This book was very different from what I expected. The pragamatist that I am, I expected an practical dissection of popular culture. Instead what I got was a more philosophical exploration of the origins and effects of popular culture. Of course, the book is dated in it’s illustrations. References to Miami Vice, Alf, and the Ramones are in the book. But the central ideas are not dated.
Several items of note: His chapter on the restlessness of pop culture was excellent and even more timely now than it was then. We are a nervous, restless, untethered society. Why is this the case and how does that effect our discipleship? Second, his critique of the effect of rock music (by this he means all popular music, not just AC/DC) on the church was spot on. The church has become “entrepreneurs of emotional stimulation.” And his point that television has become what defines reality was excellent. Except now we all get to choose what reality to live in via the Internet. I can live in my Fox News reality or my MSNBC reality or my ESPN reality or… So yes my reality is often defined by what I watch, but unlike in 1989 there are numerous realities to choose from.
I would recommend the book, but it was more difficult to read than I anticipated.