from being the outcasts that the movies and comics portray them as, they’re suddenly cool, hip and popular.
They aren’t people I can identify with anymore.
When you’re socially maladjusted and relatively bright, there’s a comfort in liking things that don’t fit the norm. Sure, people don’t understand you and that girl you are looking at in English class won’t give you the time of day, but can any of them truly understand the sheer, epic scale of Crisis on Infinite Earths? Can they see why it’s Peter Parker, and not Spiderman, that is so interesting? Of course not. They’re so busy with their hip little lives to ever really get it.
Except suddenly they can, and what you thought only you got, what made you special, isn’t quite so special anymore.
What’s happened to me, and my subculture, is something that happens to everyone. Goth culture is appropriated by movies like ‘Underworld.’ The music industry has been steadily mining hip-hop culture (and its darker subsection of gangsta rap) for years, contributing to a slow and steady urbanization of the cultural landscape. And of course it goes back further