We live in a world where life often imitates art. The record breaking 1915 film, The Birth of a Nation, set a precedent on how Race relations would be carried forward in our society. The Fast and the Furious franchise cultivates the suspension of reality while shining a light on an underground culture. Star Wars: A New Hope, released in 1977, blew the minds of a generation of people with a story of good and evil set in space. This space odyssey created devoted fans that would carry this story into multiple generations and catapult the careers of many actors as well as set a standard of excellence in movie making technology.
Star Trek developed an entire world on the basis of acceptance of all peoples and the risks that are taken to maintain peace. These ideals would be steeped into society and woven into a way of life for many.
Our culture takes the ideas of what we see in movies, television, and other media applies them to real life, sometimes subtly and sometimes aggressively. Fiction, nonfiction, lies, truth, or dreams can all influence thought. The power is in whether the message can reach an audience. Social media was a major player in electing our first African American president, whereas television seemed to be a game-changer in the campaign of the newest elected president. If pop culture can influence society for such diametrically opposed individuals as Barack Obama and Donald Trump, then there is no question to its power to influence our daily lives.
When I was young, I wanted to be an archeologist because I saw Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark on the big screen. I thought that I could be an astronaut because of Sally Ride, who was the first woman astronaut. Sally Ride was 18 years old during the televised landing of Apollo 11 landing on the moon and certainly influenced her generation.
The list can go on and on, and it will. Those who saw A New Hope as children in the seventies can now take their children to the latest iteration of Star Wars, or the next several guaranteed to come out like clockwork until the end of time.
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