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Pop Culture Is An Ouroboros That’s Almost Full

By Gabe Delahaye / August 27, 2010 - 12:03 pm

The Internet has been pretty excited this week about some new developments in bringing pop culture from the 1980s to life. The website ThinkGeek has developed actual Stay Puft marshmallows that you can eat with your mouth, from the hit 1984 movie, Ghostbusters, starring Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. Meanwhile, some designers for Nike submitted a patent application this week for self-tying shoelaces, just like the ones Martin McFlay wore in Back to the Future 2 The Streets. “I just came. Twice!” said the nerds of the world.

There is nothing wrong with either of these exciting consumer products individually, but together they suggest a larger, more concerning trend. Which is the ))(( of popular culture in ever-decreasing concentric circles of self-reference, until we’re going to be left with nothing. NOTHING! We no longer learn from or abandon the past in order to create the future. Instead, we aggressively recycle. Our embrace of nostalgia is suffocating. And it will only get worse. In 20 years, one can imagine the remakes of the remakes, and the ironic collectibles that are self-aware knock-offs of the original self-aware knock-offs until some sort of Large Pop Culture Collider opens a black hole in our Zunes and we’re all sucked into space where we die.

Just kidding. EAT QUISP CEREAL!