Eve Tushnet, in the course of a meme:

What has been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?

Watching Morrissey end a concert by making the sign of the Cross.

Anyone else?


  1. Matthew,


    Perhaps having Michael Stipe cite Walker Percy.


  2. Having spent too much of my time immersed in pop culture, there are many memorable moments. The most recent one was being at a Jet concert and the lead singer walked on the wall right in front of me and I resisted the urge to grab his bum… (1. because I am happily married, 2. because I am supposed to be a good Catholic girl, 3. but mostly because my 17 year old son was standing next to me.)

  3. Cubeland Mystic says

    Memorable pop-culture moments?

    Sensitively unrugged Matthew Lickona, JAMMIFIED, bestriding the narrow cliffs of Carlsbad like a Metrosexual!

  4. Cubeland Mystic says

    I think the 1984 Apple Commercial was memorable.

    It demonstrates the same thinking that will eventually overcome the fascists at microFLACCID. I see the commercial as the first hammer stroke against a lot of the institutions that control and shape culture. I often have negative things to say about technology in general. It’s not really the physical technology. We should be cautious, but the caution should be about the misapplication of technology, rather than the technology itself. When we all have access to it, it is liberating. We would never have met otherwise.

    Pop culture can now be organic from individuals rather than contrived from institutions. That commercial led to this blog in a lot of ways. A lot of old style 19th century thinking had to be redirected in order to get free blogging tools. It took a lot of reeducation to risk giving individuals the ability to download just the song of your choice for .99 cents rather than cough-up $17 for a CD containing the song of your choice. So that commercial was both memorable and important.

  5. So, Rachel, you brought your 17-year-old son to a crock music concert then nearly grabbed the lead singers’ butt. I think reading that was the most poignant pop culture moment I’ve ever had.

  6. Cubeland Mystic says

    Actually she, “resisted the urge” to grab the lead singer’s bum. Which I think highlights the internal tension of living in the modern world informed by an ancient faith. Not to mention it highlights her honesty and restraint. That is certainly poignant.

    I can say for sure there are many many bums that I would like to grab, but informed by my faith I restrain that urge and walk the path less traveled.

    It is true that on the path less traveled there are fewer bums to grab, but on the occasions when that path crosses the superhighway of modernity, I have those ancient tools to help me.

  7. Anonymous says

    my most poignant pop culture moment to date? when i took my kids to see santa at the mall and my daughter asked for a micro-phone (for doing plays and singing and such) and santa said, a hannah montana micro-phone? and my daughter said, no. that made me happy. mcm

  8. Matthew Lickona says

    Well, as long as we’re all being honest, I came down to San Diego’s Old Globe theater from college during my senior year to see Hal Halbrook play King Lear. Robert Sean Leonard was Edgar. Rober Sean Leonard played Neil in Dead Poets Society, a film about artistically minded Juniors in high school that I saw in the theater as a Junior in high school. It was, shall we say, a heady time. After the play, Leonard came out and chatted with five or six fans, including yours truly, and talked at length about being involved with Dead Poets Society. That was cool for me.

    Having Julia Child sign a paperback copy of The French Chef Cookbook was cool.

    Having Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies sign a ticket stub to First Son was cool.

    I’ll keep mulling.

  9. The epitome – it was all down hill from there – was going to see Bruce Springsteen at the Uptown Theater in Milwaukee in October 1975. (The legendary “bomb threat concert.”) Right around the time of the Time/Newsweek ‘the future’ of rock and roll covers. During the hours we waited for the theater to be swept by security, my little sister and I met some interesting people and had an all around culturally significant moment. We’ve seen Bruce since, but that night was a real MOMENT.

    Just this morning, I was telling someone about how we met some guys from out East who were following Bruce around the country. We were sooo impressed. 30+ years and six kids of my own later, I see that ‘lifestyle’ decision in a whole different light!

  10. Anonymous says

    does being hit on by bill paxton count? i’m joking…he didn’t hit on me, he is happily married. but, his daughter is in my son’s class, and he sat down right next to me at a school function….it was awkward…like junior high, except worse because you have to pretend he is normal so as not to make him feel awkward. mcm

  11. Matthew,

    I would also include, right up there with Michael Stipe talking about Percy – serving McClean Stevenson (Col. Blake to those that remember) a Harvey Wallbanger while tending bar. For some reason, he was the epitome of the TV generation, my generation: an exclusively TV celebrity. And after all, it was a small step for a boy to go from watching ZOOM to watching M.A.S.H…


  12. Rufus McCain says

    Bob Dylan playing for Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day in Bologna in 1997. JPII quoting from and responding to lines from “Blowing in the Wind.” Dylan later saying it was among his favorite gigs ever.

