Why you should follow popular culture — and culture blogger Alyssa Rosenberg

When readers ask me how they can get better at communicating, I always urge them to 1) study rhetoric and 2) follow popular culture. For the latter, a good place to start is with Alyssa Rosenberg’s blog.

I know that many progressives — including some readers here — don’t own a TV. I can fully understand that but firmly believe that if you want to understand and communicate to the populace, there’s no better place to start than with the culture.

For those who don’t think TV is high culture, I would make two points. First, I’ve studied Shakespeare for decades — and even published a scholarly article on Hamlet — and the Bard combined highbrow and lowbrow seamlessly. I seriously doubt the greatest rhetorician of all time drew a distinction.

Second, I’ve been a TV junkie for nearly 5 decades, and I think it’s safe to say that there is as much high-quality television on now as there ever was. There just happens to be a lot more crap. You need a way of separating the two — or someone to tell you what you need to know about what you don’t have time for.


And that’s my segue into Alyssa. She has written this introduction for Climate Progress readers:

I’m Alyssa Rosenberg, your friendly ThinkProgress culture blogger. One of my long-term interests is the role that science fiction plays in helping us come to terms with what we’re doing to ourselves and to the planet, and in playing with ideas we might have to consider as we face a future defined by environmental devastation. I’ve written about the role of scientific arrogance in this summer’s upcoming blockbuster Planet of the Apes, my worries about how Fox’s Terra Nova will handle the creation of a utopian society without overexploiting a new planet’s resources, and how female scientists are depicted in movies ranging from Contact to Thor. Today on my blog, we’re kicking off a book club on Kim Stanley Robinson’s epic exploration of deliberately engineered climate change, Red Mars, on the eve of that novel’s 20th birthday next year. I hope you’ll consider stopping by.

As you can see, she doesn’t just write about TV.

For the record, I thought the Mars trilogy was a masterpiece, unlike, say, Robinson’s novels on climate change. Anyway, friends, Romm-ans, Countrymen, lend her your ears (and eyes).

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