In this article on pop culture, Douglas Wilson takes on the heathens and pagans, claiming pop culture as anti-culture. Disposable culture. You don’t pass on your Frasier episodes to your children. Besides, they won’t know what a DVD is.
But his logic is flawed, at least a bit. In the article, he claims (using his example) that purple hair means rebellion. Okay, I’ll grant that, sort of. Purple hair means rebellion in a certain context: in the realm of people who don’t wear purple hair. Which is society in general. Mostly. Of course, we can’t lump society into one big blob and say “this is how it is,” because it varies so much from place to place, especially in a multiculture like Canada. Or, as DW might argue, a no-culture like Canada. Makes it difficult.
Perhaps it would be best to judge these things from a standpoint of locality. Purple hair in a crowd of purple-haired people is not rebellion in the temporal sense. In that sense, even if they’re all wearing it out of rebellion, you’re conforming, not rebelling. In the final sense, of course, you’re conforming to rebellion. But that hardly matters, especially when you have a whole bunch of people wearing purple hair so that the point of it all is being lost.
A potent example of this might be spikey hair. Once upon a time it was considered abnormal to do ones hair like that. It still might be, if you’re a fifty-year-old man. Or an earing. It was once considered a sign of rebellion to wear an earing, if you were a man. Or, if you were a woman, to wear more than one. However, all the little rebels have now grown up to their rebellion becoming the status quo (no matter what you think of the history of it all), and no longer see that as abnormal. And because — and again, Douglas Wilson and I will disagree on this — there is nothing inherently wrong with piercing, at least in moderation, like most things, the infamous rebellion symbol carries no infamy or rebellion. At best, it’s a nostalgic throwback to an era in which it was. Yearning for rebellion. Stupid, yes. But that’s the way it is.
Of course, if we didn’t have a culture of rebellion, these changes might take a number of decades and centuries happen, where in 20th century culture they only two decades, and no centuries. But that’s a moot point that you can argue when Christians have once again taken over the world (come to our rescue, China!). We can’t look at what something was thirty years ago, and judge from there. Especially, as DW will admit, in things that are only sinful based on meaning. Well, do they really mean that anymore? No, not really. You need to find a nice gangsta rap cd for that. And we won’t talk about those little retards.