  13. In college I almost injured/killed “Peter Petrelli” (Milo Ventimiglia)of Heroes. I was helping him with the lights in the theater by guiding the wheeled ladder he was standing on. I was talking to a friend when I moved the ladder before he was ready. Milo’s flying and levitation skills weren’t up to par yet, and he had to hang on the light pole as I pushed the ladder back under him. College graduation. A few of our classmates got up to sing to the rest of the graduating class. Each one popped up with a live microphone and started to sing and made their way up to the stage. I guess they thought it would be a great gift of performance to the rest of the graduating class of …actors. Of course since we were artists with big dreams too, we only saw it as being “upstaged” on our day and how dare they. Next thing you know there’s 100 of us singing into rolled programs trying to out do the other while making our way up to the stage. Not wanting to be upstaged too, the guest speakers Neil Simon and Debbie Allen joined us.

  14. notrelatedtoted says

    I was on a small plane from Denver with the band Bad Religion. They were opening for Pearl Jam in my hometown. They were pretty obnoxious.

    Not exactly pop-culture, but I work in the same building as Art Monk.

    Sorry, that’s the best I got.

  15. Rufus McCain says

    Walker Percy writing a letter to Bruce Springsteen.

  16. Anonymous says

    Meeting “Iron Butterfly” after a small venue concert in the early 90s, when I could have been the daughter or granddaughter of anyone in the band or audience. All the guys in line in front of me were telling the band how meaningful their music was, how it had changed their lives, etc. Then when I met them, I said, “Well, your music hasn’t ever changed my life, but it did cheer up some really lousy days in high school” and the singer replied in obvious relief, “That’s all we’ve ever wanted to do; I’ve never tried to change anybody’s life.”

    Cecilia L.

  17. Eoin Suibhne says

    I know you asked for one, but here are a few:

    Seeing the two guys who worked at the local music store pop up on MTV as members of Skid Row.

    Front row seats to see Rush.

    Seeing Springsteen at Giants Stadium.

    Being unwillingly swept into a mosh pit at a Metallica concert. Scariest 60 seconds of my life.

  18. Eoin Suibhne says

    One more: seeing Fishbone at CBGB.

  19. angelmeg says

    Not only getting my picture taken with Harry Chapin, but having him put his arm around me, and chat with me for a bit at a Democratic fund raiser when I was in college.

    I was in Heaven. I still have the picture and the autographed nametag (the only piece of paper I had handy).

    In a really intersting piece of small world realitivity, my devoted husband (I hadn’t met him yet at that time) worked the Harry Chapin concert that very night at his college auditorium. Mr. Chapin left the fund raiser moments afer having his picture taken with me to get to his concert where my future husband helped to guide him to the stage. (how surreal is that)

  20. Seeing my 40-year-old sister and her 40-year-old friend arguing over which three-chord rock band was the best. It made me realize just how development arresting pop culture can be.

  21. Matthew Lickona says

    Whether or not they arrest development, pop artists are the poets of the age. Every age has its folk music – and it’s often been simple, and often been bawdy. Pop is our folk music, and most of us are just folk.

  22. Mark Thomas says

    I’m linking to the music video that Matt’s got a picture from on this post, because it’s gorgeous. He’s angry as hell at God here, which is always a good sign, and yet I heard he kept wearing the clerics after this shoot, which is, I think, also a good (if weird) sign.

  23. Come now, Lickona. You’re a man of high learning, high faith, high accomplishment, high taste, and sometimes high hair. You’re not “just folk.”

    And in many ways, the Pop culture stuff referred to in this combox thread in not really folk but more like mass produced art-ishness. Morrisey and REM and all these acts are to folk music what McDonald’s is to your local non-chain burger joint.’

    Pop culture is not folk culture.

  24. Anonymous says

    i am shocked to see, that so far, ernesto has gotten away with that comment. :-))). that would NOT have happened had we all been sitting around the lickonas pool having some G&T’s. them would have been fighten words……mcm

  25. Matthew Lickona says

    I know! The very idea of his calling me a man of high taste and accomplishment (to say nothing of learning and faith). Absurd.

  26. Anonymous says

    i was talking about the “high hair”….:-))))). FYI in pop culture news, tom waits gets a rave review in the la times….it sounds like such a great performance. why in the heck is he not playing in california???? and he is definitely well within ernesto’s “folk” perimeters…. mcm

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