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Chihiro: Top 5 American Pop Culture Things You Need to Know About
Ryan: Hey everybody, Ryan here and we're going to bring you the America of today. American pop culture.
Chihiro: Now, pop culture is a hard topic to pinpoint because it'ss constantly changing and developing. So this is a little record of American pop culture. Let’s do the top 5 list and let’s start with music. Ryan, what kind of music do you like?
Ryan: I like a little bit of everything, but I usually listen to rock. And you?
Chihiro: I like all kinds of music too, rock, hip hop, R&B, acoustic, and I also like my Latin music.
Ryan: Listeners, as you know, the States is made up of so many immigrants from different countries, that the music also carries these different influences.
Chihiro: And pop music, or mainstream American music is widely listened to around the world as well. Many of you may have heard of artists such as Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beyonce, Taylor Swift... and the list goes on and on...
Ryan: Or the more iconic artists such as Madonna, Jimi Hendrix, Beach Boys, and the late Michael Jackson.
Chihiro: Ahh... Michael Jackson, one of my favorite dancers. So, music has a big influence on society, especially younger groups because an identity is associated with the type of music they listen too. Which is probably true for all music lovers around the world.
Ryan: Right, whatever the type of music, it has a sense of social belonging to a group from the young to the old. And much fashion is also influenced by music and the artist itself, selling not only for their tunes, but also for their image.
Chihiro: Right, you have many artists venturing into the world of fashion, using their name as a brand to sell merchandise.
Ryan: And pop music has radio stations that will gladly play the recent songs over and over again for those who are tuned in!
Chihiro: Right, there’s a whole feel of being cool and hip when people are with the trend of music, which is both fun and superficial at the same time.
Ryan: I agree, and along with popular music come along sensorship! If you ever noticed in the corner of some CD covers, you have a little square with the words, ‘Parental Advisory, Explicit Content’.
Chihiro: This means that the RIAA or Recording Industry Association of America has decided that the lyrics of the music are profane and so parents who still have control of what the child buys can immediately see this.
Ryan: Ahh, right, that black and white advisory. Ok, so along with music, movies are also really popular, which is number 4.
Chihiro: Yes, movies are part of a casual relaxing evening in the States for many people, whether they choose to go to a movie theater, or they sit at home with their own entertainment system.
Ryan: Right, and again, many American movies go out overseas and are translated to the respective language. So listeners are most like to be familiar with many of the American movies.
Chihiro: Right, new movies are always coming out and are being talked about as to how great they were or the opposite.
Ryan: And they also have award shows like the Oscars to celebrate the ones that are the best.
Chihiro: Which always gets a lot of attention from the media. And not to mention that it generates billions of dollars every year.
Ryan: The actors and actresses also are the center of a lot of media attention.
Chihiro: Yes, they are often seen as symbols of luxury and beauty, a carefree life.
Ryan: Yup, the rich and carefree or careless. Which ever way you look at it. But people definitely love just watching movies.
Chihiro: And rental shops are also changing the way they rent out by allowing people to rent movies online, so that they can receive the movie in the mail!!
Ryan: Another way people don’t need to get off the couch!!
Chihiro: haha!
Ryan: Many listeners might be wondering whether foreign films are popular as well. There may not be a big of an audience for foreign films, but they do receive quite a lot of attention.
Chihiro: Yes, for sure. It’s always interesting to see a glimpse of a world and culture completely different from what you know. And films make this possible. So Ryan, what movies do you like?
Ryan: I like action. And you Chihiro?
Chihiro: Well, sometimes I like action films too, sometimes I like comedy. I also like foreign films, especially the Spanish ones. But my favorite American movies so far are Sin City and A Life Less Ordinary, and I guess tons more.
Ryan: Ok, since we’re talking about the big screen, let’s talk about little personal screens and that makes number 3.
Chihiro: You mean TV right? The screens are getting bigger and bigger these days!!
Ryan: Yeah, I’d have to agree with you on that one. Flat screen TVs with great images make home entertainment something very different to twenty years ago.
Chihiro: So, TV series, very popular in the States as well.
Ryan: People like their TV programs, which range from game shows to talk shows to dramas.
Chihiro: Yes, some popular programs these days are Desperate Housewives, Lost, Family Guy, Grey’s Anatomy...
Ryan: What show do you like Chihiro?
Chihiro: Well, I personally like CSI... I like how they have the high tech stuff that’s not realistically affordable to solve all the crimes in under an unrealistic hour! It’s great! What about you, Ryan?
Ryan: I like 24 and Lost.
Chihiro: Another unrealistic show. Well, for TV lovers, they can now watch the shows online.
Ryan: And many also have Tivo, which is a digital video recorder so that people can watch their favorite shows any time they want.
Chihiro: Foreign shows are also making it on AmericanTV.
Ryan: Right like soap operas in Spanish...
Chihiro: Which I heard are a great way to practice the language!
Ryan: (laugh) perhaps, or Japanese anime for kids
Chihiro: Yes, definitely.
Ryan: But enough with TV... let’s talk about number 2... sports! What’s the national sport in the US Chihiro?
Chihiro: Baseball!!
Ryan: Yes, baseball! But American football and basketball are also very popular. Now, I said American football so people won’t get confused with the other football which in North American is called soccer.
Chihiro: Good point. But let’s talk about baseball, since it’s one of the oldest sports in the States. It dates back from the mid 1800s evolving form old bat and ball games. The major League Baseball or known by it’s acronym MLB. MLB is further divided into two groups, the national league and the American league which has different teams within them. Each team in the MLB represents a city, which in general is where the supporters are from.
Ryan: Right, people go to games in their team color, or baseball shirts and have crazy hats with face painting to route for their team. It’s definitely a past time. They go watch games and have a beer with a hot dog
Chihiro: Or watch at home with a beer and a hotdog!
Ryan: Right. And like many sports fans around the world, people can be moody the next day at work if their team loses!
Chihiro: Yeah, definitely. And number 1, which is also one the of the most important. Technology.
Ryan: Very important. Keeping up with the times means keeping up with technology.
Chihiro: Definitely. Over the years technology has become accessible to many people, and the US is one of the leaders in it.
Ryan: Right. Businesses and the young generations are especially quick to adapt to it. Give us an example that has changed and still is changing Chihiro.
Chihiro: Music. Music is can be bought as mp3 files as oppose to physical CDs. And portable music players are now even more portable than ever!
Ryan: Yes, what we do without our music in small, compact gadgets? Another gadget that is forever evolving is our cellular phone.
Chihiro: People carry around cell phones that have more features than before including the internet.
Ryan: Information at your finger tips.
Chihiro: Well, whatever the gadget or gizmo that you prefer, developments of new mechanisms and improvements to existing ones are constantly being created and modifying our lives.
Ryan: So keep up with the times as you keep your English up!
Chihiro: Ok, I think that’s enough for a glimpse into US pop culture.
Ryan: We’ve touched on just a few of the many things, of course.
Chihiro: Please join us next time for more information about America. Hope to see you all soon.
Ryan: Bye for now.