Pop Goes the Critique

We may never cease debating whether pop culture can ever offer ruthless critique—or whether, formed in the crucible of things as they are, pop can think only within the limits of the given world. Perhaps it can grasp something elusive, or disclose utopian impulses shimmering below the gunmetal gray of political realism. But in the end we expect, armed with pessimism of the intellect, that pop’s very forms must be learned from whatever it postures against. Pop is, after all, part of what makes the world work.

Joshua Clover, “Debtpop,” The Nation, 16 December 2013.

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