Published on the brink of the millennium in the waning days before the iPhone, Reality TV and YouTube, We Want Some Too is acclaimed cultural observer Hal Niedzviecki’s groundbreaking book about the mass desire to reclaim popular culture. Since its publication in 2000, We Want Some Too has become an underground classic.
As relevant today as it was 10 years ago, it portrays the way generations of TV-infused product-adorned aspirationals have formed a new relationship to popular entertainment. This relationship, which Niedzviecki dubs “lifestyle culture”, consists of endlessly attempting to confer the fabricated events of pop with personal truth; a truth that situates mass culture at the very heart of daily life. (“Oh my God. She’s dead. I can’t believe she’s dead!” a man was reported to have screamed while browsing the weekly edition of Soap Opera News in a Toronto bookstore.)
From zine publishing to punk jazz to underground comics to pirate radio and culture jamming, Niedzviecki unearths the underground, makes sense of the barbarians massing at the gates of high art, and ruminates on everything from the nature of reality to the role of the ‘stupid job’. We Want Some Too depicts legions of disaffected, dedicated culture consumers challenging and utterly reshaping everything from television to journalism to pop music. The legions of Reality TV supplicants, bloggers, uploaders and digital mash-up artists that emerged a few years after We Want Some Too imbue Niedzviecki’s thought provoking commentary with new urgency and relevance.
We Want Some Too is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the role of popular culture in contemporary society. It’s also a book that retains its reputation as a smart, funny, accessible – and ultimately uneasy – portrait of a conflicted millennial culture born out of collapsing values, fragmented families, and uneasy economies.
Read We Want Some Too:
Originally published by Penguin Canada, the hard copy is now out of print.
But this book has been re-released as an e-book by Smellit publishing.