Pop-art : A tool to change the world
Anything prefixed with "pop-" has a bad rap among the intellectuals. The general take is, if it is a popular art, then it is of low taste. Pop-art/music/films are great in distribution and are easily available to a common man. It is not scarce. But the fine art is very scarce and my theory is that critics appreciate it because of its unavailability to a mass audience.
India recently abolished an archaic law which, in earlier days, was used to penalize the LGBT community. I saw a widely circulated meme in my apartment WhatsApp group, which kind of mildly made fun of this law. Earlier, it was a taboo to talk about gay or lesbian in such WhatsApp groups, but a popular meme breaks the mould and plants the idea that being gay or lesbian is also a normal thing in society.
Another example. I live in an area where there a lot of film studios. Every weekend there are some film screenings on movies that are from the other states or lesser known genres. I and my mom went for a popular Kannada movie that got some awards but didn't get a wide release in my state. The movie was about a boy having a conflict about his gender and undergoing a sexual transformation. The movie was a real story made in a poignant but engaging way. My mom connected well with the movie and her attitude in handling the trans-genders really had an impact. Earlier, she used to shun away from them at the traffic signals, but after this movie, she smiles and sympathetic in helping them with money.
My 80-yo grandmom is physically weak but mentally healthy. She actively reads the newspaper, watches TV and talks to grandchildren frequently. But almost every day she spends 4 to 5 hours watching TV. She watches TV serials (dramatic soap opera) like a studious learner practising the craft. The boring, melodramatic TV serials keep her updated on many topics. She was extremely conservative in her views but now she is mildly conservative.
You can say that with the sample size of n=3, I come to this conclusion. But just think about it, the more popular art talk about the taboo topics of the previous generation, the better we are. Hope we have more shows like Modern Family, Lust Stories. Hope we talk more on the taboos and break the mould.