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Oct 25, 2012

Top 50 Pop Culture List (Final Ten)

Today I reveal the final ten items of my Top 50 Pop Culture Items of the Past 50 Years list. But before I give the top of the top, let’s review the list thus far:
#50The Macarena
#47Satuday Night Live
#46The End of Smoking
#45Motown Sound
#44Gilligan’s Island
#43The Space Race
#42Scooby Doo
#41Handheld Electronic Games
#40Dungeons & Dragons
#39Beanie Babies
#37Hating the Metric System
#33CB Radios
#32Muhammed Ali
#28 Portable Music
#23Harry Potter
#22Betamax -VHS
#21Who Shot JR?
#20Rubik’s Cube
#19Laugh In
#17John Hughes Films
#16Cabbage Patch Kids
#14Y2K Fear
#13 Saturday Night Fever
#12The Olsen Twins
#11 SMS Language
That’s the recap. So with no further delay, here are the final ten of my list:
#10Star TrekWhile seemingly less than stellar during its orginal run, this TV series created a first-ever franchise of this type. Not satiated by the Saturday morning cartoon spin-off, thousands of non-geeks wrote Desilu requesting the series return to the air. Its continued success include six feature films of the original crew, four more under the NextGen theme, a reboot film in recent years, four additional TV series, countless books, toys, games and comic books.
#9The Briitish InvasionThe appearance of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show with their Merseybeat sound kicked off a craze in America. Just a week after the show, Dusty Springfield was in the Hot 100. Over the next year or two, America radio was invaded by The Animals, Manfred Mann, Herman’s Hermits, The Rolling Stones and The Troggs, changing pop music as we know it. By May 8, 1965, the Top 10 air-play songs had nine slots filled by British artists.
#8WoodstockAn Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music” was the original billing for this historic event. Held at a 600 acre dairy farm, more than a half million people showed up to hear the thirty-two outdoor acts play.
#7Star WarsRegarded today as a “Space Opera,” this series of films became an instant classic and franchise when it opened in 1977. The film set new levels for special effects in film with the highest budget for production at the time of $11 million. Although modern CGI has improved, the groundbreaking leap in visual effects and editing comparing what was to what is has never been matched. The investment paid off as this is one of the most recognizable themes in our modern lives.
#6MadonnaNearly by herself, Madonna was to the 80s what the British Invasion was to the 60s. But beyond her music career, she has her fingers in art, books, film and fashion, and is ranked as one of the “25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century” by Time Magazine. While listed second behind the Beatles by Billboard’s Top Artists of All Time, she is the RIAA’s best-selling female artist and crowned “Greatest Woman in Music” by VH1. Her ability to re-invent and re-sell herself is unparalleled.
#5James Bond“Shaken, Not Stirred.” The Bond series’ popularity was greatly aided by The British Invasion in music. However, its longevity cannot be attributed to that. Although fantasy-based in plot, the delivery of these spy films is based enough on real world politics to intrigue the public. Further, there is just enough primal instinct in us to relate to the Bond character as we secretly wish we could have the adventures and special authority he does.
#4Michael Jackson ThrillerThis album created “The King of Pop” as an icon. While MTv made the marketing decision to play few black artists, Michael Jackson broke that barrier with the uncanny popularity of this album. Its impact changed airplay everywhere and opened doors for other artists. Meanwhile, everyone learned how to moonwalk and dressed in red leather. The album is considered by many not as a hot item but rather as an American staple.
#3Have A Nice Day SmileyThe yellow face invoking happy thoughts defined the 70s. However, that smiley is the template for every emoticon today. What itself is a Pop Culture icon (literally) has changed from a singular expression of optimism to a method of sharing numerous moods and expressions in a very simple way. The smiley is now pervasive in our modern communication.
#2Social NetworkingMySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and countless minor versions of the same have become a staple of modern communication. It has redefined how we socialize, tearing down geographic barriers, while at the same time exposing many things which have been classically defined as private as we willingly expose it in trade of what some considered “perceived fame.” This item is still rapidly evolving but few will argue its impact.
#1Cellphone-Smart DeviceMobile and Everywhere! The rise of the personal communication device happened faster its proliferation than any other tool in history. It is one’s phone, file cabinet, bank and entertainment, all in one. Because of its widespread usage, no one remembers phone numbers anymore. And to the chagrin of many, our etiquette has changed due to these devices. The impact of these devices is overwhelming and strong enough to place it as Number One on my list!
That’s it. Comments and criticisms are welcome! 

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