“Wait, you haven’t heard of ______? His/her/their new album is ______!”

“Don’t tell me you haven’t watched ______ yet!”

We’ve all been there. Whether it be at a party or in the break room at your part-time job, there’s always that one asshole who makes you feel that way. That way where your stomach sinks, your palms sweat, and a whirlwind of panic ravages your mind as you try to find a way to escape what I like to call textbook “social alienation.”

“Uh… yeah, of course! I _____.”

You fill that blank space with necessitated bullshit, a short response filled with vague adjectives and nouns. Sprinkle in a bit of feigned enthusiasm and most often than not, you have them beat—they actually believe that you watched that film or listened to that album and promptly carry on with another topic. You let out a mental sigh of relief. Checkmate.

As he or she rambles on about a pet dog or a glorious break-up, you zone out for a second and let your mind ponder what just occurred. Why did that happen? Why is it that having knowledge or an opinion on topics of pop culture—particularly film and music—is such a weapon for the ones in the know and a knife-in-back for the ones out of the loop? After nineteen years of fieldwork and personal experience, I think I have the answer. Film and/or music taste are social capital; the more you know and have an opinion about a new movie or an upcoming popular artist, the more you are able to monopolize a social interaction. Simple economics. Like living in a capitalist world, I think that’s how it works—the rich in taste get richer and the poor stay poor. Your everyday know-it-all continues to steal the hearts of people of every party and break-room chat with his or her comments on the minimalist sound of Frank Ocean’s newest album and the pitfalls of the DC Cinematic universe against the backdrop of the more successful Marvel. The uninformed continue to be discouraged.

This is where I hope this section (Film & Music) comes into play. The Strand’s Film & Music section seeks to help the uninformed become informed by producing relevant content on today’s film and music scene—both on a local and worldly level. We’re going to push for articles that educate without pretentiousness. From film/album reviews to informative event updates, the Film & Music section will be the go-to armoury in equipping yourself with the resources to stay informed. We also want to entertain. Who said that educated content can’t be funny? We want to produce fresh perspectives that aren’t always conventional. Without getting too BuzzFeed-y, our articles will push buttons and make you think twice.

We’re not trying to be saviours in white light. This section simply believes in the awesomeness of film and music that is MEANT to be shared. Everyone should have a taste of something that brings depth in art and colour in life without pressure or judgement. No sweaty palms, sinking stomachs, or impending whirlwinds of panic. We’re here to share and then let you enjoy, contemplate, and realize something new in two vast artistic avenues. That’s how a dialogue about pop culture is supposed to be.