I love pop culture. How embarrassing.
Not the Jersey Shore (#GTL), KUWTK, or E News pop culture, but the trend watching of it all. Which songs are popular in any genre, books on the NYT best seller list, social media trends and popular memes. My brain is full of random bits of pop culture trivia. For instance, on December 31st, 2012, I was in my car driving home from the grocery store. I was listening to a count down of the year’s most popular songs, which is no big. Except I can still name the top seven.
Now that I work a social media based job at a marketing company, it’s only gotten worse. (Better? Debate to follow.)
I could talk about social trends, cultural norms, and their various influences for days. Seriously, ask my roommates about my 80’s John Hughes phase.
But I will spare you by instead saying you could just read Epsteins’ book.
X vs. Y A Culture War, A Love Story is written by two sisters 14 years apart. Eve and Leonora Epstein, teams Gen X and Y respectively, cover the music, fashion, TV, dating, movies, technology, and books that defined their generations all in 200 pages. I mention the page length because it will effect how you react to this book.
If you’re looking for an in depth academic or anthropological study then this isn’t for you.
If you’re looking for something a la Buzzfeed Rewind then I would 10/10 recommend.
It has fun charts, diagrams, chat boxes and cute drawings. They talk about what was going on in the world, often in context of their own personal lives. Which is sometimes annoying, but mostly enjoyable as it gives everything a personal tone.
The Epsteins cover everything from the Titanic to Perks of Being a Wallflower. Instant messaging and Wham are discussed, and Sassy is covered at length. Boys are discussed in such a way that Cher (Clueless) would be proud. And if you forgot that Dr Pepper Lip Smackers were a thing, this is a fabulous reminder.
As someone right on the tail end of Gen Y, the Epsteins helped explain some of the things I missed. And gave perspective on the things I was around for.
Although, I will say I thought they were pretty generous when it came to clothing. Did we really need so many platform footwear options?
Conclusion: So if you are looking for an enjoyable, and quick, nostalgic read then pick it up! If you aren’t convinced, check out the fabulous Tumblr they created for the book.
Now if you’ll excuses me, I’m going to go watch Saved By The Bell.