Hi, I’m Russell.
To quote my friend Rui who came up with this site’s title (and let me use the domain name when I couldn’t get any of the ones I wanted): “My idea with TransitionSeeker was always to have a website and/or podcast focused on political, economic, social and environmental issues that looked at how we transition both personally and as a society from our current sociopolitical systems to a new society in the digital age etc.” With this podcast I hope to live up to that ambition, but with a specific pop culture sociology focus centered on presenting critical and creative responses to pop culture consumption. I’m aiming to encourage listeners to be conscious consumers, because I believe much of what we consume is unconscious, unthinking and therefore easily manipulated. Further, I’m hoping I can get people to look beyond their usual consumption patterns and check out stuff, cultural items and ideas challenging to them, where they transcend or transition beyond their predictable class, racial or cultural profiles/personas. In short, I want everyone to be cultural omnivores!
Welcome to the TransitionSeeker Podcast page and our first podcast! We’re about promoting creative and critical responses to popular culture, focusing specially on ways to transition from unconscious (or passive) to conscious (or active) consumption. This week’s inaugural episode introduces your host Russell Forden, former Media Studies teacher and pop culture scholar. Russell unpacks the question of just how much choice we have as pop culture consumers, and suggests we make more use of alternative media, especially online media, where more choice is possible. He then profiles the movie hobby site Letterboxd, including a review of Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker. He ends the show with a segment about Life Hacks and Bucket Lists, which includes a review of The Sand Bucket List by David Hoffman. Russell makes connections between life hacks and downshifting, and bucket lists and goal setting. The podcast ends on a thoughtful note with a brief reading from the Tao Te Ching.
Here are some quotes featured in the podcast:
- Rule numero uno about pop culture: there’s so much of it now that it forces you to be selective about what you consume, otherwise it can overwhelm you. It’s therefore an excellent idea to have some strategies in mind in terms of how to navigate it.
- We have a certain amount of choice that we exercise, but for most part we don’t have that choice, we’re not even aware of it.
- Despite the gatekeepers, like Google and Facebook, the internet has been one of the great revolutions in mass media in the last 20 years in its ability to democratize our consumption.
- It’s always tempting to sit back and consume the things that are put in front of us because of advertising dollars, or popularity, or even ideology.
- Bucket lists are impressive, but probably the most important item for a bucket list will be the one that’s not on it.