PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Ten Years of The PopCulteer

The PopCulteer
April 10, 2019

I kinow it may seem odd for my regular readers to see The PopCulteer header on a Wednesday, but it’s a special day.

Ten years ago today, in what was originally just an attempt to inject some discipline into my writing habits, I began a new regular feature here in PopCult (which began in August, 2005, for those of you scoring at home).  Because I didn’t want to fall into the typical blogger rut of only posting one or fewer items each week,  Early on I started adding regular posts to my schedule. I didn’t want PopCult to whither and die with a whimper like so many other blogs have done.

Monday Morning Art was easy, and was the first regular feature, added on the first anniversary of PopCult. Later I added Sunday Evening Video, just to make sure there was something posted over the weekend. Radio Free Charleston video notes made regular appearances too. It wasn’t until I was free of my caregiver duties that I decided to try to post at least one item every day. I’ve been plucking away at that, with just a couple of missed days, since August, 2013.

Before that happened,  I started The PopCulteer. The name was a tribute to Charleston Gazette legend, Jim Dent, and his weekly “Gazetteer” column, which ran in the paper every Friday for about thirty years. The rules I laid down for myself were loose and simple: Each week I would post SOMETHING of some kind of substance. It could be a lengthy essay; a photo essay; lots of small items; news on what was happening in town; book, music or toy reviews; or even video. The idea was that every week there’d be something new for my loyal readers to take in. If you go back in the archives, there were some weeks where PopCult only had one or two posts. I didn’t like the way that looked, so this was an attempt to beef things up a bit.

The first edition of The PopCulteer kicked off with a lengthy, snarky essay about our state legislature, and their proclivity toward trading their votes for junk food. You can read it here. The shame of this story is that, not only did these folks not all get booted out of office, some of them have moved on to higher offices, and this incident was simply a harbinger for how West Virginia would operate under Koch Brother-funded rule. We’re still paying the price for having cheaply-bought politicians.

Beginning The PopCulteer certainly worked in terms of honing my writing skills. In ten years, I have only missed one column, and that was due to illness. Two other columns were taken down after an insane millionaire threatened to sue me and the Gazette for telling the truth about a fraudulent scheme of his that I exposed. We never retracted or apologized for telling the truth, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t a battle over which it was worth losing my house to pay the legal fees, so we deleted two PopCulteers. I think those posts lived on at the Wayback Machine until a couple of months ago.

But aside from that, I’ve put together over five hundred PopCulteers.  If you are excrutiatingly bored you can scroll down to the archives and read them all. They usually show up on Fridays.

I’ll still be here, cranking out the PopCult, with fresh content every day. Thanks for reading!

Oh, in case anyone’s wondering, I still haven’t eaten at Tudor’s Biscuit World since before the first PopCulteer. While I’d like to credit that to my strong personal integrity, the fact that I think their food isn’t very good makes for an easy boycott.