Tragedies That Created Pop Culture Phenomenon

In general, the customs and material culture of a specific civilization are referred to as popular culture or pop culture. Pop culture refers to artistic, literary, fashion, dance, film, cyber culture, television, and radio works that are popular with the majority of a society’s citizens. Media that appeals to and is easily accessible to a wide audience is known as popular culture. Sadly, some of the pop culture we enjoy today, the “simple pleasures” is a result of tragic and distressing circumstances. Here are five tragedies that created pop culture phenomena.

1. The Super Bowl Halftime Show

For the first few decades, the Super Bowl halftime show included performances by local matching bands and a local band playing jazz classics. Up with People was the only modern band that was allowed to perform. However, they were part of the Moral Rearmament (MRA), a religious movement which was believed to be a cult. There was much controversy surrounding this movement, the group’s culture was described as toxic and the band’s performances were nonsensical. From 1986, the Super Bowl halftime has featured numerous famous artists and celebrities.

2. Stephen Colbert Became a Comedian

Stephen Colbert is one of the most popular comedians today. He has brought his satire and comedy to The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and from 2015 to present, The Late Show. But how this came to be is kind of bittersweet. Colbert actually got into comedy after the tragic passing of his father and older brothers. He used comedy as a way to help his mother cope with the grief. He used jokes to cheer her up and this, he revealed, shaped his successful career in comedy.     

3. LEGOs

While this plastic construction toy of interconnected bricks has brought so much joy and creativity to children, its early history was filled with sadness and obstacles. The founder, Ole Kirk Christiansen, was a carpenter who made furniture. When he lost his workshop and home in a fire, he rebuilt but the Great Depression and his wife’s passing in 1932 forced him to downsize his business. He started making toys rather than furniture. Christiansen soon went bankrupt but received support from his brother. After his factory burned down again, he made the toys out of plastic. He later manufactured the construction bricks we know as LEGOs.

4. Nuclear Fear Inspired Song

One of the popular songs played at Christmas time is “Do You Hear What I Hear,” however, it was not intended to be a carol. It was written by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker, to speak out about the Cuban Missile Crisis. The message pleaded with the people worldwide to put aside their differences. Several lines to the song were thought to be about the birth of Christ including “a star, a star, dancing in the night…” This didn’t refer to the star that led the wise men to Bethlehem but rather was about the nuclear missiles.  

5. A Death That Influenced Hip-Hop

In the 1960s, Rosey Grier was a security for Bobby Kennedy and Michael Viner joined Bobby Kennedy’s campaign as an aide. After Kennedy’s untimely death, Grier and Viner were both unemployed. They went into the movie business. In the movie “The Thing with Two Heads,” Grier starred and Viner produced the soundtrack. “Bongo Rock,” one of the songs on the soundtrack, was a hit. Viner then formed a group called the “Incredible Bongo Band” which recorded a cover of Bert Weedon’s “Apache” which became popular. This band is said to be the cornerstone of hip-hop.  

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